Boaz answered and said to her,
“It has been fully related to me all that you have done for your mother-in-law
after the death of your husband, and how you left your father and your
mother and the land of your birth and went to a people that you did not know
yesterday or the day before.”
Boaz replied that, in view of what he had
heard about her from many sources, his kindness was a small part of his
double verb sdv sdv, “it has been fully related,” imparts that he had
heard two things. First, she had dealt kindly with her mother-in-law, and as Naomi’s relation he was obligated to requite the kindness.
Second, she had left the security of family and the luxury of the royal palace to come to a strange
land. Since she had never before seen the land or its people, that could not
possibly have been what attracted her
away from her native country. Obviously, then, her conversion was sincerely
motivated by love of God.
The iterated sdv sdv further indicates that he had heard of her
good qualities in two areas: her kindness to Naomi at home, and her wisdom.
modesty, and industriousness in the fields.
Now the term ighu can mean “raised his voice” as well as
“answered”; that is, Boaz praised her loudly for all to hear. “You are not a
stranger,” he declared. “Your good qualities, particularly your kindness, make
you one of us.”
Boaz singled out the quality of kindness, for
that is the essence of all good qualities. Our sages teach: A bride whose eyes
are beautiful needs no further inspection. That is, a person who has vcuy ihg “a benevolent eye,” needs no further
inspection to establish the excellence of his character.
Targum Yonathan explains the double sdv sdv
as follows: “It has been told to me by
the sages that only male Moabites are prohibited from marrying Jews, and it
has been told to me prophetically that
kings and prophets will descend from you in the merit of your kindness to your
Moabite women in general, and she in
particular, were permitted to marry Jews because the reason given by the
Torah for the prohibition does not apply
to them. The Moabites had failed to welcome the Israelites with bread and
water, but it is not incumbent
upon women to come out in greeting. Accordingly, they are excluded from the
Indeed, by treating her mother-in-law kindly
and even supporting her, Ruth did the opposite of what her ungenerous
forefathers had done.
Only three days prior to Ruth’s arrival, this
question had been put to the sages, and they had just replied: “We have a
tradition from Sinai: a Moabite, not a Moabitess.” Therefore Boaz emphasized
that she had not been in the land
of Israel “yesterday or
the day before.” Had she come a day sooner, she would not have been accepted
for marriage into the Jewish nation, since the halacha had only now been
2:12 “The Lord repay your deed, and be your
reward complete from the Lord, God of Israel, beneath Whose wings you have come
“Do not imagine that your reward ends with my
kindness to you, said Boaz. “To requite your wonderful deeds is beyond human
ability. Your reward will come from God Who has great goodness hidden away for
Since she was a woman alone in a strange land,
Boaz blessed her according to her needs: with wealth and marriage.
The Targum translates: “May God repay you in
this world for your good deeds, and may your reward be complete in the
hereafter for coming to convert.”
An act of kindness is like a loan made to God,
as it is written, “He who is
merciful to the poor lends to the Lord” (Proverbs 19:17). Thus, for her kindness to Naomi, God would
“repay your deed.”
In addition, her soul would shelter beneath
the wings of God. Our sages observe that those who do acts of kindness
take refuge not under the wings of the
supernal Hayyoth that draw the Heavenly Chariot (Ezekiel 1),
nor of the Cherubs, nor of the Seraphs,
but under the wings of the Creator Himself.
“How precious is Your kindness, O God,”
exclaimed King David; “and the sons of man shelter in the shadow of Your wings”
(Psalms 36:8). Human kindness is
a pale imitation and reflection of divine kindness, and if in return for the
kindness that a man does he merits to gain shelter beneath God’s wings, how
precious must God’s own kindness be!
Moreover, since kindness yields dividends for
the benefactor in this world even as the principal remains intact for him in
the World to Come (Talmud). Boaz assured Ruth that she would enjoy the
dividends of her kindness to Naomi in this world. Her children would become
leaders of Israel
and she herself would wear the royal crown. Although she was a pauper at
the moment, her descendant would dedicate a hundred talents of gold to the Temple (Ezra 8:26). Her reward would be vnka
“complete,” which also spells vnka,
Solomon, whom she would live to see, as it is written: “[Solomon] caused a
throne to be set for the mother of the king” (1 Kings 2:19), that is, for the
mother of royalty—Ruth.
would be the dividends. The principal reward to come from the Lord, God of
Israel, was reserved for her soul in the World to Come, where it would shelter
under God’s wings, “revel in the pleasantness of the Lord, and visit in His palace” (Psalms 27:4).
