Ruth 2:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 2:23, NIV: So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Ruth 2:23, ESV: So she kept close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Ruth 2:23, KJV: So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.

Ruth 2:23, NASB: So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz in order to glean until the end of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Ruth 2:23, NLT: So Ruth worked alongside the women in Boaz's fields and gathered grain with them until the end of the barley harvest. Then she continued working with them through the wheat harvest in early summer. And all the while she lived with her mother-in-law.

Ruth 2:23, CSB: Ruth stayed close to Boaz's female servants and gathered grain until the barley and the wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

What does Ruth 2:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse is the ending summary of chapter 2; Ruth 2:1–3 is the prologue. As the prologue states, Ruth gleans—scavenges dropped grain—from the fields of Boaz. Boaz has given her so many advantages that her first day of working resulted in almost thirty pounds, or thirteen kilograms, of barley grain.

Naomi and Ruth arrived in Bethlehem as the barley harvest started (Ruth 1:22). The barley harvest begins around Passover in the middle of April. Barley, in that era, was considered food for poor people and horses. After a month, the wheat is ready to harvest, culminating in the Festival of Weeks.

Two months of harvesting under Boaz's very generous conditions would have given the two women what they need for a year. Yet the end of the wheat harvest presents a problem: Ruth has no more excuses to see Boaz. Naomi's entire purpose for trying to send Ruth and Orpah home to their families was the hope they would find other husbands to give them "rest" (Ruth 1:9). Naomi thinks Boaz would fit the bill nicely, but she needs to move fast. When the harvest is complete, there's little chance for a well-respected landowner and a destitute foreign widow to meet (Ruth 3:1–5).