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Ruth 2:9-12 meaning...

Boaz's Protective Guidance:

Boaz's words to Ruth reflect not only generosity but also a protective concern. He instructs her not to glean in another field, ensuring her safety and inviting her to stay close to his maidens.

  • Command for Protection:

Boaz goes further by commanding the young men not to touch Ruth. This underscores not just physical protection but a commitment to creating a safe environment for her as a foreigner in a new land.

  • Provision for Thirst:

Boaz extends practical kindness by allowing Ruth to drink from the vessels used by the young men. This act of provision ensures her well-being and emphasizes the generosity within the broader theme of the story.

  • Ruth's Humility:

Ruth's response is marked by humility. She falls on her face, expressing gratitude and acknowledging her foreign status. Her question, "Why have I found favor in your sight?" reveals a sense of awe and wonder at the kindness extended to her.

  • Boaz's Awareness of Ruth's Story:

Boaz's response reveals his awareness of Ruth's background and sacrifices. He commends her for leaving her homeland and family to care for her mother-in-law, emphasizing the significance of her journey to a new people.

  • Generosity and Protection:

Boaz's actions showcase not just generosity but a commitment to providing a safe and inclusive environment. His protective guidance and explicit command for the young men to refrain from touching Ruth underscore a culture of care and respect.

  • Practical Kindness:

The provision for Ruth's thirst is a gesture of practical kindness. Boaz's concern goes beyond the immediate task of gleaning; it extends to ensuring her physical well-being in the field.

  • Humility in Gratitude:

Ruth's humility in response to Boaz's kindness is a powerful theme. Her acknowledgment of being a foreigner and questioning why she has found favor reflects a genuine and humble heart.

  • Awareness and Commendation:

Boaz's awareness of Ruth's story adds a layer of depth to the narrative. He commends her for her sacrifices and the significant choice to embrace a new people and culture, highlighting the value placed on loyalty and care within the community.

Cross References:

Leviticus 19:9-10: "When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap into the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not glean your vineyard, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and for the foreigner. I am Yahweh your God." This cross reference highlights the social and ethical context of gleaning, emphasizing care for the vulnerable and foreigners.

Deuteronomy 10:18-19: "He does execute justice for the fatherless and widow, and loves the foreigner in giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the foreigner; for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt." This passage reinforces the theme of caring for foreigners and reflects the broader biblical ethic of compassion and inclusivity.

As we delve into Ruth 2:9-12, we're invited to reflect on the nature of our interactions with others, especially those who might be considered outsiders or foreigners. Boaz's actions set a profound example of generosity, protection, and inclusivity. Consider the following reflections:

Generosity and Inclusivity: How do we extend generosity and inclusivity to those who may feel like outsiders or foreigners in various contexts?

Practical Kindness: In what ways do we practice practical kindness, ensuring the well-being of others beyond superficial gestures?

Awareness of Others' Stories: Are we attuned to the stories and backgrounds of those around us? Boaz's awareness of Ruth's journey highlights the importance of recognizing and commending the sacrifices of others.

Humility in Gratitude: Ruth's humility in receiving kindness offers a model for our own expressions of gratitude. How can we cultivate a humble and grateful heart in our interactions with others?

In embodying the spirit of Ruth 2:9-12, we contribute to a culture of care, respect, and inclusivity, mirroring the values embedded in the biblical narrative.

See also: vs 13

Ruth 2:9-12. “Let your eyes be on the field that they reap, and go after them. Haven’t I commanded the young men not to touch you? When you are thirsty, go to the vessels, and drink from that which the young men have drawn. She fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take knowledge of me, since I am a foreigner?” Boaz answered her, “I have been fully told about all that you have done to your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother, and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you didn’t know before. May Yahweh repay your work, and a full reward be given to you from Yahweh, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”


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