Ruth 3:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 3:13, NIV: Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the LORD lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.'

Ruth 3:13, ESV: Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the LORD lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”

Ruth 3:13, KJV: Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.

Ruth 3:13, NASB: Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the LORD lives. Lie down until morning.'

Ruth 3:13, NLT: Stay here tonight, and in the morning I will talk to him. If he is willing to redeem you, very well. Let him marry you. But if he is not willing, then as surely as the LORD lives, I will redeem you myself! Now lie down here until morning.'

Ruth 3:13, CSB: Stay here tonight, and in the morning, if he wants to redeem you, that's good. Let him redeem you. But if he doesn't want to redeem you, as the Lord lives, I will. Now lie down until morning."

What does Ruth 3:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Ruth has obeyed Naomi by proposing marriage to Boaz, but her intentions differ from those of her mother-in-law. Naomi wants Ruth to have a stable marriage. Ruth wants Naomi to have an heir for her late husband and sons. Boaz is a relative of Naomi's husband, so he is in the line to redeem the family farmland. In addition, Ruth asks him to marry her and provide a son who will redeem the family line (Ruth 3:1–9).

This is unusual; the concepts of kinsman-redeemer and levirate marriage aren't directly related (Leviticus 25:25–28, 47–49; Deuteronomy 25:5–6). Boaz does not strictly fit the qualifications for a levirate marriage as he is a more distant relation. In fact, there is a closer relation, although still not close enough to be required to give Naomi an heir (Ruth 3:12).

Boaz understands that Ruth's proposal isn't because she necessarily wants to be married to him—an old man. It's all for Naomi. So, he promises to present Ruth's proposal to this nearer relative. If he accepts, Ruth still gets what she wants. If he doesn't, Boaz is more than willing to step up. He will not only redeem the land, but he will also redeem Ruth.

Boaz and Ruth are talking in the middle of the night on the community's threshing floor. Typically, threshing and winnowing were times of great celebration. Between the food and wine and their desire to protect the grain, Boaz's servants are likely sleeping close to the couple. If someone sees Ruth, they will assume she has come to have sex with Boaz as prostitution is common at the threshing floor (Hosea 9:1). It's dark; there were no streetlights in that era. Even if Ruth made it past the sleepers without being seen, she'd still have to find her way back into town, through the streets, to Naomi's house without coming across men who would not be so honorable. Boaz, always mindful of her safety (Ruth 2:8–9), tells her to "remain"—the same word as "lodge" in Ruth 1:16—until there's enough light to see and the carousers are in their beds.