The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.
1:6 Then she [Naomi] arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the LORD had visited His people in giving them food.
Naomi's husband and two sons had died, she
had two daughters-in-law that were still with her. With no means of support, she
wanted to go back to her home country, Bethlehem.
1:8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the Lord show kindness to you, as you have shown . . .
Naomi's two daughters-in-law were Ruth & Orpah whose husbands had recently died. Orpah was willing to go home to find another husband, but Ruth would not leave Naomi - which is similar to our devotion to Christ. (DRM 5/30/88)
1:16 But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
Naomi's husband died, then later both of her
sons (v. 3-5). After her sons died, she only had her two daughters-in-law. One
left, but the other, Ruth, was determined to stay with Naomi wherever she went.
Certainly Ruth loved Naomi like a mother, and didn't want anything to happen to
1:20 She said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
With the loss of her husband and both sons,
Naomi was bitter with the Lord. Certainly I understand what it's like to plan on
doing something and having a fruitful life, then the Lord changing the plan.
2:5, 6 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, "Whose young woman is this?" 6The servant in charge of the reapers replied, "She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the land of Moab . . . "
time there were very few big cities. This occurred in the little town of
2:8 So Boaz said to Ruth, "My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls.
Obviously Boaz was attracted to Ruth from the beginning. Boaz knew why Ruth was in his field and had compassion for her plight. Lord, let me be compassionate! (DRM 6/1/88)
2:9 Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have commanded the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw."
After Boaz discovered Ruth gleaning in
his field, he investigated her history - this was easy to do in the small town
of Bethlehem. This verse is part of their first conversation.
2:10 Then she [Ruth] fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him [Boaz], "Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?"
Motives are hard to determine. Boaz's answer to the question presented in this
verse is in the following two verses (vv. 11-12), which seems logical, but I
wonder if there was anything more, like her beauty? Why would a rich man fall
somewhat in love with Ruth, who certainly was poor?
2:11 Boaz replied to her, "All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know. "
Throughout all of history, Bethlehem has been a small town/city. Certainly that
is the case here. In small towns, everyone knows if ANY change has happened;
thus Boaz had been told soon after Naomi and Ruth had arrived. At least in this
case, it was good for Ruth to be known.
2:12 . . . May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge."
Boaz had found Ruth in the field that he owned gleaning the grain. It was
tradition in that time for poor people to be allowed to do this (not like
2:15, 16 When she rose to glean, Boaz commanded his servants, saying, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not insult her. 16Also you shall purposely pull out for her some grain from the bundles and leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her."
Ruth was gleaning grain in Boaz's field. Naomi had told Ruth that Boaz was a
relative (vv. 1-2). After seeing Ruth, Boaz wanted her to stay in his fields to
glean (v. 8).
2:19 Her [Ruth] mother-in-law [Naomi] then said to her, "Where did you glean today and where did you work? May he who took notice of you be blessed." So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, "The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz."
(1:19) was a small town at the time, there were probably several farms that Ruth
could have gone to, but she chose Boaz' farm to glean from for some reason.
God's care for these people results in the birth of Obed, the grandfather of David (4:17, 21), whose descendants eventually include our Lord (Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38). (Our Daily Bread Insight 1/10/12)
2:22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, "It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his [Boaz] maids, so that others do not fall upon you in another field."
It seems to me that Naomi knew more than she was telling Ruth. While Naomi didn't tell Ruth which field to go to, she must have known Boaz had fields, as he was a close relative (v. 20). In this verse Naomi wants Ruth to stay at Boaz' fields. Perhaps God was directing Naomi to do and say the things she did - as history shows how important this event would be in the birth of Jesus, much later. (DRM 8/26/09)
3:4 ". . . It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do."
It seems that Naomi was
suggesting that Ruth have relations with Boaz, but apparently that was not her
intent - rather that Ruth and Boaz just find out that they enjoy each other's
3:10 Then he [Boaz] said, "May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich.
Apparently what Ruth did in vv. 7-9 was an
act of compassion and nothing physical.
3:11b All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character.
Ruth was known for her good character. I hope that as I grow in knowledge of the Lord, that more people will also think of me in that way. (DRM 6/3/88)
4:5 Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitress, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance."
was one relative that was closer to Naomi than Boaz. Since she had property, he
had the right of "first redemption" or first refusal before Boaz could purchase
the land and the right to marry Ruth.
4:10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitress, Mahlon's widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property. . .
In those days, it seems that choosing a wife was a part of a business transaction. From previous chapters though, I still think love had something to do with it. (DRM 6/4/88)
4:15 . . . May he [Obed] also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him."
Ruth and Boaz were
married and had a son, Obed.
4:17 The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, "A son has been born to Naomi!" So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Ruth was the mother of Obed, not Naomi. Out of context, this verse would be false, but Naomi was the mother-in-law of Ruth, and the one who wanted to continue the family line. As this book concludes, I can see how the Lord God works all things together for His glory - and believe that all of my disappointments will also lead to a better "tomorrow." (DRM 8/29/09)