Ruth 2:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 2:15, NIV: As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, 'Let her gather among the sheaves and don't reprimand her.

Ruth 2:15, ESV: When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.

Ruth 2:15, KJV: And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:

Ruth 2:15, NASB: When she got up to glean, Boaz commanded his servants, saying, 'Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not insult her.

Ruth 2:15, NLT: When Ruth went back to work again, Boaz ordered his young men, 'Let her gather grain right among the sheaves without stopping her.

Ruth 2:15, CSB: When she got up to gather grain, Boaz ordered his young men, "Let her even gather grain among the bundles, and don't humiliate her.

What does Ruth 2:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Boaz has been exceedingly kind to Ruth. He has told her she may glean from his field without fear of harassment and drink from the water provided by his servants, and he even fed her lunch (Ruth 2:8–14). Now that she has eaten, she wants to get to work.

Boaz holds back his male reapers from following her. Reaping is done in three stages. First a group of men walk through the field in rows, gathering stalks in their hands or the crooks of their elbows and cutting them free with a sickle in the opposite hand. Then women gather the bundles and tie them into sheaves. Later, workers will return and carry the bundles to the threshing floor.

After the women tie the bundles, gleaners are allowed to scour the field for stray stalks. God specifically ordered the Israelites that they were not to go over their fields a second time; the missed grain is reserved for the poor and the sojourners (Leviticus 23:22). Not much would be left, however. Scholars like Robert L. Hubbard compare this to collecting aluminum cans and living off the scrap return.

"Reproach" can have several different meanings. The parallel usage is when David points out to Nabal that his men guarded Nabal's shepherds and did not harm them (1 Samuel 25:7). Scholars interpret the word to mean shame, injure, or rob. Considering the protection God gives engaged women in Deuteronomy 22:25, the meaning is much more serious. As an unengaged foreign widow without a father, Ruth has almost no legal rights; one of the gleaners could rape her and then assume her as his wife or discard her in disgrace. With hired workers keeping track, she's under some level of protection. As with his gleaning accommodations, Boaz will follow the spirit of the law, not just the letter.