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Providence directs Ruth to glean in Boaz's field, ver. 1 - 3.
The favour which Boaz shewed her, ver. 4 - 16.
Her return to Naomi, ver. 17 - 23.
2: Glean - Which was permitted to the poor, and the stranger,(De 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.
3: 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.
4: Said, &c - They expressed their piety, even in their civil
conversation, and worldly transactions; which now so many are ashamed of.
7: 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.
8: Maidens - Not by the young men, to avoid both occasion of sin,
and matter of scandal. Herein he shews his piety and prudence.
9: Touch - So as to offer any incivility or injury to thee.
10: 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.
12: 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.
13: 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.
14: 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.
17: An Ephah - About a bushel.
18: Reserved - At dinner, after she had eaten and was sufficed,
19: 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?
20: 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
21: 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.
22: 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.