SECTION XXIX

 

Ruth 3:14-15

 

Text:

 

Ah„!t rh‚1ƒ•h [o#rˆ#y0c] ou#rˆ#y0c o7e7•u r3e`c8v‘s*g [uh7,k}r*n] u7,}r*n c‹8ƒ}A!•u   sh

:i#r`8v v‚7!t7v v7t‚7c‘h1ƒ g8sh‘k*t r#nt`œ•u v2g2r‘,#t

,#Aœ•u oh!r`g`}a‘A2A s7n‹œ•u š7c z3jt`•u š„7c‘hz6j#tu Lhˆ8k7g‘r#A4t ,8j‡8Ÿ}y!Œ8v h1c7v r#nt`œ•u   uy

:rh!g7v t`„cœ•u 7vh3k7g

 

Targum:

 

TANAKH

Translation

SEPTUAGINT

Translation

c‹8ƒ}A!•u

And she lay

 

 

u7,}r*n

feet of him

 

 

[uh7,k}r*n]

 

 

 

‘s*g

until

 

 

r3e`c8v

the morning

 

 

o7e7•u

and she got up

 

 

ou#rˆ#y0c

at before

 

 

[o#rˆ#y0c]

 

 

 

rh‚1ƒ•h

he could recognize

 

 

Ah„!t

man

 

 

‘,#t

 

 

 

v2g2r

his neighbor

 

 

r#nt`ϥu

and he said

 

 

‘k*t

not

 

 

g8sh

he must be known

 

 

‘h1ƒ

that

 

 

v7t‚7c

she came

 

 

v‚7!t7v

the woman

 

 

:i#r`8v

the threshing floor

 

 

r#nt`ϥu

and he said

 

 

h1c7v

bring

 

 

,8j‡8Ÿ}y!Œ8v

the shawl

 

 

‘r#A4t

that

 

 

Lhˆ8k7g

on you

 

 

‘hz6j#tu

and hold

 

 

š„7c

onto her

 

 

z3jt`•u

and she held

 

 

š7c

onto her

 

 

s7n‹œ•u

and he poured

 

 

‘A2A

six

 

 

oh!r`g`}a

barleys

 

 

,#Aϥu

and he put

 

 

vh3k7g

on her

 

 

t`„cœ•u

and he went back

 

 

:rh!g7v

the town

 

 

 

Peshitta

 

3:14 So she lay at his feet until dawn; and she rose up early in the morning while it was dark, before one could recognize another. And she said to him, Let it not be known that I came down to you to the threshing floor.

 

3:15 And Boaz said to her, Spread your mantle; and she spread it, and he measured six measures of barley, lifted it up, and laid it on her back; and she went into the city.

 

Stones Translation

 

3:14 So she lay at his feet until the morning and she arose before one man could recognize another, for he said, let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.

 

3:15 And he said, Hold out the shawl that is upon you and grasp it. She held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and set it on her; then he went to the city.

 

KJV

 

3:14 And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.

 

3:15 Also he said, Bring the veil that [thou hast] upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six [measures] of barley, and laid [it] on her: and she went into the city.

 

Septuagint

Ruth 3:14 kai; ejkoimhvqh pro;" podw'n aujtou' e{w" prwiv hJ de; ajnevsth pro; tou' ejpignw'nai a[ndra to;n plhsivon aujtou' kai; ei\pen Boo" mh; gnwsqhvtw o{ti h\lqen gunh; eij" to;n a{lwna

Ruth 3:15 kai; ei\pen aujth'/ fevre to; perivzwma to; ejpavnw sou kai; ejkravthsen aujtov kai; ejmevtrhsen e}x kriqw'n kai;

ejpevqhken ejp! aujthvn kai; eijsh'lqen eij" th;n povlin

 

Ruth 3:14-15 And she lay at his feet until morning. Then she arose before a man could recognize his neighbor; and Boz said, Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor. 15 And he said to her, Bring the apron that is on you. And she held it, and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her; and she went into the city.

 

 

Peshat Level:

 

Targum

 

3:14 So she slept at his feet until morning. At dawn, before one could recognize another because of the darkness, she arose. Then he said to his servants: "Let it not be known to anyone that a woman came to the threshing floor."

 

3:15 [To Ruth he said:] "Take the scarf which you have there, and lay hold of it," he said. So she took hold of it. Then he measured six seah of barley and placed it upon her, whereupon strength to carry it was given to her from God. At that moment it was announced through the medium of prophecy, that six of the most righteous men were destined to descend from her, each one of whom would be blessed with six blessings -- David, Daniel and his companions, and the King-Messiah. Then Boaz went into the city.

