Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
3:1 Rest - A life of rest, and comfort, and safety, under the care of a good husband.
And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.
3:2 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.
Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
3:3 Raiment - Thy best raiment. Known - In so familiar a way, as thou mayest do hereafter.
And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
3:4 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.
And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.
And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.
And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.
And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
3:8 At midnight - He did not discover her sooner.
And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
3:9 Spread thy Skirt - That is, take me to be thy wife, and perform the duty of an husband to me.
And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
3:10 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.
And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.
Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.
3:13 Perform, and 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!
And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.
3:14 Let it not, and c. - He takes care to preserve not only his conscience towards God, but his reputation, and hers also, among men.
Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.
3:15 Veil - Or, the apron.
And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.
3:16 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?
And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.
Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.