RUTH 1-3 Ruth, hospitality to laborers.
Naomi, her husband and two sons went to a land that was better than their own. The sons got married
in that country. The husband and two sons died and Naomi set off again for her original country because
the famine was over. She told her daughters-in-law to return to their own mothers' homes. One returned,
but Ruth stayed with Naomi accepting her people and God as her own.
According to Eastern practice, when a woman's husband dies, it is the father-in-law's responsibility
to find another husband for her. Ruth was keeping the tradition of remaining faithful to her husband's
family. Ruth gleaned the fields to sustain them. In the East, the harvesters leave some of the crop in the
field for the poor people to gather (glean).
2:7-12. Boaz was Ruth's husband's blood relative. Ruth gleaned in his fields. Verse 14: All of the
workers bring their own meal and eat with the master. There is no difference among them—they are all
on the same level. The master makes sure everyone has enough to eat. Sometimes he gives them his
share. When they travel together, the master will not accept a bed from the host if his laborers sleep on
the floor. He sleeps with them. If he is given better food, he shares it with them. (Jesus said that
wherever he would be, there his servant would be also. He makes us equal with him.) Ruth was given
special favor here. The gleaners never eat with the reapers, but Ruth sat beside them and dipped her
bread in the same dish with them, making her equal, "...and left" should be "and saved what was left" for
her mother-in-law.
Read chapter 3. It was the deceased husband's family's responsibility to get a husband for the widow
(verse 1). "Shall I not seek rest for thee" means "shall I not arrange for a husband for thee." Naomi
instructed Ruth in exactly what to do in order to marry Boaz. Easterners always marry distant relatives
(verse 2). In verse 4, "uncover feet" refers to lying down at someone's feet in order to be redeemed. The
feet were uncovered so that the person could feel someone lying there. It was a common practice in
claiming the next-of-kin for marriage. Verse 5, this statement is made in reply to husband's good-bye to
his wife after one year honeymoon when he left to prepare a place for them in his father's house. Ruth
knew that and saying it now was positive thinking on her part.
Verse 2, the threshing floor was an open space and threshing was always done by moonlight. It was
no secret place. Everything that took place on the threshing floor could be easily seen. No woman was
allowed on the floor because so many men were there. Somehow, Ruth got there without being noticed.
She had no immoral purpose in mind. She was following the oriental methods of claiming redemption
(verse 7,8). In verse 9, the "skirt" is the mantle. Throwing the mantle over someone was an assurance of
redemption. Marriage was this redemption. She did not ask for an agreement of words because this
assurance was sufficient. Verse 10, when a man calls a woman "daughter" or "sister" he treats her as
such. It turns away immorality. When a man calls another man "brother" it means he forgives him of any
wrong or insult. All past mistakes are gone.
Verse 12, Boaz wanted to marry Ruth, but if there was a nearer kinsman, that man had the legal right
to marry her. Boaz had to see if the man would relinquish his authority to marry Ruth. Verse 14, because
women were not allowed (according to etiquette) on the threshing floor, Ruth and Boaz did not want
anyone to know she was there. Verse 16, "who art thou, my daughter?"—typical oriental expression
when someone returned after being gone.
Verse 15, veil—a small cloth incapable of holding six measures of barley. The women wear long
robes. "Veil" here should be robe. She could lift it up a little to form fold (Luke 6:38, "give into your
bosom" refers to the same thing). Men also wore robes. The veil has holes in it so could not hold grain.
Whenever a person went home, he would carry something to family (verse 17). In verse 18, "sit still"
means to be at peace. It does not refer to physical sitting still.
Some of these things can be applied to Christ's relationship to the church, Christ taking Boaz's part.
Don't pray and go on worrying about it. Pray and sit still—rest in the Lord.
Verse 3 The reapers always leave something behind for the gleaners. There are more gleaners than
there are reapers. "Hap" means her portion (fortune). Bullinger says "her chance chanced."
