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1 And Naomi had a kinseman of her husbands, a mighty man of wealth, of the familie of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz.

2 And Ruth the Moabitesse saide vnto Naomi, Let me now goe to the field, and gleane eares of corne after him, in whose sight I shall finde grace. And shee saide vnto her, Goe, my daughter.

3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her happe was to light on a part of the fielde belonging vnto Boaz, who was of the kinred of Elimelech.

4 And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said vnto the reapers, The Lord bee with you; and they answered him, The Lord blesse thee.

5 Then said Boaz vnto his seruant, that was set ouer the reapers, Whose damosell is this?

6 And the seruaunt that was set ouer the reapers, answered and said, It is the Moabitish damosell that came backe with Naomi out of the countrey of Moab:

7 And she said, I pray you, let mee gleane and gather after the reapers amongst the sheaues: so shee came, and hath continued euen from the morning vntill now, that she taried a little in the house.

8 Then said Boaz vnto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Goe not to gleane in another field, neither goe from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens.

9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they doe reape, and go thou after them: Haue I not charged the young men, that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, goe vnto the vessels, and drinke of that which the yong men haue drawen.

10 Then she fel on her face, and bowed her selfe to the ground, and said vnto him, Why haue I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?

11 And Boaz answered and said vnto her, It hath fully bene shewed me, all that thou hast done vnto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy natiuitie, and art come vnto a people, which thou knewest not heretofore.

12 The Lord recompense thy worke, and a full reward be giuen thee of the Lord God of Israel, vnder whose wings thou art come to trust.

13 Then she said, Let me finde fauour in thy sight, my lord, for that thou hast comforted mee, and for that thou hast spoken friendly vnto thine handmaid, though I be not like vnto one of thy hand-maidens.

14 And Boaz sayde vnto her, At meale time come thou hither, and eate of the bread, and dip thy morsell in the vineger. And shee sate beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corne, and she did eate, and was sufficed, and left.

15 And when shee was risen vp to gleane, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her gleane euen among the sheaues, & reproch her not.

16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leaue them that she may gleane them, and rebuke her not.

17 So she gleaned in the field vntill euen, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an Ephah of barley.

18 And shee tooke it vp, and went into the citie: and her mother in lawe saw what shee had gleaned; and shee brought foorth, and gaue to her that she had reserued, after she was sufficed.

19 And her mother in law said vnto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be hee that did take knowledge of thee. And shee shewed her mother in lawe with whom shee had wrought, and said, The mans name with whom I wrought to day, is Boaz.

20 And Naomi said vnto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindnesse to the liuing and to the dead. And Naomi said vnto her, The man is neere of kin vnto vs, one of our next kinsemen.

21 And Ruth the Moabitesse said, He said vnto me also, Thou shalt keepe fast by my yong men, vntill they haue ended all my haruest.

22 And Naomi said vnto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou goe out with his maidens, that they meete thee not in any other field.

23 So shee kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to gleane, vnto the end of barley haruest, and of wheat haruest, and dwelt with her mother in law.

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Commentary for Ruth 2

Ruth gleans in the field of Boaz. (1-3) The kindness of Boaz to Ruth. (4-16) Ruth returns to her mother-in-law. (17-23)1-3 Observe Ruth's humility. When Providence had made her poor, she cheerfully stoops to her lot. High spirits will rather starve than stoop; not so Ruth. Nay, it is her own proposal. She speaks humbly in her expectation of leave to glean. We may not demand kindness as a debt, but ask, and take it as a favour, though in a small matter. Ruth also was an example of industry. She loved not to eat the bread of idleness. This is an example to young people. Diligence promises well, both for this world and the other. We must not be shy of any honest employment. No labour is a reproach. Sin is a thing below us, but we must not think any thing else so, to which Providence call us. She was an example of regard to her mother, and of trust in Providence. God wisely orders what seem to us small events; and those that appear altogether uncertain, still are directed to serve his own glory, and the good of his people.

4-16 The pious and kind language between Boaz and his reapers shows that there were godly persons in Israel. Such language as this is seldom heard in our field; too often, on the contrary, what is immoral and corrupt. A stranger would form a very different opinion of our land, from that which Ruth would form of Israel from the converse and conduct of Boaz and his reapers. But true religion will teach a man to behave aright in all states and conditions; it will form kind masters and faithful servants, and cause harmony in families. True religion will cause mutual love and kindness among persons of different ranks. It had these effects on Boaz and his men. When he came to them he prayed for them. They did not, as soon as he was out of hearing curse him, as some ill-natured servants that hate their master's eye, but they returned his courtesy. Things are likely to go on well where there is such good-will as this between masters and servants. They expressed their kindness to each other by praying one for another. Boaz inquired concerning the stranger he saw, and ordered her to be well treated. Masters must take care, not only that they do no hurt themselves, but that they suffer not their servants and those under them to do wrong. Ruth humbly owned herself unworthy of favours, seeing she was born and brought up a heathen. It well becomes us all to think humbly of ourselves, esteeming others better than ourselves. And let us, in the kindness of Boaz to Ruth, note the kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ to poor sinners.

17-23 It encourages industry, that in all labour, even that of gleaning, there is profit. Ruth was pleased with what she gained by her own industry, and was careful to secure it. Let us thus take care that we lose not those things which we have wrought, which we have gained for our souls' good, #2Jo 1:8|. Parents should examine their children, as Naomi did, not to frighten or discourage them, so as to make them hate home, or tempt them to tell a lie; but to commend them if they have done well, and with mildness to reprove and caution them if they have done otherwise. It is a good question for us to ask ourselves every night, Where have I gleaned to-day? What improvement have I made in knowledge and grace? What have I done that will turn to a good account? When the Lord deals bountifully with us, let us not be found in any other field, nor seeking for happiness and satisfaction in the creature. We lose Divine favours, if we slight them. Ruth dutifully observed her mother's directions. And when the harvest was ended, she kept her aged mother company at home. Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land; her vanity ended in disgrace, #Ge 34|. Ruth kept at home, and helped to maintain her mother, and went out on no other errand than to get provision for her; her humility and industry ended in preferment.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Ruth 2

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