Ruth 2:9-16

Ruth 2:9

Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.


Ruth was then assigned the task of following the reapers and to pick up the ears of corn that they had dropped and were not aware of.  Then Boaz was already showing his care for Ruth in that he commanded the young men that they were not to touch Ruth in a sexual content.  Since the book of Ruth was written in the times of the Judges, many times Israel was following the ways of the false religions and sexual misconduct was always a part of false religion and Boaz wanted to protect Ruth from that.  Then when Ruth became thirsty she would not be afraid to approach the area where the young men were working and she was to drink what they drew from the well so she did not have to draw her own water.


Ruth 2:10

Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?


Then Ruth prostrated herself before Boaz showing him respect as the owner of the land and the boss.  She asked him the question seeing that she is a stranger from a foreign land, how is it that you have taken notice of me when there are so many maidens who work for you?  Moabites were not even allowed to enter into the temple or the congregation of the Lord.  An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:  (Deuteronomy 23:3)  Notice the usage of the word grace.  For many are called, but few are chosen.  (Matthew 22:14)  Just like being called to salvation, there may be many who hear the gospel but only a few who were chosen for salvation. This is the situation in this verse.  Out of many maidens Ruth had the master’s eye. 


Ruth 2:11

And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto 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 nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.


Then Boaz must have had a long talk with Naomi as he fully lays out the kindness that Ruth showed Naomi.  Ruth was a great supporter of Naomi and had no intention of leaving her in such a state being a foreigner in Moab and a widow with no friends or income.  Then not only did she stay with Naomi she also made the decision to leave her father and her mother where life would have been familiar to her and much easier to live in but instead she decided to leave Moab with Naomi and come to a land she was not familiar with and probably heard many bad things about it since people in false religions always denounce people of truth.  Ruth knew that she would face tough times being a foreigner plus an enemy of Israel.  Boaz knew the whole story about Ruth and realized that she was an exceptional woman.


Ruth 2:12

The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.


Then Boaz pronounces upon her a great desire that the LORD would recompense her work or reward her according to the kindness that she truly showed to Naomi.  Ruth showed true compassion to Naomi at a time when she had nothing.  Most phony people show a fake compassion to those they think they could get something from but Ruth was genuine and loved Naomi when she was down and out.  That is the sign of a true friend.  He wanted to see her receive a full reward from the LORD God of Israel because now Ruth was a believer in the true God and her outward actions had proven that.  The full reward any true believer can have is eternal life in Heaven with the LORD.  We may receive rewards here on earth but the full reward is eternal life.  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.  (Psalm 91:4)  When David penned the 91st Psalm, he may have borrowed the divinely inspired words from Boaz about being under the wings of God.


Ruth 2:13

Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.


Ruth then responds to the kindness of Boaz as she acknowledges the kindness that Boaz has shown to her.  Boaz consoled or comforted her and had spoken words of kindness to her just as he had done to the other handmaidens.  Ruth acknowledges this because she knows that she is not like the other handmaidens which were born Israelites and her being born a Moabitess.  Boaz could have rejected her for this one fact alone instead he treated her as if she was born in Israel.  This is how the Lord reaches the whole world with the gospel because it was determined that the gospel would go beyond the borders of Israel and many Gentiles would be saved of which Ruth was one.


Ruth 2:14

And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.


This may have been the time of the evening meal that when it came that Ruth was to eat of the same food that the other reapers would eat.  He then tells Ruth that she is to dip her bread into the vinegar.  The vinegar was water mixed with vinegar and when oil and bread be mixed with it made a cooling combination.  There was a also a mixture of wine or strong drink that turned sour and is made by pouring water on grape juice and letting it ferment.  This is probably the same type of drink they gave the Lord Jesus Christ when he was on the cross although the Roman type of vinegar may have been a little different.  And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.  (Matthew 27:48)


Then when mealtime came Ruth sat with the other reapers and Boaz then Boaz gave her parched corn.  Parched corn is made from grains which were not yet ripe and were sometimes roasted in a pan or else they are bundled and placed in a fire until they are completely roasted.  This type of parched corn could be eaten with or without bread.  David, Ruth’s descendant, was given parched corn by Abigail.  Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.  (1 Samuel 25:18)  Then when Ruth was full she finished eating and then left showing she was not lingering around in laziness or attempting to get more favor from Boaz.


Ruth 2:15

And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:


After she left the dinner table she had gotten up to continue gleaning and Boaz had commanded the young men to let her glean but the language states that she was to glean in a certain area and that may have been where the better ears of corn were grown.  The young men were not to hinder her from her gleaning but to let her continue and they were not to reprove her since she was a Moabitess and could have faced much prejudice from the reapers since she was politically an enemy of Israel.


Ruth 2:16

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


Boaz had commanded the reapers that they were to intentionally let fall to the ground some of the corn which they were reaping and were to leave them where they fell so Ruth could follow them and glean those ears they dropped.  What we see happening here is the Boaz was salting his claim.  Salting a claim is what prospectors do when they want to sell land, they throw some gold dust or a few nuggets and then the prospective buyers will think they have a great claim and will get rich not realizing they are being deceived.  What Boaz was doing was salting his love for Ruth by having his reapers intentionally leave behind ears of corn for her to glean.  He probably knew that once the gleaning was over, Ruth would leave so he wanted her to stay longer and continual reaping was the way to do it at this time.