Verse 4 "The Lord bless thee." Notice the wonderful hospitality with which the reapers greet Boaz who
is their master. How many farmhands in our country will greet their master in this way?
Verse 8 "Daughter," was Ruth the daughter of Boaz? Any older man in the East who meets the younger
woman may call her daughter. Boaz is blood related only to Naomi, not to Ruth. If you meet a man's
wife, you will call her sister and not daughter.
Verses 12-14 Boaz was Ruth's husband's blood relative. Ruth gleaned in his fields. Verse 14, all of the
workers bring their own meal and eat with the master. There is no difference among them. They are all
on the same level. The master makes sure everyone has enough to eat. Sometimes he gives them his
share. When they travel together, the master will not accept a bed from the host if his laborers sleep on
the floor. He sleeps with them. If he is given better food, he shares it with them. (Jesus said that
wherever he would be, there his servant would be also. He makes us equal with him.) Ruth was given
special favor here. The gleaners never eat with the reapers. But Ruth sat beside them and dipped her
bread in the same dish with them, making her equal. "...And left" should be "and saved what was left" for
her mother-in-law.
Verse 14 "Parched corn." This is corn that is roasted in the fire. "left" in Syriac means she saved some.
(Bullinger says left thereof, remaining.)
Verse 17 "Beat out" means that she separated the chaff from the grain by beating it with a stick.
Verse 18 "Brought forth and gave to her." Notice how this fits with the end of verse 14.
RUTH 3 Marriage.
Duty of next-of-kin to arrange marriage of relative. Naomi instructed Ruth. It was quite in keeping
for Ruth to do what she did because Boaz was her next-of-kin. It was right for Naomi to instruct Ruth, as
Naomi was her closest relative at the time, though not a blood relative. Boaz's "skirt" was his mantle
which insured protection.
Verses 1ff Each village had a threshing floor on a rock. It was a well-seasoned rock. The ears of corn
are spread on the threshing floor and then cows, oxen or buffalo will walk on them. The weight of the
animals threshes the corn, separating the corn from the ears. The corn settles under the ears. There may
be 10 or 15 oxen walking round and round on the floor, lead by a man.
Verses 1-9, 18 Threshing floor. Kinsman. Naomi had gone to a foreign country with her husband. He
died there along with her two sons who each left a widow. Naomi was then left with her two daughtersin-
law. Naomi suggested that they all go back to their mother country. One daughter-in-law said goodbye
and went to her own country. But Ruth, even though she was not Jewish either, committed herself to
go with Naomi. She accepted Naomi's country, God, people (1:16). It is Eastern custom that when
husband dies, the wife stays in the father-in-law's house until he finds a new husband for her. Widows are
never just left alone. Eastern people usually marry a kinsman, a blood relative. By keeping it in the
family, they are assured that the husband and wife have had same culture, religious training, etc. No need
for courting to work out differences. They have been taught marriage roles, so there is little problem
there. Example: Tithing. It is part of the culture, so you don't have to teach them. It is part of their
culture, so no need for special training at last minute. Naomi told Ruth that Boaz was one of her near
kinsmen. Ruth was then instructed on how to approach Boaz (verses 2-4).
Why did she go at night? Each village has a threshing floor, usually above the village on rocky
place. This is the place where things are settled such as cases of redemption, marriage agreements, etc.
Since it is elevated, the people in the village can see what is going on during the moonlight which is when
the threshing is done. The ears of corn are spread out on the floor and 20 or 30 oxen roped together tread
it out. The oxen could not be muzzled because they had a right to partake of the fruit of their labors.
Then the corn cobs are separated out. The kernels are gathered in things called fans and slowly poured out
again so that the chaff will blow away. All the work is done by men in the night—no women permitted
on the floor. The "boss" sleeps on his clothes spread over a pile of threshed corn. Any negotiation is
made there because it is an open public place, not a place for improper conduct because everyone can see.
