Ruth 2:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 2:6, NIV: The overseer replied, 'She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi.

Ruth 2:6, ESV: And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab.

Ruth 2:6, KJV: And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:

Ruth 2:6, NASB: And the servant in charge of the reapers replied, 'She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the land of Moab.

Ruth 2:6, NLT: And the foreman replied, 'She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi.

Ruth 2:6, CSB: The servant answered, "She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the territory of Moab.

What does Ruth 2:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Boaz is an influential man in the town of Bethlehem. He is descended from the most prominent clan of the greatest tribe (Ruth 4:20–21; Numbers 2:3). He has weathered a ten-year famine and probably several battles with Canaanites and Philistines who do not wish to give their land up so easily (Ruth 1:1, 4; 2:2). He has come from town to look over his barley field which his hired hands are harvesting (Ruth 2:4).

As he approaches his manager, he notices a young woman whom he does not recognize. His manager is a free Israelite Boaz hired to supervise the harvesters. He has a similar job as Ziba, King Saul's estate manager (2 Samuel 9:2). Like Ziba, he knows what's going on.

Boaz asks his manager, "Whose young woman is this?" (Ruth 2:5). He wants to know what man she belongs to, whether as a daughter or servant. But Ruth doesn't belong to a man; her father-in-law and husband are dead, and she left her father in her home country (Ruth 1:1–5, 16–18). The manager identifies her as a Moabitess.

Moabites did not have a good reputation among the Israelites. Although they are related to Israelites through Abraham's nephew Lot, their forefather was born after Lot drunkenly impregnated his daughter (Genesis 19:30–38). After wandering in the wilderness, as the Israelites marched toward the river ford east of Jericho, the Moabites hired Balaam to curse them. When that didn't work, the Moabites took Balaam's advice and sent their women to seduce the Israelite men, taking them from their wives and their God (Numbers 22:1—25:9; 31:16).

In response to their lack of hospitality to their kinsmen, God established harsh repercussions. No Israelite was to show a Moabite favor (Deuteronomy 23:3–6). In addition, even though an Edomite or an Egyptian could become the equivalent of a naturalized citizen after three generations, Moabites must wait until the eleventh (Deuteronomy 23:3–8).

Despite the bad reputation of Moab, all of Bethlehem knows of the young woman who accompanied their Naomi home from her exile in Moab. The harvest manager is quick to point out Ruth's integrity that morning. Even more importantly, Boaz has heard of her. He is so grateful for her lovingkindness to Naomi that he quickly arranges to make sure her time gleaning will be safe and very profitable (Ruth 2:7–16).