Ruth 3:16
And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who are you, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) who art thou?—We can hardly view this as a simple question as to Ruth’s identity, but rather as meaning, how hast thou fared?

Ruth 3:16-17. Who art thou, my daughter? — Or rather, Is it thou, my daughter? He said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother-in-law — There is no mention made before of Boaz thus speaking to her, but it is not unusual for the sacred writers, in the relation of a fact or event, to omit many little circumstances which they occasionally mention afterward. It is likely that Boaz intended this corn chiefly for Naomi, as he was that day either about to marry Ruth himself, or to provide her another husband. 3:14-18 Ruth had done all that was fit for her to do, she must patiently wait the event. Boaz, having undertaken this matter, would be sure to manage it well. Much more reason have true believers to cast their care on God, because he has promised to care for them. Our strength is to sit still, Isa 30:7. This narrative may encourage us to lay ourselves by faith at the feet of Christ: He is our near Kinsman; having taken our nature upon him. He has the right to redeem. Let us seek to receive from him his directions: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Ac 9:6. He will never blame us as doing this unseasonably. And let us earnestly desire and seek the same rest for our children and friends, that it may be well with them also.Who art thou, my daughter? - In the dim twilight Ruth 3:14 her mother was not sure at first who the young woman was, who sought admittance into the house. 15. Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee, and hold it—Eastern veils are large sheets—those of ladies being of red silk; but the poorer or common class of women wear them of blue, or blue and white striped linen or cotton. They are wrapped round the head, so as to conceal the whole face except one eye. Who art thou, my daughter? either, first, She did not distinctly know who she was, because it was dark, and so calls her daughter only in general, as elder women call the younger. But she could as easily have discerned who she was, as what her age was. Or, secondly, 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 comest thou hither in this manner, and thus early? And when she came to her mother in law,.... To Naomi, in Bethlehem:

she said, who art thou, my daughter? it being near dusk, she could not discern her, or perhaps she put the question before she opened the door and saw her; though one would think, if Ruth had called to her, she would have known her voice: rather therefore the particle may be rendered, "what" or "how" (c), instead of "who"; and the sense be, what had befallen her? what success had she had? how had things gone with her? was she married or not? or rather, had she got a promise of it? or was it likely that she should be married? with which the answer agrees:

and she told her all that the man had done to her; what kindness he had shown her, what promises he had made to her, that either he, or a nearer kinsman, would marry her, and redeem her husband's estate.

(c) "quid egisti?" V. L. "quid tibi?" Tigurine version; so R. Jonah in Aben Ezra, & Abendana in loc. "quomodo tu filia mea?" Nold. p. 602. No. 1626.

And when she came to her mother in law, she said, {f} Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.

(f) Believing by her returning home that he had not taken her as his wife, she was astonished.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. Who art thou] i.e. how art thou? how hast thou fared? Cf. Genesis 27:18.Verse 16. - And she went to her mother-in-law. And she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she narrated to her all that the man had done to her. The question, "Who art thou, my daughter?" is not put by Naomi, as Drusius supposes, because it was still so dusk that she could not properly distinguish Ruth. The address, "My daughter," shows that she had no difficulty in determining who the visitor was. But there is something arch intended. "Art thou Boaz's betrothed?" Michaelis translates, "What art thou?" Unwarrantably as regards the letter, but correctly as regards the spirit of the interrogatory. Boaz praised her conduct: "Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter (see Ruth 2:20); thou hast made thy later love better than the earlier, that thou hast not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. " Ruth's earlier or first love was the love she had shown to her deceased husband and her mother-in-law (comp. Ruth 2:11, where Boaz praises this love); the later love she had shown in the fact, that as a young widow she had not sought to win the affections of young men, as young women generally do, that she might have a youthful husband, but had turned trustfully to the older man, that he might find a successor to her deceased husband, through a marriage with him, in accordance with family custom (vid., Ruth 4:10). "And now," added Boaz (Ruth 3:11), "my daughter, fear not; for all that thou sayest I will do to thee: for the whole gate of my people (i.e., all my city, the whole population of Bethlehem, who go in and out at the gate: see Genesis 34:24; Deuteronomy 17:2) knoweth that thou art a virtuous woman." Consequently Boaz saw nothing wrong in the fact that Ruth had come to him, but regarded her request that he would marry her as redeemer as perfectly natural and right, and was ready to carry out her wish as soon as the circumstances would legally allow it. He promised her this (vv. 12, 13), saying, "And now truly I am a redeemer; but there is a nearer redeemer than I. Stay here this night (or as it reads at the end of v. 13, 'lie till the morning'), and in the morning, if he will redeem thee, well, let him redeem; but if it does not please him to redeem thee, I will redeem thee, as truly as Jehovah liveth." אם כּי (Kethibh, v. 12), after a strong assurance, as after the formula used in an oath, "God do so to me," etc., 2 Samuel 3:35; 2 Samuel 15:21 (Kethibh), and 2 Kings 5:20, is to be explained from the use of this particle in the sense of nisi, except that, equals only: "only I am redeemer," equivalent to, assuredly I am redeemer (cf. Ewald, 356, b.). Consequently there is no reason whatever for removing the אם from the text, as the Masorites have done (in the Keri).

(Note: What the ל maju sc., in ליני signifies, is uncertain. According to the smaller Masora, it was only found among the eastern (i.e., Palestinian) Jews. Consequently Hiller (in his Arcanum Keri et Ctibh, p. 163) conjectures that they used it to point out a various reading, viz., that לנּי should be the reading here. But this is hardly correct.)

Ruth was to lie till morning, because she could not easily return to the city in the dark at midnight; but, as is shown in Ruth 3:14, she did not stay till actual daybreak, but "before one could know another, she rose up, and he said (i.e., as Boaz had said), It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing-floor." For this would have injured the reputation not only of Ruth, but also of Boaz himself.

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