 

Rashi

 

3:14 For he said Let it not be known This refers back to, and she arose before one man could recognize another. He hastened her to rise, for he said in his heart, It is not (befitting) my honor that it should be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.

 

3:15 Six barleycorns It is impossible to say (that this means) six seahs (a seah was a large measure) for it is not customary for a woman to carry (as much) as this load. Rather, (this means) actually six barleycorns. And he hinted to her (through this symbolic gift) that there was destined to come forth from her a son (the Messiah) who would be blessed with six blessings: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, (the spirit of) counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2).

 

 

Gemarah Level:

 

 

Midrash Level:

 

Midrash Rabbah

 

Ruth VII:1 AND SHE LAY AT HIS FEET UNTIL THE MORNING, AND SHE ROSE UP BEFORE ONE COULD DISCERN THE OTHER (III, 14). R. Berekiah said: BEFORE (BETEREM) is written with an extra vav teaching that she tarried with him for six hours, the numerical equivalent of the letter vav. FOR HE SAID: LET IT NOT BE KNOWN THAT THE WOMAN CAME TO THE THRESHING-FLOOR (ib.). To whom did he say this? R. Meir said: To his major- domo. R. Hunya and R. Jeremiah in the name of R. Samuel b. R. Isaac said: All that night Boaz lay stretched out upon his face, and prayed, Lord of the Universe, it is revealed and known to Thee that I did not touch her; so may it be Thy will that it be not known that the woman came to the threshing-floor, that the name of Heaven be not profaned through me.

 

Ruth VII:2 AND HE SAID: BRING THE MANTLE THAT IS UPON THEE (ib. 15). BRING (HABI) is written habah, teaching that he addressed her in the masculine, that none should notice her. AND HOLD IT. Teaches that she girded her loins like a man. AND HE MEASURED SIX MEASURES OF BARLEY, AND LAID IT ON HER. R. Simon said: Bar Kappara expounded in Sepphoris: Is it then the custom of a king to betroth a wife with six grains of barley? Or is it the custom of a woman to be betrothed with six seah of barley? R. Juda b. Simon said: The meaning is that as a reward for, AND HE MEASURED SIX BARLEYS AND LAID [THEM] ON HER, he was vouchsafed that there should arise from her six righteous men, each one of them possessing six outstanding virtues, viz. David, Hezekiah, Josiah, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, Daniel, and the Messiah. David, as it is said, Skilful in playing, and a mighty man of valor, and a man of war, and prudent in affairs, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him (I Sam. XVI, 18); Hezekiah, as it is said, That the government may be increased, and of peace there be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it, through justice and through righteousness (Isaiah IX, 6). And his name is called Pele- joez-el-gibbor-abi-ad-sar-shalom (ib. 5). Some observe that l'marbeh (be increased) is written with a closed mem. Josiah, as it is said, For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out its roots by the river, etc. (Jeremiah XVII, 8). Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, as it is said, Youths in whom there was no blemish, but fair to look on, and skilful in all wisdom, and skilful in knowledge, and discerning in thought, and such as had ability (Dan. I, 4). Daniel, as it is said, A surpassing spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and declaring of riddles, and loosing of knots, were found in the same Daniel (ib. v, 12). The Messiah, as it is said, And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, etc. (Isaiah XI, 2).

 

Ruth VII:3 AND HE WENT INTO THE CITY (III, 15). Surely it should have stated that she went to the city, yet it says AND HE WENT TO THE CITY? It teaches that he accompanied her lest one of the young men accost her.

 

 

Zohar Level:

 

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 111a In regard to the names Moab and Ammon, R. Jose made the following comment. The first-born daughter was boldfaced enough to call her son Moab, thereby proclaiming that he was meab, i.e. the issue of her own father; whereas THE YOUNGER SHE ALSO BORE A SON, AND CALLED HIS NAME BEN-AMMI: the mother out of delicacy gave him that name which being interpreted simply means a son of my people, without betraying who his father was. Further, the words AND HE KNEW NOT WHEN SHE LAY DOWN, NOR WHEN SHE AROSE, occur twice in this passage, first in reference to the younger daughter, and then in reference to the elder. In the former case the word b'qumah (when she arose) occurring in it is written plene, i.e. with the letter vau, which, moreover, is provided with a dot; this is to signify that heaven, as it were, was an accomplice to the act which ultimately was to bring about the birth of the Messiah. Contrariwise, the similar word in reference to the younger one is written defectively, without the letter vau, for the reason that none of her issue had any part in the Holy One, blessed be He. R. Simeon said: The underlying meaning of the words and he knew not is that he was unaware that the Holy One intended to raise from her King David and Solomon and all the other kings and, finally, the Messiah. R. Simeon said further: The expression when she arose has its counterpart in the words used by Ruth, and she rose up before one could discern another (Ruth III, 14). For it was on that day that Lot's daughter could be said to have risen to the height of her destiny in that Boaz became attached to one of her lineage in order to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, by means of which there were raised from her all those kings and the elect of Israel. Again, And he knew not when she lay down has its counterpart in the verse, and she lay at his feet until the morning (Ibid.).

