Ruth 3:1-4 describes a pivotal moment in the story of Ruth, a woman from Moab who became the great-grandmother of King David. In this passage, Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law, suggests a plan to Ruth to find a home where she can be well-provided for. Naomi suggests that Boaz, a relative of theirs who owns a field where Ruth has been gleaning, might be a good match for Ruth.
Naomi instructs Ruth to prepare herself by washing, putting on perfume, and dressing in her best clothes. She tells Ruth to go to the threshing floor, where Boaz will be winnowing barley, but to wait until he has finished eating and drinking before approaching him.
Naomi then tells Ruth to uncover Boaz's feet and lie down beside him. This action is often interpreted as a symbolic act of submission and humility, indicating Ruth's willingness to be under Boaz's protection and care.
Finally, Naomi tells Ruth that Boaz will tell her what to do. This is a moment of great anticipation in the story, as Ruth is taking a bold step towards securing a future for herself and her mother-in-law.
It is important to note that in the culture and time period in which the story of Ruth takes place, it was customary for a man to marry the widow of a deceased relative in order to provide for her and ensure that the deceased relative's lineage would continue. This is known as the practice of levirate marriage.
In this passage, Naomi is acting as a matchmaker for Ruth and Boaz, suggesting that Boaz could be a potential husband for Ruth. However, Naomi also acknowledges that Boaz is not the closest relative who could fulfill the role of kinsman-redeemer (a term used to describe a male relative who would redeem the family's land and marry the widow of a deceased relative).
Naomi's plan for Ruth to approach Boaz on the threshing floor is bold, and it demonstrates Ruth's trust in Naomi and her willingness to follow her advice. Ruth's actions also show her courage and resourcefulness, as she takes steps towards securing her future despite the challenging circumstances she faces.
Overall, Ruth 3:1-4 is a significant moment in the story of Ruth, as Ruth takes a bold step towards securing her future and finding a home where she will be well-provided for. It is a story of faith, hope, and perseverance, as Ruth trusts in God's provision and takes a courageous step towards her future.
Ruth 3:1-4. Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? Now isn’t Boaz our kinsman, with whose maidens you were? Behold, he will be winnowing barley tonight on the threshing floor. Therefore wash yourself, anoint yourself, get dressed, and go down to the threshing floor, but don’t make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. It shall be, when he lies down, that you shall note the place where he is lying. Then you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lay down. Then he will tell you what to do.”