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Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, [1834], at

Ruth Chapter 2

Ruth 2:1

rut 2:1

A kinsman - More literally "an acquaintance"; here (and in the feminine, Rut 3:2) denoting the person with whom one is intimately acquainted, one's near relation. The next kinsman of Rut 2:20, etc. גאל gā'al, is a wholly different word.

Boaz - Commonly taken to mean, "strength is in him" (compare Kg1 7:21).

Ruth 2:7

rut 2:7

The house - The shed or booth where they took their meals, and were sheltered from the sun in the heat of the day (see Gen 33:17).

Ruth 2:8

rut 2:8

The grammatical forms of the verbs "go hence" and "abide," are unique and Chaldaic. They are supposed to indicate the dialect used at Bethlehem in the time of Boaz.

Ruth 2:9

rut 2:9

After them - i. e. "after my maidens." The fields not being divided by hedges, but only by unplowed ridges, it would be easy for her to pass off Boaz's land without being aware of it, and so find herself among strangers where Boaz could not protect her.

Ruth 2:10

rut 2:10

She fell on her face - With Oriental reverence (compare Gen 33:3, and the marginal reference).

Ruth 2:12

rut 2:12

The similarity of expression here to Gen 15:1, and in Rut 2:11 to Gen 12:1, makes it probable that Boaz had the case of Abraham in his mind.

The Lord God of Israel - "Jehovah the God of Israel." Compare Jos 14:14, where, as here, the force of the addition, the God of Israel, lies in the person spoken of being a foreigner (see Jdg 11:21 note).

Ruth 2:14

rut 2:14

To dip the morsel, or sop, whether it were bread or meat, in the dish containing the vinegar (compare Mat 26:23; Mar 14:20 : Exo 25:29; Num 7:13) was, and still is, the common custom in the East.

Parched or "roasted" corn - Grain was the common food of the country then (compare Sa1 17:17; Sa1 25:18; Sa2 17:28) as it is now.

And left - Or "reserved" Rut 2:18. Rather, "had some over" (compare Luk 15:17). Rut 2:18 tells us that she took to her mother-in-law what she had left over.

Ruth 2:17

rut 2:17

And beat out that she had gleaned - Namely, with a stick, as the word implies (compare Deu 24:20; Isa 27:12). This method is still commonly practiced. Ruth gleaned enough to support herself and her mother-in-law for five days Exo 16:16.

Ruth 2:20

rut 2:20

Blessed be he of the Lord ... - We may gather from Naomi's allusion to the dead that both her husband and son had been faithful servants of Jehovah, the God of Israel. His kindness to the dead consisted in raising up (as Naomi hoped) an heir to perpetuate the name; and, in general, in His care for their widows.

One of our next kinsmen - The word here is גאל gā'al, the redeemer, who had the right:

(1) of redeeming the inheritance of the person;

(2) of marrying the widow;

(3) of avenging the death. (See Lev 25:25-31, Lev 25:47-55; Deu 25:5-10; Deu 19:1-13.)

Since these rights belonged to the next of kin, גאל gā'al came to mean the nearest kinsman.

Next: Ruth Chapter 3