 

 

Other Commentaries:

 

Meam Loez

 

3:14 She lay at his feet until the morning. Then she rose before a man could recognize his friend, for he said, Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.

 

That night, while Ruth lay at the feet of Boaz, deep emotion over her future kept her awake.

 

Boaz, too, was awake. If her visit became public knowledge and a judge of Israel suspected of immoral conduct, it would be a desecration of Gods name.

 

Our sages inform us that all night long he prostrated himself before God in prayer. Master of the universe! It is revealed and known to You that I did not touch her. Let it then not become known that the woman came to the threshing floor, and let not the name of Heaven be desecrated through me.

 

Then at an hour when it is too dark to recognize even a close friend, Ruth rose at his request and made her exit.

His servants, too, were urged to secrecy; hence, Let it not be known that the woman came!

 

It is noteworthy that Boaz was careful about being in seclusion with a woman, although the prohibition of yichud as such was first enacted by David and his court three generations later.

 

In a different vein, following the farmers custom of giving visitors to their fields some produce as a token gift, Boaz said, Shall it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor? And he measured out for her six barley-corns, as described in the following verse.

 

3:15 He said, Bring the kerchief that is upon you and hold it. She held it, and he measured six barley-corns and set it upon her. Then he went into the city.

 

To keep her visit to the threshing floor secret, Boaz asked Ruth to remove her kerchief and to carry home a heavy load of grain, so that anyone seeing her leave would take her for a man returning from work with his pickings. As a further precaution, he addressed her in the masculine form (some texts have vcv rather than the feminine hcv) so that if his servants overheard, they would think he was speaking to one of the paupers. In addition, instead of having the servants bring a sack and measure the grain into it, he asked her to bring a kerchief, and measured out the grain himself.

 

To make the work easier for him, she girded her loins with strength like a man (Proverbs 31:17), that is, held all four corners herself, so that he had only to measure.

 

Or else, he did not ask her actually to remove her kerchief, but to grasp two ends of the triangle, into which he then poured the grain.

 

According to a different interpretation, Boaz and Ruth both grasped the kerchief as a contractual gesturea sign that he undertook to settle her case. And he measured out a sixth (aa) of a seah, that is, one kab enough for one mealto demonstrate that she would eat only one more meal at home before entering the home of her husband.

 

Now in gematriya hcv, bring, has the value 17, and the last letters of lhkg rat ,jpynv, the kerchief that is upon you, are those of r,f, crown, to hint that out of her would come seventeen generations of kings after the erection of the Temple.

 

According to our sages, he measured six grains of barley. That is, for every sixth of a seah that he measured out, he set aside one grain to keep count, and then gave her the six grains as a sign that he had measured six times.

 

The six grains were also a sign that from Ruth would descend six tzaddikim, each possessing six outstanding attributes: David, Chananiah, Mishael, Azariah, Daniel, and the Messiah. David, for example, is described as skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in affairs, and comely of appearance, and the Lord is with him (1 Samuel 16:18). Perhaps it is these six virtues that are represented by the six-pointed Shield of David (magen david, sus idn).

 

Abraham Ibn Ezra

 

 

Malbim

 

14. Let it not be known. He commanded his attendant that he should not reveal to anyone that the woman who was in the field at night with his female servants came to the barn and remained there overnight.

 

15. He said [to her], "Bring the kerchief you are [wearing] and hold it [out]," and she held it [out]. He measured out six barley grains, and placed [them] upon her. It seems that this is equivalent to the measure of a kav which is a sixth of a se'ah. It seems to have been the custom to divide a large measure into six parts (as is mentioned in Yechezke1 45:13: And you will divide into six parts the ephah). This amount is referred to as a shesh. The law (see Pe'ah 8:7 and Yoreh De'ah 250:4) requires that a poor person who is traveling from place to place not be given less than a loaf of bread made from half a kav. Boaz therefore gave Naomi and Ruth a kav, which would provide breakfast for both of them. Boaz indicated by this that the matter would be resolved by the next day and that they would not require charity for their evening meal. And [then he] went to the city.

 

Alshich