Chassa accented the special sense of “beneath Whose wings you have come to
shelter.” Ruth’s reward would be great not because of her good qualities and
her kindness to her mother-in-law, but because she converted.
Boaz mentioned two rewards—”The Lord repay
your deed,” and “be your reward complete.” A proselyte is rewarded for his
resolution to accept the mitzvoth
as well as for his actual
conversion. Furthermore, because she
hastened to come instead of tarrying as other converts do, her reward
would be complete in both worlds. She
would not suffer in this world as other converts do.
For coming to shelter under His wings willingly
and sincerely, with no ulterior motives, and without hope of ever
marrying, God would give her a boundless reward in the World to Come, where
“the righteous sit with crowns on their
heads and enjoy the radiance of the Shechinah” (Talmud).
the souls of the righteous of Israel reside
above the wings of the Shechinah and the souls of the converts below,
Ruth had converted with the idea of
sheltering “beneath [His] wings.” Boaz assured her, however, that her reward
would be “complete,” that is, her soul would reside above His wings
together with the righteous of Israel.
Abraham was the first convert, and his
protective merit extends to all future converts. But Ruth had no need to
rely on his merit, for her action surpassed
his. She was vnka
—her own merit was complete and inexhaustible.
While Abraham had come to the Holy Land at God’s command to go forth from your land,
and from your birthplace, and from your father’s house” (Genesis 12:1), Ruth came on her own initiative and against
Naomi’s protests. Her reward would be complete as if “you [singular] have come” alone, without Naomi.
she sought shelter with the God of Israel was also its own reward, for the
reward of a mitzvah, the Talmud teaches, is the mitzvah itself.
Abraham Ibn Ezra
responded, [saying] to her. He said: You have found favor in my eyes for
two reasons:  "I was repeatedly told about everything you did for
your mother-in-law" which shows the goodness of your character and
your heart -for in the majority of cases a daughter-in-law dislikes her
mother-in-law, especially after your husband died: whereas you were her
helper and supporter.  You converted to Judaism without any ulterior motive of material benefit or gain; behold, that
you left your father and mother and the land where you were born, and you went
to [live among] a nation that you did not previously know.
12. Question: Why did Boaz state a seeming
redundancy: May the ETERNAL repay you for your [good] deeds, and may your
reward be complete from the ETERNAL?
the ETERNAL repay you for your [good] deeds. For all that you have done for
your mother-in-law and, corresponding to your conversion and may your reward
be complete from the ETERNAL, because He is the God of Israel Who oversees
them and all converts who join them. In the Midrash Ruth Rabbah (5:4), "Rav
Chasa said, 'under Whose wing you have sought protection. '” [According to
the Malbim's commentary (Parashas
Kedoshim, Section 30), there is a difference between rfa (reward) and vkugp (payment) as well as between a rhfa (employee) and kgup (independent contractor or craftsman). An
independent contractor or artisan receives a payment specifically for the
service or item he has rendered. For instance, a tailor sews a garment and is
compensated for it: this is called vkugp ("payment"): he receives
remuneration for the exact work done. However, an employee has a contract for a
specific period of time, for example, three years, and must be paid whether he
works or not.] Relative to the carrying out of instructions, a person receives
"payment" for each individual act done, about which, Boaz advised
Ruth, May the ETERNAL repay you for your [good] deeds. However, in
regard to Ruth's act of conversion, she had accepted upon herself to serve God
and observe His commandments, which is tantamount to being a
"lifetime employee." As such, she is deserving of the status of
a" salaried employee," who is guaranteed a constant wage whether or
not she performs (i.e., whether or not the opportunity presents itself to do a mitzvah,
nonetheless, she should still benefit a "full wage"). In regard
to this aspect of Ruth's worthiness Boaz said, and may your reward be
complete from the ETERNAL, implying a constant benefit. Under Whose wing
you have sought protection. And are worthy of the status of being a
lifetime employee of God with full privileges and benefits. About this Rav
Chasa said, Under Whose wing you have sought protection -for which you
are deserving of a permanent recompense, in addition to each time you perform
an individual commandment and are worthy of its appropriate reward. I [the
Malbim] have already explored the question in my work Ayeles HaShachar. Is
this not the greatest reward that a person can possibly receive: the opportunity
to fulfill a commandment to serve this mighty and awesome Being, either
from the aspect of the perfection of the soul which is achieved by virtue of
one's actions or from the mere fact that by doing so one can make claim to
being the servant of the great King Who created everything? Why then does the
Torah promise a reward for the commandments? Are not they, in and of
themselves, the greatest reward possible (as the Mishnah in Pirkei
Avos (4:2) says, "The reward of the mitzvah is the mitzvah..."
