Ruth 2:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 2:8, NIV: So Boaz said to Ruth, 'My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me.

Ruth 2:8, ESV: Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women.

Ruth 2:8, KJV: Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:

Ruth 2:8, NASB: Then Boaz said to Ruth, 'Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but join my young women here.

Ruth 2:8, NLT: Boaz went over and said to Ruth, 'Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don't go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field.

Ruth 2:8, CSB: Then Boaz said to Ruth, "Listen, my daughter. Don't go and gather grain in another field, and don't leave this one, but stay here close to my female servants.

What does Ruth 2:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Ruth loves Naomi. Naomi provided her with a family, a loving mother, and introduced her to the true God. Those gifts inspired Ruth to leave her home and birth-family behind and follow Naomi to Israel. Even if she must be homeless and glean loose barley after the harvesters, Ruth knows her place is with Naomi (Ruth 1).

Boaz has heard of Ruth's devotion to her mother-in-law. He feels led to provide Ruth with even more. She has come to his field to ask permission to scavenge leftover grain (Ruth 1:22 2:2–7). He readily agrees but adds more instructions: she is not to glean in any other fields. This is not meant as a restriction, but as a safeguard. Boaz does not want her to go to a field where he cannot command the harvesters to leave her in peace (Ruth 2:9).

She is to keep close or "join" his female servants. After the men cut the stalks of barley and lay them on the ground, the women come along and bind them into bundles. Ruth is to follow close behind the women and pick up what they leave loose.

When the team moves to another field, Ruth is to follow. When they stop to drink, she is to join them (Ruth 2:9). Boaz gives Ruth every benefit of being an employee, yet everything she gathers she gets to keep. In this way, he ensures she can gather more than any gleaner could hope for (Ruth 2:15–17).

Here, Boaz tells Ruth to "listen." Next, he will "charge" his young men. Boaz is an important man and expects to be obeyed for the good of others.