Ruth 3:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 3:1, NIV: One day Ruth's mother-in-law Naomi said to her, 'My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for.

Ruth 3:1, ESV: Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you?

Ruth 3:1, KJV: Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?

Ruth 3:1, NASB: Then her mother-in-law Naomi said to her, 'My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may go well for you?

Ruth 3:1, NLT: One day Naomi said to Ruth, 'My daughter, it's time that I found a permanent home for you, so that you will be provided for.

Ruth 3:1, CSB: Ruth's mother-in-law Naomi said to her, "My daughter, shouldn't I find rest for you, so that you will be taken care of?

What does Ruth 3:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The harvests are complete, and the women have what they need as far as food. But soon Ruth will lose her opportunity to interact with Boaz. Naomi wants more for Ruth than "enough." She wants the young woman to find "rest" in a new family with a new husband (Ruth 1:9). When they were still in Moab, Naomi wanted her daughters-in-law to return to their mothers and find local husbands. Ruth gave up her family and her nation to follow Naomi and her God (Ruth 1:16–18). Given that Ruth was now a widowed Moabitess, it would have seemed unlikely for her to find a Jewish husband. But Naomi realizes Boaz, the man who made it possible for Ruth to collect so much grain, might be willing. It is interesting to note that Boaz's mother was Rahab (Matthew 1:5), who was also a foreign woman who recognized the truth about God and chose to help His people and follow Him (Joshua 2:1–21; 6:22–25).

Bible scholar Robert L. Hubbard explains that "'That it may be well with you'" is a common idiom associated with attractive benefits: bridal happiness (Jeremiah 7:23), security (Jeremiah 42:6), long life (Genesis 12:13; Deuteronomy 4:40; 5:16, 33), material prosperity (Jeremiah 40:9), and many children (Deuteronomy. 6:3)."

There's no indication that Naomi is thinking of a levirate marriage for Ruth. Levirate marriage is when a widow marries her late husband's brother to produce an heir for the deceased man. In this context, Naomi would have to marry Elimelech's brother, but Naomi is past child-bearing age, and Elimelech doesn't seem to have any brothers. Ruth could marry her late husband's brother, but he, too, died (Ruth 1:5). Boaz, as a more-distant relative, is not required to provide either with an heir. Naomi is thinking about Ruth and her future, not Elimelech's legacy.

That she can even do that is a miracle. Naomi lost her husband and two sons in Moab and left behind one cherished daughter-in-law (Ruth 1:1–5, 14). When she arrived in Bethlehem, she blamed God for her tragedies and accused Him of breaking His covenant oath with her (Ruth 1:20–21). Her focus on blessing Ruth is evidence that her faith in Yahweh has been restored.