-meaning that since the mitzvah itself is its own greatest reward)?
I proposed that for someone who has the heart to understand and the spirit to
feel the pleasantness of the commandments themselves, it is unnecessary to
promise any reward other than the decree itself. Yet, since the majority of
people do not sense the pleasantness of the commandments or the marvelous
goodness which one acquires through them, it was necessary to assure a temporal
and tangible reward in order that individuals would perform the commandments
initially for their sake. Subsequently, they will come to realize that one
should fulfill the commandments for their own intrinsic worth and good.
According to this, Boaz told Ruth, May the ETERNAL repay you for your [good]
will reward your good deeds, but the truth is: and may your reward be
complete from the ETERNAL, that the primary reward is actually being under
Whose wing you have come to seek refuge -which is the ultimate reward that has
no shortcomings at all. Perhaps this is what Rav Chasa was referring to when he
said, under Whose wing, etc. -this is truly the fundamental
"reward" for all that Ruth had done.
she fell on her face and spread out on the ground and said to him, “Why is it
that I have found favor in your eyes so that you take notice of me? I am but a
answered her saying, “It has been repeatedly told to me how much you have done
for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband; how you left your
father and mother and the land of your birth and went to a nation you knew
nothing of the day before last.
God recompense you for your work. May your reward from the Lord, God of Israel, under
whose wing you have come to seek refuge, be complete.”
we will take a look at verse 10: the Hebrew word gusn seems
out of place here. It is generally used when a complaint is being registered
for some wrong or injustice, as in the question, “Why have you done such a
thing?” The correct adverb in this case should be lht:
“How is it that I have found favor...” Besides, it is hardly courteous of a
person who has ‘found favor’ to ask, Why? Ruth should have expressed her
delight at pleasing Boaz. Moreover, by adding . . .so that you take
notice of me, she seems to have lauded herself for the fact that Boaz had
honored her by taking notice of her.
to verse 11, why the double term sdv sdv? It is interesting that Boaz did
not mention anything of her past life when he began speaking to her (verse 8).
Why did he wait until now? And why does he mention the death of her husband?
Why did he find it necessary to mention her homeland since he had praised her
for leaving her parents, who were dearer to her than her country?
verse 12 Boaz blesses Ruth. Does she need blessings? Of course God will pay her
as she deserves! Is anyone to claim that God’s reward will Not be
complete? Has God ever given a man less than he is entitled to?
An Indication of Her Modesty
was grateful to Boaz for his kind words and bowed down to him. The Talmud
(Berachoth 34b) points out that ‘vshf’ means bowing down on one’s
face, while the term ‘vhuj,av’ denotes spreading the hands and
feet on the ground. Thus, for ‘vshf’ the text has vhbp kg kup,u, She
fell on her face. Subsequently, vmrt uj,a,u, she spread out [her
hands and feet] on the ground.
can also see how modest a woman she was. Had she spread herself out on the
ground immediately, parts of her legs might have been revealed. So she fell on
her face first, and only then did she slowly spread herself out, ensuring that
even her ankles remained covered.
Why Did Ruth Command Respect?
didn’t Ruth protest against the youth who had slandered and belittled her?
Moreover, she had the right to remonstrate with Boaz himself for not berating
his servant for his malicious outburst. She would have been justified had she
asked: “Why have you acted in this manner? Is it proper of you?” However, she
did no such thing. On the contrary, she said to herself: “I am surprised at
finding favor in his eyes and that he takes so much notice of me. How is it
that he has been so courteous towards me? I would expect to be treated with
contempt, by the way the overseer regarded me, for I am only a stranger here. I
have no complaint against him or against Boaz.” So her question is: “What have
I done that you accord me such respect?”
adverb gusn is not out of place in these circumstances.It is
an expression of surprise at the way Boaz regarded her. She had not expected
it. Instead of retorting, “How dare that boy speak such lies? Why don’t you
rebuke him?” she was overwhelmed by the respect shown to her. She thus asked,
“Why do I deserve so much recognition? A stranger like me does not expect to be
shown any courtesy.”
her intention was to convey the following to Boaz: “There is little reason to
doubt the words of the overseer, but you, Boaz, refuse to accept his story. Not
only that, but you have won me over with your kind words. Maybe it is because
you believe me to be the one who is destined to derive from Moab? But, how
do you know it is me? What have I done to have found favor in your eyes? Have I
acted so modestly? Maybe that is only because I am a stranger here and it is
not a true reflection of my character. Would that my modest ways reflect my
natural behavior! As it is, my behavior is attributed to the fact that I am a
newcomer; no one believes it to be my natural self.” Boaz answered her saying.
