Ruth 2:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 2:12, NIV: May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.'

Ruth 2:12, ESV: The LORD repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”

Ruth 2:12, KJV: The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Ruth 2:12, NASB: May the LORD reward your work, and may your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.'

Ruth 2:12, NLT: May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.'

Ruth 2:12, CSB: May the Lord reward you for what you have done, and may you receive a full reward from the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."

What does Ruth 2:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Boaz has heard of Ruth's selfless love for her mother-in-law Naomi. In a partial repayment, he has provided a safe environment where Ruth can glean barley for their food (Ruth 2:8–9). Soon, he will feed her a lunch too big for her to eat and tell his workers that they are to intentionally leave behind stalks for her to gather (Ruth 2:14–16). By the end of the day, Ruth will take home between fifteen and thirty times more than Boaz's employees (Ruth 2:17).

Boaz has just met Ruth, and he is thinking about what he can do for Ruth as a landowner. He leaves the rest to God, knowing God will do far more than he could. Boaz addresses God as Yahweh, using the name God gave to His covenant people. Naomi had used both "Almighty" and "Yahweh" when describing how God had made her bitter, illustrating God's power and inferring He had broken His covenant with her (Ruth 1:20–21). Boaz recognizes that Ruth has forsaken the gods of her people and fully converted to Yahweh-worship (Ruth 1:16). God promises to care for sojourners, orphans, and widows—which certainly includes Ruth (Deuteronomy 10:17–19). Adding her loving treatment of Naomi, Boaz judges that Yahweh intends to repay Ruth.

Boaz uses the traditional metaphor of God's protective wings. When describing God's rescue of Israel from slavery in Egypt, Moses said, "Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone guided him, no foreign god was with him" (Deuteronomy 32:11).

But Ruth has a sense of humor. When the harvest is over and the threshing is finished, Ruth will challenge Boaz to be the agent by which God provides His blessing. She will meet him at the threshing floor and, while he is sleeping, pull aside the edges or "wings" of his cloak to wake him. She will then say, "Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer" (Ruth 3:7–9). As a relative of Ruth's father-in-law Elimelech, Boaz has the responsibility to buy his land and provide a living for Naomi. Ruth wants more. Even though Boaz is not Elimelech's brother and is not strictly responsible, Ruth wants him to provide an heir for Naomi.

Boaz will tell her that Ruth coming with Naomi to Bethlehem is only the first kindness. The second is her proposal to him. Not that her kindness is to him, but that instead of marrying someone younger who could provide Ruth with a big family, Ruth instead chooses a man who can provide a family for Naomi and her late husband and sons (Ruth 3:10).