Ruth 2:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 2:13, NIV: May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,' she said. 'You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant--though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.'

Ruth 2:13, ESV: Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.”

Ruth 2:13, KJV: Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.

Ruth 2:13, NASB: Then she said, 'I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not like one of your female servants.'

Ruth 2:13, NLT: 'I hope I continue to please you, sir,' she replied. 'You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.'

Ruth 2:13, CSB: "My lord," she said, "I have found favor with you, for you have comforted and encouraged your servant, although I am not like one of your female servants."

What does Ruth 2:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Early in the morning, Ruth set out to find a landowner who would treat her kindly as she scavenged grain from the fields (Ruth 2:2). When she met Boaz, she received far more than she hoped. He made sure she had a safe place to work by insisting she harvest only on his land. He even said that when his male servants drew water, she was to help herself, even though drawing water should have been her job, as a female foreigner (Ruth 2:8–9).

Ruth never could have expected such treatment from such a "worthy man" in Israel (Ruth 2:1). He has explained that he is only responding to the love and self-sacrifice she has shown her Israelite mother-in-law (Ruth 2:11–12). Ruth still doesn't believe she deserves it.

The tense of "I have found favor" might also be translated, "May I continue to find favor," as in the NIV. Ruth's use of the word "lord" is equivalent to our use of "sir;" she is not calling Boaz Yahweh. "Kindly" is not related to hesed, one of the themes of Ruth. In other places, the Hebrew word is translated "encouragingly" (2 Chronicles 30:22) or "tenderly" (Isaiah 40:2).

Ruth's use of "servant" is specific. The term is from the Hebrew word sip̱ha. If she had used ʾāma, she would be identifying herself as a slave woman available to be a wife or concubine of a free man. The word sip̱ḥa, however, denotes the lowest servant who is not even worth the master's notice. Parallels to this would be the western fairy tale's "scullery maid" or the untouchable Dalits of the Indian caste system.