This is why Ruth met Boaz at the threshing floor in the night.
Why should she uncover his feet and lie down at his feet? (Verse 7) "Eaten and drunk"—does not
mean intoxicated. They don't drink till after the meal. Something is drunk at end of meal to complete the
meal. Then nothing eaten until next meal. A "merry heart" is a grateful, thankful heart. "Uncovered his
feet" — in the East people sleep covered from head to toe. Face covered so sunlight or moonlight will not
strike the eye (Psalm 121:6). Lying at feet of person is complete and full surrender, but must touch the
feet. This is why she uncovered his feet.
Verse 8: Boaz was frightened because seeing a woman on the threshing floor was improper. She
was uninvited. Ruth was surrendering so that he might redeem her. Redemption is another word for
Verse 9: "skirt" is mantle, used to cover at night. During the day it is folded into four folds, worn
from neck and it falls down on knees. Throwing a mantle on someone is a sign of calling to a ministry.
Covering a person with a mantle is assurance of protection. The latter is what Ruth was asking for. She
wanted assurance of redemption and protection through marriage.
Verse 18: Ruth reported what happened to Naomi and Naomi told her to sit still because Boaz
would not rest until he settled the matter that day. "Sit still" means "be confident." Naomi instructed
Ruth to believe in Boaz.
Bishop Pillai related Christ to Boaz and us to Ruth. We must have confidence and believe in Christ
and then we have rest. Christ promised us that we shall have what we ask in prayer, believing. If we do
not believe, we are restless. We should look forward, not backward. Keep eyes on Christ. (Bishop says
Sanskrit is mother language. Aramaic is next oldest—that's what Jesus spoke. Hebrew is just a dialect.)
Verses 1-18 Ruth and Boaz.
Verse 1: "Seek rest for thee." Here this means find a husband for thee.
Verses 2 and 4: "Threshing floor" in the East is a rock in an open space near the village. The work
is done during the moonlight in the open space, no privacy on the threshing floor. No woman is permitted
to go there at night. During the day, a group of single women may go there.
Verse 5: "All that thou sayest." This is the voice of the bride (John 14:1-4). She said this even
though Naomi had told her to do something contrary to custom. (John 3:29—voice of the bridegroom—
the best friend of the bridegroom will stand at the right hand of the bridegroom while he is saying what is
written in John 14:1-4.)
Verse 7: The Easterners finish their meal with a drink.
"Heart was merry"—he was satisfied with a good meal, not drunk.
Redemption is a part of marriage for a widow. The Eastern people lie down at the feet of someone
from whom they expect redemption. Feet must be uncovered for this.
The Eastern widow has no status. She is in a lowly position. When she is married again, she is
redeemed from that position.
Verse 9: "Skirt"—should be mantle. The spreading of the mantle here is an assurance of the
redemption which Ruth is seeking. The men cover themselves at night with the mantle.
Verse 15: There are two kinds of veils: 1. Hangs over the face in front; 2. A large sheet which
hangs over the head down to the feet. This veil covered a lot.
Verse 16: Who art thou—should read "how did thou get on today"—according to the Bishop's
Syriac Bible.
Verse 10: "My daughter" is a term of affection.
Verse 8: "The man was afraid" should read, that "he was suddenly awakened" (started), according to
Bishop's Syriac Bible.
Verse 18: "Sit still" means be confident, don't be troubled in your mind, be restful, be calm, be
Verse 3 "Gleaming"—during harvest of potatoes or peanuts, he will leave some behind for widows and
poor people to come and glean.
Verse 7: "Had eaten and drunk"—means he finished his meal with coffee or milk and does not mean
he was drunk with alcohol.
Threshing floors are always on a high rocky place, they spread the corn or wheat on the rock, then tie
together buffalo or oxen and let them walk around on the heaps of harvest. They do not muzzle the ox,
for if they did it could (Deuteronomy 25:4) not eat while it was working; the laborer is worthy of his hire.
