Ruth 3:1-5 & 4:13-17

Ruth 3:1-5 & 4:13-17
Ordinary B50


3:1 NaomiA her mother-in-lawB said to her, “My daughter,C I need to seekD some securityE for you, so that it may be wellF with you. 

Notes on verse 3:1

A “Naomi” = Noomi. From no’am (pleasantness, favor, delight, suitableness, grace); from naem (to be pleasant, beautiful, sweet, or agreeable in a literal or figurative sense). This is Naomi or Noomi, whose name means “pleasant” or “my delight” or “sweet.” See
B “mother-in-law” = chamoth. 11x in OT. From cham (father-in-law); perhaps from the same as chomah (a wall – a wall as used for protection). This is mother-in-law – in particular, a woman’s mother-in-law.
C “daughter” = bat. From ben (son literal or figurative; also, grandson, subject, nation); from banah (to build or obtain children). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
D “seek” = baqash. This is to seek, ask, desire, or request. It can be any kind of searching. It can also mean to worship or pray – implies a striving for.
E “security” = maoach. 6x in OT. From nuach (to rest, calm, camp, free, place, remain, satisfy, settle, station, or wait; implies settling down in a literal or figurative sense). This is resting place, quiet, home. It is security or somewhere where one can settle. Figuratively, it can refer to a home.
F “be well” = yatab. This is to be good or pleasing, joyful. It can also mean doing good in an ethical sense or be beautiful, happy, successful, or right.

Now here is our kinsmanG Boaz,H with whose young womenI you have beenJ working.

Notes on verse 3:2a

G “kinsman” = modaath. 1x in OT. From yada (to know, be aware, see and so understand – includes observation, care, recognition; can also be used as a euphemism). This is an acquaintance or someone who is kin.
H “Boaz” = Boaz. Perhaps from azaz (to be strong in a literal or figurative sense, overcome, be impudent). This is Boaz, a personal name as well as what one of the pillars at the Temple was called. It means “quickness” or “in strength” or “by strength” or “in him…is strength.”  See
I “young women” = naarah. From naar (child or a servant; a child in their active years so they could be aged anywhere from infancy to adolescence); perhaps from naar (to shake, toss up and down, tumble around). This is a girl or young lady ranging anywhere in age from infancy to adolescence.
J “been” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.

See,K he is winnowingL barleyM tonightN at the threshing floor.O 

Notes on verse 3:2b

K “see” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
L “winnowing” = zarah. This is to scatter or toss around. It can imply to disperse, cast away, or to scrutinize.
M “barley” = seorah. From the same as sear (hair, hairy, rough); perhaps from sa’ar (to storm, scattered by a storm, blow away, rage, storm tossed; this is to toss in a literal or figurative sense). This is barley, perhaps as hairy.
N “tonight” = layil. Properly, this refers to light twisting away. It is used for night or midnight. Figuratively, this can mean adversity.
O “threshing floor” = goren. Root may mean to smooth. It is a threshing floor, barn, or open areas more generally.

Now washP and anointQ yourself, and putR on your best clothesS and go downT to the threshing floor;

Notes on verse 3:3a

P “wash” = rachats. This is to wash, wash away – it can be complete or partial.
Q “anoint” = suk. 9x in OT. This is to smear or pour oil. By implication, it is to anoint.
R “put” = sum. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
S “clothes” = simlah. Perhaps from semel (image, figure, likeness). This is mantle, clothes, wrapper.
T “go down” = yarad. This is to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense. It can be going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy.

but do not make yourself knownU to the manV until he has finishedW eatingX and drinking.Y 

Notes on verse 3:3b

U “known” = yada. Related to “kinsman” in v3:2. See note G above.
V “man” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
W “finished” = kalah. This is to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed.
X “eating” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
Y “drinking” = shathah. This is to drink literally or figuratively. It could also be a drinker.

4 WhenZ he lies down,AA observeBB the placeCC where he lies;

Notes on verse 3:4a

Z {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “been” in v3:2. See note J above.
AA “lies down” = shakab. This is to lie down, lodge. It is lying for sleep, sex, or other reasons.
BB “observe” = yada. Same as “known” in v3:3. See note U above.
CC “place” = maqom. From qum (to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.

then, goDD and uncoverEE his feetFF and lie down; and he will tellGG you what to do.”HH 

She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.”

Notes on verses 3:4b-5

DD “go” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
EE “uncover” = galah. This is to remove, bring, carry, lead, appear, advertise. It can mean to strip someone or something bare in a negative sense. Captives were typically stripped before they were sent into exile. Used figuratively, in a positive sense, this word means reveal, disclose, discover.
FF “feet” = margeloth. 5x in OT – 4x in Ruth & 1x in Daniel 10:6. From the same as regel (foot, endurance, or journey; a foot as the means of walking and so it implies a step or a greater journey; can euphemistically mean private parts). This is feet or near where the feet are.
GG “tell” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
HH “do” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.

