Ruth 3:16-18: Ruth's Report to Naomi

Verse 16:[1] And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.



[What hast thou done, daughter? מִי־אַ֣תְּ בִּתִּ֑י] Who art thou, or, who then art thou, my daughter? (Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Munster, Pagnine, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius); or, Quis/who art thou? quis/who[2] in the place of quæ/ who.[3] Thus Plautus, Quis/who art thou, woman?[4] Either, she asked before the door opened (Ibn Ezra in Munster); or, because of the darkness she was not recognizing her (Piscator, similarly Drusius). But that address, my daughter, sufficiently indicates that her mother-in-law recognized her (Bonfrerius). She does indeed call her daughter, that is, young woman. Thus an elderly woman addresses a young woman. She was recognizing her as such by dress and burden (Piscator). I would prefer, What thou, daughter? (Septuagint in the Basilean codex), so that מִי/who is put in the place of מָה/what (Bonfrerius). What to thee, daughter? (Tigurinus). Where are thine affairs with respect to marriage? (Osiander).


Who art thou, my daughter? either, first, She did not distinctly know who she was, because it was dark, and so calls her daughter only in general, as elder women call the younger. But she could as easily have discerned who she was, as what her age was. Or, secondly, This is not a question of doubting, but of wonder, as if she had said, Art thou in very deed my daughter? I can hardly believe it. How comest thou hither in this manner, and thus early?


Verse 17:[5] And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.


[And he said: in Hebrew it is thus written, כִּ֚י אָמַ֣ר ֵַ] The pronoun אֵלַ֔י, to me, is missing in the Hebrew text, but is to be added from the notes of the Massoretes (Drusius).


[Empty, רֵיקָם] Emptily; like חִנָּם/graciously,[6] and יוֹמָם, by day.[7] Others: empty, that is, רֵיקָה (Drusius).


Verse 18:[8] Then said she, (Ps. 37:3, 5) Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.


[Until we see what end the matter might have, אֵ֖יךְ יִפֹּ֣ל דָּבָ֑ר] How (where [Drusius]) may fall (or happen [Dutch]) the word (Montanus), or, matter (Pagnine, English), or, this matter (Munster, Tigurinus). How the word may not fall (Septuagint), as if the falling of the word here is for the word to return void, useless, or to be frustrated in its outcome: but the negation is more correctly omitted in the Basilean codex (Bonfrerius). What it is going to be to thee (Arabic). How the decree is from heaven, and how the word will be magnified (Jonathan). A matter, or business, is said to fall, because all the decree flow and proceed from heaven (Hebrews in Vatablus).

[1] Hebrew: וַתָּבוֹא֙ אֶל־חֲמוֹתָ֔הּ וַתֹּ֖אמֶר מִי־אַ֣תְּ בִּתִּ֑י וַתַּ֙גֶּד־לָ֔הּ אֵ֛ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָֽשָׂה־לָ֖הּ הָאִֽישׁ׃


[2] Interrogative pronoun, masculine (because lacking a feminine form).


[3] Interrogative adjective/pronoun, feminine.


[4] Asinaria 780.


[5] Hebrew: וַתֹּ֕אמֶר שֵׁשׁ־הַשְּׂעֹרִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה נָ֣תַן לִ֑י כִּ֚י אָמַ֣ר ֵַ אַל־תָּב֥וֹאִי רֵיקָ֖ם אֶל־חֲמוֹתֵֽךְ׃


[6] Related to חֵן/grace.


[7] Related to יוֹם/day.


[8] Hebrew: וַתֹּ֙אמֶר֙ שְׁבִ֣י בִתִּ֔י עַ֚ד אֲשֶׁ֣ר תֵּֽדְעִ֔ין אֵ֖יךְ יִפֹּ֣ל דָּבָ֑ר כִּ֣י לֹ֤א יִשְׁקֹט֙ הָאִ֔ישׁ כִּֽי־אִם־כִּלָּ֥ה הַדָּבָ֖ר הַיּֽוֹם׃

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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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