After the threshing is through, they will take the ears of corn to one side, leaving the kernels which they
gather together. Then take an instrument, a fan, put the corn in a pan and pour it out so the chaff will be
blown in the wind. Jesus came with a fan in his hand so that he may blow all the chaff from our life.
(Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17, taught but not stated). Work on threshing floor is done at night in the
moonlight and no women are allowed (verse 14) to go there. The owner comes and lies down in one
corner of the floor, doesn't talk with the workers.
Verse 9: They would only marry their near kinsman for only a near kinsman could redeem (marry) them.
"Skirt"—mantle, here it is used to represent protection.
The threshing floor is an open space upon a rock where everyone could see one another in the
moonlight, so she did not go there for an immoral act, she could have gone somewhere else for that. She
laid at his feet to show submission. She did exactly as Naomi had told her to do! Boaz means savior,
Jesus Christ is the Boaz for Israel. Verse 18: "Sit still"—be calm and quiet.
Verse 7 Drunk—Boaz was not drunk. The Eastern people say grace before and after the meal. To say a
man has eaten and drunk is to say he has finished his meal. They did not drink anything until after they
had finished eating.
"His heart was merry" — this is because of thanksgiving to God for the meal he had just finished.
After drinking coffee at the end of the meal, they would not eat or drink until the next meal.
"Laid at his feet." This is a sign of complete surrender to Boaz so that she might be redeemed by
him for he was a near kinsman.
Verse 9: "Skirt—should be mantle. Spreading the mantle is a sign of redemption and protection.
The threshing floor is a common public place, it is out in the open like a city park.
Verse 11:—After you have called someone sister or daughter, you cannot make any advances toward her.
Verse 18: "Sit still"—this means be restful, be calm, be trusting, don't be doubting. If someone does
not believe God, then he can't sit still.
"Eaten and drunk." The Eastern people do not drink with the meal. They drink coffee or tea at the
close of their meal. "Eaten and drunk" means that he has finished his meal.
Verses 7-9 (Not stated, but taught.) Ruth went there to get his assurance he was going to marry her.
She told him he was the next kinsman. Ruth had married a man before and he died. This man, Boaz, was
related to him. She said spread thy skirt upon thy handmaid-mantle (skirt) means assurance he would
marry her. Throwing the mantle—an assurance of getting married—redemption. Prostrated at his feet—
surrendered. She had no male member to negotiate the marriage. Naomi's husband should have
negotiated the marriage. He was dead, so she was instructed to go and surrender, prostrate herself at his
feet so he would cover her with his mantle—this was his assurance that he would marry her. Usually
women aren't permitted in the threshing floor at all. That's why he told her not to tell anybody that a
woman has been in the floor, because it is against the law. This was a special case.
The marriage takes place in the bride's home most always. The bridegroom comes to the marriage
wherever he may be from and the marriage begins at "midnight." The marriage ceremony lasts 10 days
and each day there is a duty for each of 10 virgins to do. That's why Matthew 25:1 tells us, "The kingdom
of God is to be likened unto 10 virgins".
The villages in the East are walled around. The gates are open certain times and shut certain times.
At the gate of the city, on the wall, is a house built called an inn. In this house are two divisions:
(house on the town wall).
1. For travelers who stop overnight and have no relatives to stay with, can stay here and eat here.
Go on their way the next day. This is a public hospitality—nothing to pay by the people who stay there
(the townspeople collect money to pay for this courtesy—it's taken care of).
2. Any bride's 10 virgins will go and stay in this inn before midnight and wait for the bridegroom to
come. The bridegroom must come through that gate with his party just before midnight. These girls are
sitting there with their lamps, torches or pots of oil awaiting the arrival of the groom. When he comes in,
his best man blows a trumpet saying, "Behold the bridegroom cometh." So, all the virgins trim their
lamps, light them and stand in a line to meet the bridegroom and escort him and his party to the bride.
