And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maidens, that they meet you not in any other field.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)That they meet thee not.—It is good . . . and that people meet thee not. This would not only be throwing away genuine kindness, but would be contemptuously proclaiming the fact.
Maidens.—Naomi speaks of the young women, whereas Ruth had spoken of the young men. We need not suppose that any distinction is intended: Ruth names the young men as the chief workers; Naomi, the young women as those with whom Ruth would be specially thrown.Ruth 2:22. That they meet thee not in any other field — Whereby thou wilt both expose thyself to many inconveniences, which thou mayest expect from strangers, and incur his displeasure, as if thou didst despise his kindness.
One of our next kinsmen - The word here is גאל gā'al, the redeemer, who had the right:
(1) of redeeming the inheritance of the person;
(2) of marrying the widow;
it is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens; that is, go out in the morning with them, set out from Bethlehem when they went to work, and so continue with them all the day:
that they meet thee not in any other field; the meaning is, either that men might not meet her in another field alone, or rush upon her at once and unawares, and reproach her, or beat her, or indeed force her; or else that the servants of Boaz might not meet her, or see her in another field, and report it to their master, who would be offended at her; and take it as a slight of his kindness to her; which latter seems rather to be the sense.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)22. in any other field] In the field of a less pious man than Boaz a poor maiden might come to mischief; cf. Ruth 2:9.Verse 22. - And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law. It is good, my daughter, that thou shouldest go with his young women, and that thou be not set upon in another field. Here again we have the archaic repetition, "Ruth her daughter-in-law." Naomi was grateful for Boaz's invitation. Compliance with it would be "good," both immediately and prospectively. In particular, it would save Ruth from running the risk of being rudely handled by utter, and perhaps rough and unprincipled, strangers. "It is good," says Naomi, "that 'they' do not set upon thee in another field." She says "they," but allows the parties she had in view to remain, dimly visible, in the shade. No doubt, however, she refers to the reapers, binders, gleaners, and other workers who might have to be encountered "in another field." "Meaning," says homely Richard Bernard, "some lewd and lustful men whom Naomi would not so much as make mention of." The verb פָּגַע־בְ is often rendered in our English version fall upon. It originally means to light upon, whether for good or for evil. Judges 18:7); and ye shall also draw out of the bundles for her, and let them lie (the ears drawn out), that she may glean them, and shall not scold her," sc., for picking up the ears that have been drawn out. These directions of Boaz went far beyond the bounds of generosity and compassion for the poor; and show that he felt a peculiar interest in Ruth, with whose circumstances he was well acquainted, and who had won his heart by her humility, her faithful attachment to her mother-in-law, and her love to the God of Israel, - a face important to notice in connection with the further course of the history.
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