Here, too, we encounter the double expression rnthu...ighu,
answered...saying. In chapter one we explained this as denoting a
raising of one’s voice. There, too, Boaz raised his voice so that all those
within hearing distance could hear him laud her praiseworthy qualities and
model character. Furthermore, he did not want any bystander to run away with
the idea that they were carrying on some private conversation together.
Boaz apologized for his servant’s outburst. He explained to Ruth that the boy
meant no harm but wished to prevent his master — who was the elder and
leader of his people — from marrying such a girl as she, since people
might say that his heart was captivated by what his eyes beheld. Thus, Boaz
replied to her: “As you have said, it is unusual for me to take notice of a
stranger like you. However, I have been repeatedly told about you.”
that the text has hk, it has been repeatedly told ‘to me.’ Boaz
meant to apologize on the lad’s behalf: “Only I have been told about you
and not my servant. I have acted on what I heard. He did not know anything
about you and is not to blame for what he did.”
could Boaz defend his servant in this way? Wasn’t Ruth’s story common knowledge
Shouldn’t the overseer have known all about her by now?
Double Expression — Double Meaning
might help us to understand the double expression sdv sdv.
The first sdv denotes that Boaz had heard a long story comprising many
details about Ruth. The second sdv indicates that he had heard her story
repeatedly so that it became impressed on his mind. The overseer had heard only
rumors and gossip; thus, he hardly thought the matter to be worthy of
became convinced,” said Boaz, “of your pure intentions. It was not ‘said’ to me
but it was ‘told’ to me (vsdv), so that I accepted it as the truth.”
Boaz Controverts His Servant’s Report
clearly refuted every single one of his servant’s lies, thus showing Ruth that
he had not accepted any of the accusations leveled against her. However, he
referred to matters concerning her alone, although his servant had alluded to
Boaz himself. For instance, he had made a point of mentioning that she was a vrgb,
a young woman. This may not have been a derogatory title for Ruth, but
it was an attempt to dissuade Boaz, who was much older than she, from
overseer called her ‘a Moabitess.’ Boaz contradicted this by saying: “I have
heard how much you have done for your mother-in-law. It would have been quite
normal for you to treat her with disdain, for mothers-in-law and
daughters-in-law rarely get along well together.” (In fact, the Talmud
[Yebamoth 117a] explains certain Biblical laws as being based on this
“You obviously did not act kindly towards her just to gain favor with your
husband, since you did so after your husband’s death. Not only immediately
after his death, when it may be claimed that you did so out of deference for
his wishes, but even laht ,un hrjt long after the death of your husband.
Had you been a true ‘Moabitess’ at heart, you would never have acted as you
did, for it was the Moabites …who did not greet you [the Israelites]
with bread and water (Deuteronomy 23:5) on their way to the Land of Israel, and
they could hardly be called a compassionate people. You have shown yourself to
be an Israelite, for you do not have the traits of a Moabitess.”
overseer had attempted to downgrade Ruth by saying that she had returned
with Na’omi. He was insinuating that her reasons for coming to Judah were not
pure or for the sake of Heaven; she merely followed Na’omi. Boaz countered this
allegation by saying, You left your father and your mother.
Why Did Ruth Really Leave Moab?
reasons could given to explain why Ruth followed Na’omi, besides her wish to
live as a Jew: (1) She wanted Na’omi to care for her needs and wants. (2) She
loved Na’omi and desired to be in her company. (3) She wanted to leave Moab after all
the misfortune she had suffered there, so she followed her mother-in-law when
she decided to leave. (4) She hoped that Na’omi would repay her for the
kindness she had shown her.
referred to all four reasons, refuting them one by one: “I believe that your
intentions were pure and you did not follow Na’omi for any purpose other than
to serve God.”
your father. “Who is more suitable than a father to care for your needs and
your Mother. “Is there anyone an unmarried woman loves more than her own
mother? Who is better company for you than she?”
the land of your birth. “Even if you had suffered misfortunes in your
hometown, there are plenty of other places to settle in Moab. Yet you
left your country behind entirely.”
went to a nation you knew nothing about... “You did not rely merely on
Na’omi for sustenance. You had to have faith in a people you knew nothing of.
