Ruth 3:11: Boaz's Answer to Ruth's Proposal, Part 2

Verse 11:[1] And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city (Heb. gate[2]) of my people doth know that thou art (Prov. 12:4) a virtuous woman.



Fear not; think not that I despise and reject thee, because I do not immediately comply with thy desire.


[What thou hast said to me] That is, I will spread my wing over thee (Drusius).


[I will do for thee] That is, I will do it to the best of my ability: that is, if it be permitted by the Law (Piscator).


I will do to thee all that thou requirest, that is, marry thee, upon the condition here following.


[For all the people know, etc., כָּל־שַׁ֣עַר עַמִּ֔י] All, or the whole, gate of my people (Vatablus, Drusius, Piscator, Montanus); the whole forum of my people (Tigurinus); the whole eldership of my fellow citizens (certain interpreters in Vatablus). For forums were in the gates, where trials happened (Vatablus). All that sit in the gate of the great sanhedrin know, etc. (Jonathan in Drusius). By the gate others understand the city (thus Junius, Piscator, Drusius, Bonfrerius, Pagnine). Everyone within the gates of my people (Junius and Tremellius). Hebrew: the gate of my people, etc. It is a Hypallage, for, all my people that are wont to be gathered in the gate of our city (Piscator). Gate in the place of city, as in Genesis 22:17; Deuteronomy 17:2; 28:57; Obadiah 11 (Drusius). The entire tribe (Septuagint); the family (Syriac, similarly the Arabic).


[Thee to be a woman of virtue, כִּ֛י אֵ֥שֶׁת חַ֖יִל אָֽתְּ׃] That thou art a woman of virtue (Montanus), or, of fortitude (Syriac); that thou art a woman honest (Pagnine), or, furnished with virtue (Tigurinus, Vatablus), vigorous, or, of vigor, as in Proverbs 31:10[3] (Piscator out of Junius, Vatablus, Drusius). It is to be noted that among ancient interpreters virtue is not opposed to vice, but to infirmity of body (Drusius). A woman that is industrious and diligent is called a woman of virtue. For חַיִל is indeed virtue, but not properly that which simply makes men good; but strength, fortitude, diligence, might, and power (Serarius). It is indeed true that חַיִל signifies all those things; but it also signifies a good habit of soul: neither is there any other Hebrew word that signifies that (Bonfrerius). A just woman (Jonathan), the best (Arabic). Boaz had observed that Ruth was confounded, and feared that this undertaking was going to be taken in a bad way; and so Boaz gently consoles her, saying, do not be afraid, etc.; that is, Be of good cheer; think not that I suspect any evil of thee, or despise thee because of thy poverty: what thou hast said I will do, that is, I will take thee to wife, if it be lawful (Osiander).

[1] Hebrew: וְעַתָּ֗ה בִּתִּי֙ אַל־תִּ֣ירְאִ֔י כֹּ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־תֹּאמְרִ֖י אֶֽעֱשֶׂה־לָּ֑ךְ כִּ֤י יוֹדֵ֙עַ֙ כָּל־שַׁ֣עַר עַמִּ֔י כִּ֛י אֵ֥שֶׁת חַ֖יִל אָֽתְּ׃


[2] Hebrew: שַׁעַר.


[3] Proverbs 31:10: “Who can find a virtuous woman (אֵשֶׁת־חַיִל)? for her price is far above rubies.”

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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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