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Naomi’s plan (3:1-18)
By the time reaping was over, the widows had put aside enough grain to last them till the next summer. But Naomi was concerned for Ruth’s future, and suggested that she marry (3:1).
One difficulty was that Naomi had no sons still living; that is, there were no brothers of Ruth’s late husband whom Ruth could marry. Naomi therefore suggested Boaz, as he was apparently the closest living relative. In addition, he had shown some interest in Ruth. Naomi thought out a plan whereby Ruth could discuss the matter quietly with Boaz without the local people knowing. Accordingly, one night Ruth crept to the threshing floor where Boaz was sleeping, guarding his grain. She quietly lifted the blanket from his feet, so that as his feet grew cold he would slowly wake up. Then, while all others were asleep, she put the request to him. By asking him to ‘spread his skirt over her’, she was figuratively asking him to take her as his wife (2-9).
Boaz was delighted and honoured. He knew that Ruth could easily have married one of the local men much nearer her age than he. But she chose rather to be faithful to her family obligations. He therefore showed similar faithfulness by being open and honest with her. He told her there was a closer relative than he, and this man had the right to marry her. Only if this relative was not willing would Boaz take her as his wife (10-13).
Ruth remained at the threshing floor for several hours. Boaz then gave her some more grain and sent her home while it was still dark, as he did not want anyone to see her and begin to gossip (14-15). Naomi was encouraged that things were working out as she had hoped (16-18).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ruth 3". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany