Ruth 2:13: Ruth's Humble and Grateful Response

Verse 13:[1] Then she said, (Gen. 33:15; 1 Sam. 1:18) Let me find favour (or, I find favor[2]) in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly (Heb. to the heart,[3] Gen. 34:3;[4] Judg. 19:3[5]) unto thine handmaid, (1 Sam. 25:41) though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.



[I have found grace, אֶמְצָא־חֵ֙ן בְּעֵינֶ֤יךָ] I find grace in thine eyes (Junius and Tremellius, Drusius); that is to say, I recognize that I am in favor before thee, who hast thus comforted me, etc. (Drusius, Junius). Let me find grace, etc. (Vatablus, Piscator, Lapide, Bonfrerius). She desires that Boaz continue the grace exhibited to her (Lapide, Bonfrerius). It is a Hebraism; that is to say, I hope that I am going to be acceptable to thee (Vatablus). Or, with these words she modestly declines the benefit offered to her, to drink from the draught of the reapers, and thus to be made equal to Boaz’s maidservants, verse 9. See a similar passage, Genesis 33:15 (Piscator).


Let me find favour in thy sight; I humbly implore the continuance of thy good opinion of me, though I do not deserve it.


[Thou has spoken to the heart, עַל־לֵב] Close to the heart, that is, pleasing things (Vatablus): kindly and charmingly (Piscator). See concerning this expression in Genesis 34:3 (Malvenda).


[Who am not like unto one of thine handmaidens] Or, although I be not (and I will not be [Montanus]) like one of thy maidservants (Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus); that is, who am not able to be compared with one of thy maidservants; or, compared with them, I will appear the least (Bonfrerius). I consider myself unworthy to receive that benefit, which is proper to thy domestics (Drusius out of Junius). I will not make use of the same right that they do, that is, that I might drink from the common draught (Piscator). [Others omit the לֹא/not in translation, and thus render it, and behold, I will be as one of thine handmaidens (Syriac, Septuagint). But in the Complutensian, I will not be (Nobilius).]


Not like unto one of thy handmaidens; a person more mean, and necessitous, and obscure, being a stranger, and one born of heathenish parents, and not of the holy and honourable people of Israel, as they are.

[1] Hebrew: וַ֠תֹּאמֶר אֶמְצָא־חֵ֙ן בְּעֵינֶ֤יךָ אֲדֹנִי֙ כִּ֣י נִֽחַמְתָּ֔נִי וְכִ֥י דִבַּ֖רְתָּ עַל־לֵ֣ב שִׁפְחָתֶ֑ךָ וְאָנֹכִי֙ לֹ֣א אֶֽהְיֶ֔ה כְּאַחַ֖ת שִׁפְחֹתֶֽיךָ׃


[2] Hebrew: אֶמְצָא־חֵן.


[3] Hebrew: עַל־לֵב.


[4] Genesis 34:3: “And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly (עַל־לֵב) unto the damsel.”


[5] Judges 19:3a: “And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her (עַל־לִבָּהּ), and to bring her again…”

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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