And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty to your mother in law.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Ruth 3:14 her mother was not sure at first who the young woman was, who sought admittance into the house. Ruth 3:15 which by some are allegorically interpreted of six blessings that should be bestowed upon her, as the spirit of wisdom, understanding, &c. as Isaiah 11:2 so Jarchi; or of six persons that should spring from her, as David, Daniel, and his companions, and the King Messiah, as the Targum:
for he said unto me, go not empty unto thy mother in law; which, as it expressed a regard to Naomi, and a compassionate concern for her support, so would give her assurance of the success Ruth met with, she would relate to her.And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 17. - And she said, These six measures of barley he gave to me; for he said, Thou must not go empty to thy mother-in-law. The C'tib omission of "to me" after "for he said" is most likely to be the original reading. A fastidious Rabbi would rather originate this insertion than the omission. Ruth 2:20); thou hast made thy later love better than the earlier, that thou hast not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. " Ruth's earlier or first love was the love she had shown to her deceased husband and her mother-in-law (comp. Ruth 2:11, where Boaz praises this love); the later love she had shown in the fact, that as a young widow she had not sought to win the affections of young men, as young women generally do, that she might have a youthful husband, but had turned trustfully to the older man, that he might find a successor to her deceased husband, through a marriage with him, in accordance with family custom (vid., Ruth 4:10). "And now," added Boaz (Ruth 3:11), "my daughter, fear not; for all that thou sayest I will do to thee: for the whole gate of my people (i.e., all my city, the whole population of Bethlehem, who go in and out at the gate: see Genesis 34:24; Deuteronomy 17:2) knoweth that thou art a virtuous woman." Consequently Boaz saw nothing wrong in the fact that Ruth had come to him, but regarded her request that he would marry her as redeemer as perfectly natural and right, and was ready to carry out her wish as soon as the circumstances would legally allow it. He promised her this (vv. 12, 13), saying, "And now truly I am a redeemer; but there is a nearer redeemer than I. Stay here this night (or as it reads at the end of v. 13, 'lie till the morning'), and in the morning, if he will redeem thee, well, let him redeem; but if it does not please him to redeem thee, I will redeem thee, as truly as Jehovah liveth." אם כּי (Kethibh, v. 12), after a strong assurance, as after the formula used in an oath, "God do so to me," etc., 2 Samuel 3:35; 2 Samuel 15:21 (Kethibh), and 2 Kings 5:20, is to be explained from the use of this particle in the sense of nisi, except that, equals only: "only I am redeemer," equivalent to, assuredly I am redeemer (cf. Ewald, 356, b.). Consequently there is no reason whatever for removing the אם from the text, as the Masorites have done (in the Keri).
(Note: What the ל maju sc., in ליני signifies, is uncertain. According to the smaller Masora, it was only found among the eastern (i.e., Palestinian) Jews. Consequently Hiller (in his Arcanum Keri et Ctibh, p. 163) conjectures that they used it to point out a various reading, viz., that לנּי should be the reading here. But this is hardly correct.)
Ruth was to lie till morning, because she could not easily return to the city in the dark at midnight; but, as is shown in Ruth 3:14, she did not stay till actual daybreak, but "before one could know another, she rose up, and he said (i.e., as Boaz had said), It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing-floor." For this would have injured the reputation not only of Ruth, but also of Boaz himself.
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