You were not to know that you would be able to sustain yourself with gifts for
the poor. Thus, you were totally reliant on God, because you love Him
and have chosen to devote your life to Him. Your coming here was solely for
Heaven’s sake and is considered a great mitzvah. Consequently, you will
come to no harm, as the Talmud says (Pesachim 8b), “Those sent to perform a
religious duty or commandment do not suffer harm.”
have come to seek refuge under His wing. “Though your husband died to atone
for the sin of marrying you, a Moabitess, you need not worry, for you have come
to shelter under God’s wing and are like a newly born babe.” (see Talmud
Yebamoth 22a: “A convert is considered like a newly born”.)
overseer further accused Ruth of constantly looking for ways to steal stalks
from the sheaves. In addition, he alleged that she preferred to be out
in the fields rather than in the house. These lies were so obvious that
Boaz felt no need to refute them. Everyone could see that she had not taken the
gleanings unlawfully. She had stayed in the field all day precisely for this
reason — to make sure she wasn’t cheating by taking three stalks at a
time instead of two. Thus, it took her longer to go through a field than anyone
True Reward Is Only Heaven-Sent
God recompense you for your work. Boaz meant to say: “Do not pay attention
to the overseer’s words. You may feel that you have a right to complain, for
even if he didn’t bless you, there was no need to curse you! (cf. Numbers
23:25). Do you really expect any reward from man? You worked for God’s sake and
He will give you your due reward.”
may still have felt that she had cause for complaint: “I do not expect to
receive any reward from man, but at least let him leave me alone, for I don’t
need his disparaging remarks either.”
this, Boaz added: May your reward be complete. These words can be
explained with a story.
There was a certain Rabbi who would distribute alms to the poor. Once, during
the course of his work, he gave a poor man some money and was promptly blessed.
The Rabbi walked away crestfallen. Later, he gave another man money, but this
man reviled him, and the Rabbi’s face lit up with happiness. His disciples, who
had witnessed this strange behavior, asked for an explanation. He answered that
for the thanks he had received, his merit for the good deed had been reduced.
However, when he suffered derision, the credits had been increased.
used a similar argument when addressing Ruth: “Even if you suffer degradation,
let it not bother you, for your reward will now be complete — no credits
will have been spent in this world. Had you been received kindly and treated
with respect, you would have lost some of the Heavenly bliss that is due to
you. Once you chose to shelter under God’s wing, you were, in effect,
proclaiming your intention to rely solely on Him and not on your fellowman.
Hence, don’t expect any gracious treatment from them and don’t pay heed to
anything they say about you.”
Boaz may have intended the following: “Don’t be afraid of losing any merit
because of what I have done for your sake; God will repay you for your work.
Since so much evil has been said about you, you will receive your reward in
Ruth Severed Her Connections with Moab
went to a nation you knew nothing of. The word hfk,u, and you went, is
used instead of the more appropriate ,fkk, as a result of which
the verse would have been rendered, “you left your parents to go to…
meaning here is: “Even while you were still in Moab you
decided to cut off your ties with them since you abhorred their way of life.
Their people were not your people and their god, not your God. Only later did
you go to join a nation which you knew nothing of. Hence, you didn’t leave them
in order to go to another people, but because you detested them and
this we can understand the clause: ,uxjk ,tc rat, you came to seek refuge. Boaz
meant to say: “You did not change from being a Moabitess to a Jewess just by
coming here. This transformation had been accomplished long before you arrived
Now you only came to shelter under God’s wing. For only in the Land of Israel can you consider yourself as
being under God’s protective infiuence.”
Boaz Hints at the Emergence of Solomon
us return to verse 11 and the double expression, sdv sdv.’
The Midrash (Ruth Rabbah 5:4 and commentaries ad loc.) relates that Boaz spoke
to Ruth with Divine inspiration. When he said
vnka l,rfan hv,u, and your reward will be complete, there
is a play on words, for he was hinting that as a reward for her labors, she
would have a descendant by the name of vnka,” i.e., King
Solomon. They further said (ibid. 5:6) that when he told Ruth ufu okv
had, Come here... (verse 14), he was alluding to the monarchy
which would emanate from her, since the word okv has connotations of
With his words ojkv in ,kftu, and eat of the bread..., he
meant to say, “eat of the ‘bread’ of royalty.”
