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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

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Commentary on Ruth

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2.1–23 :

Ruth in Boaz's field. Although the reader is told about the relationship between Boaz and Naomi, Ruth seems unaware of this information (it was as it happened that she arrived in Boaz's field, v. 3 ).

4 :

As she arrived, just then Boaz came. These felicitous “coincidences” hold a key to the theology of Ruth, demonstrating a God who works behind the scenes and through human action.

7 :

Ruth's request to glean * among the sheaves is beyond the scope of common gleaning privileges (Lev 19.9; 23.22; Deut 24.19 ), and thereby requires the consent of the landowner. Boaz not only approves Ruth's request, but grants her more favors in the field. He offers her protection and the familial privileges of sharing water and the common meal.

15–18 :

Boaz extends Ruth's gleaning privileges even further. She gathers an ephah of grain, variously calculated at 29–50 pounds. Ruth shares the grain, as well as her lunch leftovers, with Naomi.

19–22 :

Naomi reveals to Ruth what the reader already knows: Boaz is a relative, one obligated to keep land within the family (Lev 25.25 ). Ruth alters Boaz's words in her report to Naomi (stay close by my servants, v. 21 ; keep close to my young women, v. 8 ).

23 :

As both the barley and wheat harvests draw to a close, the women face difficult months ahead.

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