The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 23 of 207
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3: 1 - 4: 22.
pp. 232 - 240
Chapter 3:
"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?" (3: 1).
When we compare this verse with verse 9 of chapter 1:, "The Lord grant you that ye
may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband", we understand that Naomi had
Ruth's future provision, and the preserving of her family name in Israel, very much in her
She felt it her duty to endeavour to find a home for her daughter-in-law who had given
up so much on her account, and who now was so lovingly providing for her. In the
gracious generosity of Boaz towards Ruth, she saw the leading of the Lord, so she says in
verse 2, "Is not Boaz of our kindred?". She would be aware that he was not the nearest of
her husband's kin, but she knew that if he so desired he could become so.
"And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he
winnoweth barley to night in the threshing floor. 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. 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. And she
said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do" (3: 2-5).
It was the custom at threshing time for the owner to remain all night on the threshing
floor until the harvest was safely garnered. It was a time for rejoicing. So Naomi
instructs Ruth how to act.
To our ears her plan seems, to say the least highly suspect. Judged by some standards
of morality it appears to us offensive. However we know that both Naomi and Ruth were
virtuous women who believed sincerely in Jehovah and observed His law most carefully.
We also know that Boaz was a man of faith and fine character. Therefore Naomi's plan
could not in any way have been of evil intent. Rachel's plan for Jacob was one of
deception, but not this one. The plan was without doubt watered by much prayer that the
over-ruling of the hand of the Lord would continue, and receive His blessing.
The words in verse 4 "uncover his feet", "lift up the cover over his feet", these men
would simply lie down on the threshing floor with their clothes on, their feet covered
with a mantle or coat.
Ruth's obedience is an intelligent obedience. She knew in what relation Boaz stood to
her family, and the responsibilities attached to that relationship.  It was with quiet
confidence that she risked the dangers involved.