They escort him home to the bride's home. The bride's father and mother stand outside. A week before
the marriage takes place, the bride's home is decorated inside and outside. Outside with all the coconut
leaves and bananas hanging. Everyone can see that there is to be a marriage here. Then the bridegroom
and his party will come and stand under this decorated place at the front of the bride's home. The bride's
father brings a basin full of water and washes the feet of the bridegroom and then the bridegroom and his
people are received inside. Then everyone is waiting with their wedding robes on, and all the virgins are
keeping their lamps trimmed and making sure they are burning. If the lamp goes out for lack of oil, she
will not be admitted, she'll be thrown out. By the time everyone has been received in, it's 12:00. The
front door was shut. In the Word, it'll say "the door was shut." The groom has an apartment in the bride's
home. These are actual statements and truth in the Bible, with cultural evidence that the people
understood. Their religion and culture were one and the same.
Each day the wedding ceremony will last approximately one half hour between 10:00-10:30 to 12:00
(somewhere in that range, it'll start and finish). The priest will come to the bride's home, the bride and
groom will sit down on a throne of flowers—swasticka. Swasticka— sandskrit (Arian) means good
The priest will tell them how they're to treat each other and so on. This goes on for 10 days, yet the
bride and groom still don't see each other. He tells them how they're to give their offering to the Lord,
how to take strangers into your house. The priest is only reminding his people of these things—they're
taught them in their religion. He tells the groom not to make her cry. If she cries, God's tears fall in
The Semetic (Arabs and Jews) not treated as well as Arian (Hindu and European) women;
Mongolian (Chinese, Eskimo, Japanese, American Indian, etc.); Negroid—black.
They decide who they are by their features, not the color of their skin.
After the service, the bride goes with her attendant for that day and the groom goes to his apartment
with his best man. They don't see each other because the girl wears a veil on her face. The veil
symbolizes protection, security. The woman with a veil won't be attacked in the East. They respect the
veil as God-given protection. Only the husband can unveil a woman when she is married.
Verse 9 A mantle is a piece of cloth 4 to 5 feet long, with any color desired. It is folded in quarters and
hung around the neck. The ends fall all the way down to the knees. The significance of a mantle is
protection. If a mantle is thrown on a person, that person has been called to or for the ministry. This
person is called and protected. Ruth went to Boaz and said, "spread thy skirt upon thy handmaiden."
(Ruth 3:9) It should be "mantle." This spreading is a call and a protection.
See also: Judges 4:18
Spread therefore thy mantle. Ruth had no male member in her family to negotiate the marriage, so
that is why she went and lay at the feet of Boaz.
When Ruth went to Boaz and said, "Spread therefore thy skirt (mantle) over thine handmaid..." she
wanted redemption. Redemption is another orientalism for marriage.
When a Hindu is 12 years of age, the priest covers a boy's head and himself and whispers some
prayers in his ears. He is then born again in the Hindu philosophy. This prayer commissions the boy that
he is born again.
That's why in the East, they'll ask you if you're a twice born Hindu, because every Hindu is not twice
born, only three classes are. There are four classes of Hindu's.
1. Brahma—priest class; 2. Shatra—ruling or warrior class; 3. Vishner— business man class (high
class); and 4. Sudra—working man—plows fields (low class).
These four are Ariaus. There are four social functions for their society.
The working man is not twice born, he's not that intellectual, that spiritual. He's only good for tilling
the land. The first three are twice born.
They believe God is already in you. When you're twice born, they believe you just got acquainted
with Him now. When you become acquainted, you're born again. Then you can say, "I and my Father
are one." In Sanscript, it's called Duja—twice-born. They believe when they die they come back. They
believe they should have millions of births before you become one with God and you can see heaven.
Being twice born is only a start. You only achieve much after many births.
Verse 17 Naming a child. Naming of the Eastern child is a ceremony, this is a joyous celebration for all
the people.