Ruth 3:1-9

Ruth 3:1

Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?


Just as Ruth showed much compassion and love toward Naomi, now Naomi takes it upon herself as a duty to try and find a life of peace and security for Ruth.   She is looking to find peace for Ruth in the house of a husband and we all know who she has in mind to be the husband of Ruth.  This way Ruth would be under the protection and security of her husband.


Ruth 3:2

And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.


Then Naomi mentions Boaz as being one of their kindred and the fact that she had gleaned the field with the other maidens who worked for him.  He winnows the barley grain in the night.  The night was chosen for threshing and winnowing because it was the coolest part of the day plus in the evening the breeze would pick up and when a person winnowed, the wind would carry the light chaff away and the heavier grain would fall back to the ground.


Ruth 3:3

Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.


Then once Naomi knows that Boaz is doing the winnowing she then gives Ruth instructions after a hard day’s work.  She is to take a bath and then put on some special oils or perfumes and then go down to the threshing floor for the time of mourning for her husband is over and Naomi did not want Boaz to see a sorrowful woman in Ruth.  Ruth being dressed in fine clothes would have basically been unrecognizable since all she ever wore was clothes designed for working and her hair was probably uncombed.  She was not making herself known to any of the men that she worked with and especially at this time, to Boaz.  After Boaz ate and drank, then he would be in a better mood to discover Ruth instead of disturbing him in the middle of dinner.


Ruth 3:4

And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.


Then Ruth is to mark off or to know exactly the place and position that Boaz is going to be sleeping.  If he had a little too much wine then he would have been sleeping soundly and then Ruth would have been able to approach him and uncover his feet.  Then once she does that she is to lay down and go to sleep herself until he awakes and then he will tell her what is to be done concerning his relationship with her and if they are able to get married according to the law of God and local custom.  This scenario is not a sexual situation which some have taken it to be.  It is simply Ruth wanting to make her intentions known that she liked Boaz and if he would consider her to be his wife.  There was a question whether Boaz could redeem her since there was another who was closer in relation to Ruth than him.  This is why the nearest relative had to be confronted in front of the proper authorities to see whether he would redeem Ruth or not.


Ruth 3:5

And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.


Since Ruth had such a great respect for Naomi and was really not adept at all the customs in Israel yet, Ruth assured Naomi that she would follow all her instructions explicitly. 


Ruth 3:6

And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.


She then went to the threshing floor which was outside of Bethlehem and did everything according to the way Naomi had instructed her.


And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.  (Exodus 19:8)


And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.  (Joshua 1:16)


Looking at these two verses and then comparing them to Ruth’s desire to be totally obedient shows Ruth had more character than the people of Israel.  In the time of Moses and in the time of Joshua they stated that all the LORD had spoken they would do and of course they didn’t but Ruth did.  Even the Gentiles when saved will have a better desire to obey the LORD than the Israelites did.


Ruth 3:7

And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.


Since a threshing floor was normally accessible to robbers, it was necessary that a trusted servant or the owner actually guard the grain.  This is why after Boaz had eaten and drunken he lied down at the end of the heap or mountain of grain.  If a robber attempted to steal the grain, they would see Boaz guarding it and then would think twice about the theft.  This technique is still used in the Middle East today.  Ruth then seeing Boaz came into the threshing floor and uncovered his feet just as Naomi instructed her.  Then after she uncovered his feet, she then laid down at his feet and went to sleep.


Ruth 3:8

And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.


Then Boaz had been sleeping but about midnight he awoke and felt something pressing against his feet and then looked and became frightened because he may have thought it was a demon or a familiar spirit or maybe there was a thief who was trying to steal the grain.  Then he turned and looked to see who it was and he beheld Ruth was lying at his feet.  He may have recognized her voice or her clothing at that time. 


Ruth 3:9

And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.


Then he asked her who she was.  She then answered him and stated that it was Ruth who was his handmaid.  Here again we see the word “gâ’al” behind the word “kinsman” which means redeemer.  Ruth asked him to spread his skirt over her which means she was asking to come under his protection as her husband.  When marriages took place in Israel, the man throws the skirt of his robe over the head of his wife covering her head.  If a Hebrew man was in poverty and had to sell his goods, it was the nearest kinsman who would redeem it by buying his property.  If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.  (Leviticus 25:25)  The skirt was the corner or the border of the robe itself.