Ruth 3:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 3:15, NIV: He also said, 'Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.' When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he went back to town.

Ruth 3:15, ESV: And he said, “Bring the garment you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley and put it on her. Then she went into the city.

Ruth 3:15, KJV: Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.

Ruth 3:15, NASB: Again he said, 'Give me the shawl that is on you and hold it.' So she held it, and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her. Then she went into the city.

Ruth 3:15, NLT: Then Boaz said to her, 'Bring your cloak and spread it out.' He measured six scoops of barley into the cloak and placed it on her back. Then he returned to the town.

Ruth 3:15, CSB: And he told Ruth, "Bring the shawl you're wearing and hold it out." When she held it out, he shoveled six measures of barley into her shawl, and she went into the town.

What does Ruth 3:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Ruth has asked Boaz to marry her. Boaz wants to, but as Ruth wants an heir for Naomi, and there is a man who is more closely related, Boaz must confer with that man, first (Ruth 3:9–13). Ruth has been gleaning in Boaz's fields for the last two months, first barley and then wheat (Ruth 2:23). Between Boaz's generosity and her own industry, she likely has enough grain to provide food for herself and her mother-in-law for the year.

If the other man agrees to marry Ruth, Boaz won't have an opportunity to bless Ruth anymore. If the man refuses to marry Ruth, Boaz may want to offer Naomi a dowery for Ruth. Either way, Boaz is so impressed by the sacrifices Ruth has made for Naomi (Ruth 1:16–17; 2:11–12) that he continues to take the responsibility to make sure the women have what they need.

Scholars are unclear as to what a "measure" is. It can't be an ephah, because that would make Ruth's load weigh more than a typical person. It's more likely a seah, which would make the entire load between sixty and one hundred pounds, or between twenty-seven and forty-five kilograms. The "garment" is most likely Ruth's shawl.