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Ruth 2:15, 16: Boaz's Superabounding Provision for Ruth, Part 2

Verse 15:[1] And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not (Heb. shame her not[2])…

[Even if she should wish to reap with you, do not forbid her,גַּ֣ם בֵּ֧ין הָֽעֳמָרִ֛ים תְּלַקֵּ֖ט וְלֹ֥א תַכְלִימֽוּהָ׃] Even gathering among the bundles, her do not shame (Junius and Tremellius); that is to say, not only near, or around, or behind the bundles, but even among them. Amplification through comparison of things unequal. See on verse 7 (Piscator). Shame her not; that is, do not bring up her poverty, or widowhood, or barrenness, as a reproach; do not afflict her with any ignominy, whether by word, or deed (Drusius). To shame is put in the place of to forbid; for those that forbid, or deny, bring it to pass that those that ask are covered with shame (Vatablus).

Reproach her not: As if she were rude or impudent in so doing, as otherwise they should have thought. Question: Why did he not rather give her as much corn as she could carry, and send her away? Answer: Because he would not have her to eat the bread of idleness, but honestly to get it with the sweat of her brow, according to her duty and present condition.

Verse 16:[3] And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.

[And of yours…cast down, וְגַ֛ם שֹׁל־תָּשֹׁ֥לּוּ לָ֖הּ מִן־הַצְּבָתִ֑ים] And even by loosing ye shall loose (by sending away send away [Pagnine], by laying aside lay aside [Piscator, Junius], deliberately lay aside [Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus]) from the bunches (Montanus), or, bundles (Pagnine). I prefer, from the sheaves: For above bundles are called עֳמָרִים (Drusius). From the handfuls (Junius and Tremellius). As if by carelessness drop for her from the bundles (Munster). By spoiling spoil ye, etc. (Piscator, Dieu), that is, deliberately allow ears to fall out, and thus spoil, as it were, the bundles. It is a Metaphor, and a Metonymy of the intended effect (Piscator). Since tithes were to be given from the bundles, all ought to have their just magnitude and weight. Care ye not for that at this time, says he, but freely take something from the bundles here and there as if by spoil and rapine, etc. (Dieu). Boaz furnishes much more than what the Law commands, Leviticus 19:9; 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19. Of course, those special precepts of the Law were only the fundamental lessons of those virtues unto which enlightened minds are carried (Grotius).

[1] Hebrew: וַתָּ֖קָם לְלַקֵּ֑ט וַיְצַו֩ בֹּ֙עַז אֶת־נְעָרָ֜יו לֵאמֹ֗ר גַּ֣ם בֵּ֧ין הָֽעֳמָרִ֛ים תְּלַקֵּ֖ט וְלֹ֥א תַכְלִימֽוּהָ׃

[2] Hebrew: וְלֹ֥א תַכְלִימֽוּהָ׃.

[3] Hebrew: וְגַ֛ם שֹׁל־תָּשֹׁ֥לּוּ לָ֖הּ מִן־הַצְּבָתִ֑ים וַעֲזַבְתֶּ֥ם וְלִקְּטָ֖ה וְלֹ֥א תִגְעֲרוּ־בָֽהּ׃

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Aug 31, 2019

Matthew Henry: 'He took an account from his reapers concerning a stranger he met with in the field, and gave necessary orders concerning her, that they should not touch her (Ruth 2:9) nor reproach her, Ruth 2:15. Masters must take care, not only that they do no hurt themselves, but that they suffer not their servants and those under them to do hurt. He also ordered them to be kind to her, and let fall some of the handfuls on purpose for her. Though it is fit that masters should restrain and rebuke their servants' wastefulness, yet they should not tie them up from being charitable, but give them allowance for that, with prudent directions....

Boaz was hereupon extremely civil…

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