Ruth 2:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 2:14, NIV: At mealtime Boaz said to her, 'Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.' When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over.

Ruth 2:14, ESV: And at mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over.

Ruth 2:14, KJV: And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.

Ruth 2:14, NASB: And at mealtime Boaz said to her, 'Come here, that you may eat of the bread and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.' So she sat beside the reapers; and he served her roasted grain, and she ate and was satisfied and had some left.

Ruth 2:14, NLT: At mealtime Boaz called to her, 'Come over here, and help yourself to some food. You can dip your bread in the sour wine.' So she sat with his harvesters, and Boaz gave her some roasted grain to eat. She ate all she wanted and still had some left over.

Ruth 2:14, CSB: At mealtime Boaz told her, "Come over here and have some bread and dip it in the vinegar sauce." So she sat beside the harvesters, and he offered her roasted grain. She ate and was satisfied and had some left over.

What does Ruth 2:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Boaz has promised Ruth she can glean after his harvesters with no threat of harm or harassment (Ruth 2:8–13). Now, he invites her to lunch.

The reapers include men who cut the stalks of barley and women who follow behind, tying the stalks into sheaves. They will work all day for Boaz and be paid a modest amount. By telling Ruth to follow the young women, take water from the young men (Ruth 2:8–9), and join them for lunch, Boaz is exhibiting great kindness. This is somewhat like a restaurant owner finding a homeless person digging through his dumpster and treating her like a hired employee. In truth, he is treating her much better.

Boaz has no obligation to feed Ruth. He is following the law by letting her "glean"—allowing her to scavenge dropped grain— from his field (Leviticus 23:22). By feeding her, he is ensuring she has the energy to collect even more of the loose stalks. The roasted grain and sour wine dipping sauce, a typical meal for field workers even today, is more than she can eat; she takes some home to Naomi (Ruth 2:18).

To top it all off, after lunch Boaz pulls aside his male reapers. He tells them to intentionally pull some of the stalks from the bundles of grain for Ruth to collect (Ruth 2:16). By the end of the day, she will have gathered and threshed fifteen to thirty times more barley than Boaz's workers will take home.