4:13 So Boaz tookII RuthJJ and she becameKK his wife.LL

Notes on verse 4:13a

II “took” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
JJ “Ruth” = Ruth. 12x in OT. From raah (to associate with someone, cultivate) OR from reuth (a female neighbor, a mate, friend, another); {from ra’ah (to tend a flock, pasture, or graze; to rule or to associate with someone; figuratively, ruler or teacher)} OR from raah (to see, show, stare, think, view; to see in a literal or figurative sense). This is Ruth, a name meaning “friendship” or “friend” or “associate” or “vision” or “view” or “beauty.” See
KK “became” = hayah. Same as “been” in v3:2. See note J above.
LL “wife” = ishshah. Related to “man” in v3:3. From ish (see note V above). This is woman, wife, or female.

When they came together, the LordMM madeNN her conceive,OO and she borePP a son.QQ 

Notes on verse 4:13b

MM “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “been” in v3:2. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note J above). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
NN “made” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
OO “conceive” = heron. 3x in OT. From harah (to conceive or be pregnant – can be literal or figurative). This is conception, being pregnant, or giving birth.
PP “bore” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.
QQ “son” = ben. Related to “daughter” in v3:1. See note C above.

14 Then the womenRR said to Naomi, “Blessed beSS the Lord, who has not leftTT you this dayUU without next-of-kin;VV 

Notes on verse 4:14a

RR “women” = ishshah. Same as “wife” in v4:13. See note LL above.
SS “blessed be” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
TT “left” = shabath. This is to rest, stop, repose, cease working. It implies to celebrate (as celebrating the Sabbath).
UU “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
VV “without next-of-kin” = gaal. This is to redeem someone or something according to kinship laws. So, it could be acting on a relative’s behalf to buy back their property, to marry one’s brother’s widow, etc. This could be more briefly translated as to redeem, acts as kinsman, or purchase. As a noun, it could be deliverer or avenger.

and may his nameWW be renownedXX in Israel!YY 

Notes on verse 4:14b

WW “name” = shem. Related to “put” in v3:3. May be from sum (see note R above). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
XX “be renowned” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
YY “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

15 He shall be to you a restorerZZ of lifeAAA and a nourisherBBB of your old age;CCC

Notes on verse 4:15a

ZZ “restorer” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
AAA “life” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
BBB “nourisher” = kul. This is to hold in. So, it can be to contain, measure, guide, or feed. It can also mean to be able to or sustain.
CCC “old age” = sebah. 19x in OT. From sib (to have gray hair, become old). This is being gray or old.

for your daughter-in-lawDDD who lovesEEE you, who is moreFFF to you than sevenGGG sons, has borne him.” 

Notes on verse 4:15b

DDD “daughter-in-law” = kallah. Perhaps related to kalal (to complete, perfect). This is bride or daughter-in-law and the term is used before and after marriage.
EEE “loves” = aheb. This is to love, beloved, friend. It is to have affection for sexually or otherwise.
FFF “more” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
GGG “seven” = sheba. This is seven or by sevenfold. It can also be used to imply a week or an indefinite number. Symbolically, this is the number of fullness, sacredness, perfection.

16 Then Naomi took the childHHH and laidIII him in her bosom,JJJ and became his nurse.KKK 

Notes on verse 4:16

HHH “child” = yeled. Related to “bore” in v4:13. From yalad (see note PP above). This is something born – so, offspring, youth, fruit. It is the same word used in Isaiah 9:6 “for a child will be born to us.”
III “laid” = shith. This is to place, set, bring, appoint, consider, bring, array or look.
JJJ “bosom” = cheq. Root may mean to enclose. This is bosom in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be arms, lap, or midst. It can also be care or cherish.
KKK “nurse” = aman. This is to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful. It is to put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid. This is where the word “amen” comes from.

17 The women of the neighborhoodLLL gaveMMM him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They namedNNN him Obed;OOO

Notes on verse 4:17a

LLL “women of the neighborhood” = shaken. From shakan (to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently; to abide or continue). This is resident or neighbor. It is related to mishkan, the Hebrew word for “tabernacle.”
MMM “gave” = qara. Same as “be renowned” in v4:14. See note XX above.
NNN “named” = qara + shem. Literally, “called his name.” Qara is the same as “be renowned” in v4:14. Shem is the same as “name” in v4:14. See note WW above.
OOO “Obed” = Obed. 10x in OT. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is Obed, a name meaning “worshiper” or “serving” or “servant” or “slave.” See

he became the fatherPPP of Jesse,QQQ the father of David.RRR

Notes on verse 4:17b

PPP “father” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
QQQ “Jesse” = Yishay. Perhaps from ish (man); {perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail)} OR from the same as yesh (being, existence, substance). This is Jesse, a name which means “my husband” or “the Lord exists.” See
RRR “David” = David. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”

Image credit: “Story of Ruth” by John August Swanson, 1991.

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