Boaz measured out six measures of barley (see 3:15) he was alluding to six
descendants of hers who would be blessed with six blessings (Talmud Sanhedrin
Targum on verse 11 adds into Boaz’s words: “And it has been told to me through
a prophetic vision that because you were kind to your mother-in-law, your
descendants will be kings and prophets.”
does the Targum derive this from? It is not in any way implied in the text! The
Sages learn it by applying the expository principle of gezerah shavah, i.e.,
similar words in different contexts clarify one another. Boaz says sdv
It has been repeatedly told to me. In I Samuel 10:16 we find the same
double expression again: ubk shdv sdv, He told us certainly.. .The
verse ends with the words, tk vfuknv rcs ,tu ktuna rnt rat uk shdv,
But of the matter of the kingdom he did not tell what Samuel had said.
we see that the expression is used in connection with kings and prophets, for
the verse speaks of King Saul and Samuel the prophet. The same applies here.
Boaz is ‘told’ that Ruth is the ‘good dove’ who will emanate from Moab and,
through a levirate marriage, the spirit within her will be redeemed, paving the
way for her to become the progenitress of kings and prophets.
to explain the verse in full. Ruth was not so much surprised by the malicious
talk of the overseer as by the kind words expressed by Boaz. The way the
overseer treated her was to be expected, since she was a stranger and he was
within his rights to hold her under suspicion. She made her feelings known to
Boaz and he replied: “I — but not the overseer — was told two
things about you which will explain why I have accorded you so much respect.
Firstly, I heard how you dealt kindly with your mother-in-law. Secondly, I have
heard through Divine inspiration that the spirit of Machlon lives on within
Boaz Puts Ruth at Ease
that Boaz says ...for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. With
this he implied that Na’omi was considered a ‘mother-in-law’ even after Machlon’s
death, because her son’s spirit lived on within Ruth.
words can be understood as follows: “Do not be surprised if I show favor to
you, Ruth. I ignored the overseer’s remarks, because if you were really a
‘Moabitess,’ the spirit of Machlon could never have rested inside you, for the
pure cannot mix with the impure.
before you converted to your new faith you were imbued with a unique soul, and
this enables your body to be a suitable receptacle for the spirit of your
husband. These two things that I have heard about you are ample proof that you
do not deserve the title of ‘Moabitess.’
overseer also insinuated that you had only returned to Judah with
Na’omi because of your attachment to her and not for Heaven’s sake. I
disregarded this accusation because you left both your father and your
mother. It is hardly likely that you prefer the company of your
mother-in-law to theirs, especially since it is unnatural for mothers-in-law
and daughters-in-law to get along well together.
overseer hinted at the fact that you had returned with Na’omi alone, i.e.,
your husbands (and her children) had died on account of their sins and this was
meant as a warning that no good would come of my marriage to a Moabitess such
as you. In my opinion, however, they were punished for leaving the Land of Israel
to go to Moab.
You, on the other hand, have left Moab
to come to the Land
further alleged that you, together with Na’omi, had journeyed a long distance
without male escorts, implying that you were quite probably assaulted by rogues
waiting along the way. It is highly unlikely that anything happened to you, God
forbid, for your destination was a nation whom you knew nothing about... Thus,
your journey itself was a mitzuah, and no harm could have come to you.”
said that she did not know of the people the day before last. This
implies that before that time, i.e., long ago, she did know of
their faith! Here he was alluding to the fact that Ruth was the reincarnated
form of Lot’s elder daughter (see verses 3-4).
Thus, in her time, she knew Abraham, her father’s relative. This then is what
is meant by the words, whom you knew not the day before last: “As a
Moabitess, you did not know of Israel,
but long ago you knew of Abraham. Your soul, which remembered its relationship
with the Jewish People, yearned to return once again. God will repay you for
the act you did when you lay with your father Lot,
since your intention was to produce holy offspring. Had you not converted to
Judaism, you would have received some measure of reward as befits a gentile.
But now that you are a full-fledged Jewess, He will recompense you in full, for
through you, a perfect soul will be formed by God, the Lord of Israel, under
whose wings you sought refuge.”
that the phrase l,rfan hv,u, May your reward..., is in the
feminine form (the masculine would be lrfa hvhu). This denotes that the reward
would be a holy soul - apb, soul, is a feminine word — which
would emanate from her on account of her decision to seek refuge under the wings
of God. Hence, the verse can be understood thus: “Your reward be complete, for
it — i.e., a holy soul — will be formed by God, the Lord of Israel.”