Ruth 3:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 3:6, NIV: So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.

Ruth 3:6, ESV: So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her.

Ruth 3:6, KJV: And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.

Ruth 3:6, NASB: So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her.

Ruth 3:6, NLT: So she went down to the threshing floor that night and followed the instructions of her mother-in-law.

Ruth 3:6, CSB: She went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law had charged her to do.

What does Ruth 3:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After watching her daughter-in-law glean in Boaz's fields the last two months, Naomi has decided that the two should get married. She has given Ruth specific instructions: replace her mourning clothes with clothes more appropriate for a woman who is ready to marry, go to the threshing floor, wait until Boaz has finished threshing and has celebrated the harvest with food and wine, find out where he is sleeping, and uncover his feet so he will gently wake up (Ruth 3:1–5). Ruth follows the instructions to the letter.

Usually, threshing floors are on a hilltop to catch the wind; the threshing floor of Araunah was on Mt. Moriah, later the temple Mount (2 Samuel 24:18). Bethlehem is higher than most of the surrounding area, however, so apparently their threshing floor was downhill.

"Threshing" is the act of releasing the grain kernel from the husk. It can be done in several ways, but typically by spreading the grain on the ground, placing heaving stones on a piece of wood, and having an ox or donkey pull the wood across the grain. Boaz's barley has already been threshed because Naomi tells Ruth he is ready to winnow (Ruth 3:2). Winnowing is when the grain is tossed in the air, allowing the wind to blow away the lighter husks. The kernels fall to the ground where they stay until dry.

Threshing and winnowing are times of great celebration, this one especially since it signals the end of a great famine (Ruth 1:1). When the work is done, people will be eating and drinking—and likely indulging in prostitution (Hosea 9:1). Ruth must walk a fine line. She needs to talk to Boaz in a way that offers privacy, but which also ensures they're not completely alone and open to suspicion. As Naomi instructed, Ruth hides until the party breaks up and Boaz retreats to find a place to sleep among the piles of grain.