Ruth 2 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Ruth 2)

Verse 2

[2] And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

Glean — Which was permitted to the poor, and the stranger, Deuteronomy 24:19, nor was she ashamed to confess her poverty, nor would she eat the bread of idleness.

In whose sight — For though it was their duty to permit this, yet she thought it might perhaps be denied her; at least, that it became her modestly and humbly to acknowledge their kindness herein.

Verse 3

[3] And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.

Her hap — It was a chance in reference to second causes, but ordered by God's providence. God wisely orders small events, even those that seem altogether contingent. Many a great affair is brought about by a little turn, fortuitous as to men, but designed by God.

Verse 4

[4] And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.

Said, … — They expressed their piety, even in their civil conversation, and worldly transactions; which now so many are ashamed of.

Verse 7

[7] And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.

I pray — She did not boldly intrude herself, but modestly ask leave of us.

'Till now — She is not retired through idleness, for she hath been diligent and constant in her labours.

The house — In the little house or tent, which was set up in the fields at these times, and was necessary in those hot countries, where the labourers might retire for a little repose or repast. Being weary with her continued labours, she comes hither to take a little rest.

Verse 8

[8] Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:

Maidens — Not by the young men, to avoid both occasion of sin, and matter of scandal. Herein he shews his piety and prudence.

Verse 9

[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.

Touch — So as to offer any incivility or injury to thee.

Verse 10

[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?

Fell — This was the humblest posture of reverence, either civil when performed to men, or religious, when to God.

Take knowledge — That is, shew any respect and kindness to me.

Verse 12

[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.

Wings — That is, protection and care. An allusion either to hens, which protect and cherish their young ones under their wings; or to the wings of the Cherubim, between which God dwelt.

Verse 13

[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.

Tho' I be not — I humbly implore the continuance of thy good opinion of me, though I do not deserve it, being a person more mean, necessitous, and, obscure, a stranger, and one born of heathen parents, and not of the holy and honourable people of Israel, as they are.

Verse 14

[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.

She sat — Not with or among them, but at some little distance from them, as one inferior to them. It is no disparagement to the finest hand, to be reached forth to the needy.

Verse 17

[17] So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.

An Ephah — About a bushel.

Verse 18

[18] And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.

Reserved — At dinner, after she had eaten and was sufficed, or satisfied.

Verse 19

[19] And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.

Where hast thou gleaned to-day? — It is a good question to ask ourselves in the evening, "Where have I gleaned to-day?" What improvements have I made in grace or knowledge? What have I learned or done, which will turn to account?

Verse 20

[20] And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.

To the dead — That is, which he formerly shewed to those who are now dead, my husband and his sons whilst they were living, and now continues to us.

Verse 21

[21] And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.

Harvest — Both barley-harvest, and wheat-harvest. She tells what kindness Boaz had shewed her; but not, how he had commended her. Humility teaches not only not to praise ourselves, but not to be forward in repeating the praise which others have given us.

Verse 22

[22] And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.

Other field — Whereby thou wilt both expose thyself to many inconveniences, which thou mayst expect from strangers; and incur his displeasure, as if thou didst despise his kindness.

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