III The directions Naomi gives to Ruth, ver. 1-5. Her punctual observance of them, ver. 6, 7. The honourable treatment which Boaz gave her, ver. 8-15. Her return to Naomi, ver. 16-18.
Verse 1. Rest - A life of rest, and comfort, and safety, under the care of a good husband.
2. Threshing-floor - Which was in a place covered at the top, but open elsewhere, whither Ruth might easily come. And this work of winnowing corn was usually ended with a feast.
Verse 3. Raiment - Thy best raiment. Known - In so familiar a way, as thou mayest do hereafter.
Verse 4. Uncover his feet - Remove the clothes that were upon his feet; thereby to awaken him. Will tell thee - What course thou shalt take to obtain that marriage which belongs unto thee.
Verse 8. At midnight - He did not discover her sooner.
Verse 9. Spread thy Skirt - That is, take me to be thy wife, and perform the duty of an husband to me.
Verse 10. Shewed kindness - Both to thy deceased husband, the continuance of whose name and memory thou seekest; and to thy mother-in-law, whose commands thou hast punctually obeyed. Followedst not - To seek thy marriage here, or in thy own country, as thou wouldst have done if thou hadst not preferred obedience to God's command, before pleasing thyself.
Verse 13. Perform, &c. - Take thee to wife, to raise up seed to his brother. Bishop Hall sums up the matter thus. "Boaz, instead of touching her as a wanton, blesseth her as a father, encourages her as a friend, promises her as a kinsman, rewards her as a patron, and sends her away laden with hopes and gifts, no less chast, but more happy than she came. O admirable temperance, worthy the progenitor of him, in whose lips and heart there was no guile!"
Verse 14. Let it not, &c. - He takes care to preserve not only his conscience towards God, but his reputation, and hers also, among men.
Verse 16. Who art thou? - This is not a question of doubting, but of wonder, as if she had said, Art thou in very deed my daughter? I can hardly believe it. How camest thou hither in this manner, and thus early?