Ruth 2:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 2:17, NIV: So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.

Ruth 2:17, ESV: So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.

Ruth 2:17, KJV: So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.

Ruth 2:17, NASB: So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.

Ruth 2:17, NLT: So Ruth gathered barley there all day, and when she beat out the grain that evening, it filled an entire basket.

Ruth 2:17, CSB: So Ruth gathered grain in the field until evening. She beat out what she had gathered, and it was about twenty-six quarts of barley.

What does Ruth 2:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When Ruth had gone out that morning, she hoped to find a man who would be kind to her while she tried to scavenge barley for herself and her mother-in-law, Naomi. She happened upon a field owned by Boaz. He had heard of her sacrifice and lovingkindness toward Naomi. Boaz provided much more than permission (Ruth 2:1–16).

First, he told her to glean only from his fields where he and his female servants could protect her and his male servants could provide her with water. Then he fed her a lunch so big she couldn't finish it. Finally, he told his male servants to honor her and to even pull stalks of grain out of their bundles so she would be able to collect more (Ruth 2:8–16).

It is possible that Ruth has waited to glean until Boaz gave her permission (Ruth 2:7), meaning she hasn't worked a complete day. She collects her own bundles and sets them aside. At the end of the day, she takes them to the threshing floor and "beats" them—a technical term for threshing a smaller amount of grain—with a curved stick or wooden hammer. By the time she is finished, she has removed the grain from the stalks and the husk from the kernels. She probably gathers the kernels in her scarf or shawl to carry them home (Ruth 3:15).

Ruth finishes the day with nearly thirty pounds, or thirteen kilograms, of grain. A male Babylonian worker would bring home payment of one or two pounds, or about a kilogram, of grain a day. If Ruth can keep up this rate through the barley and wheat harvests, she will have enough to provide for herself and Naomi for a year.