What does Ruth 3:2 mean?
ESV: Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor.
NIV: Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor.
NASB: Now then, is Boaz not our relative, with whose young women you were? Behold, he is winnowing barley at the threshing floor tonight.
CSB: Now isn't Boaz our relative? Haven't you been working with his female servants? This evening he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor.
NLT: Boaz is a close relative of ours, and he’s been very kind by letting you gather grain with his young women. Tonight he will be winnowing barley at the threshing floor.
KJV: And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.
NKJV: Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor.
Verse Commentary:
As Naomi begins her instructions to Ruth, she identifies Boaz in two ways. The first is as "our relative." As such, he would be responsible to buy Naomi's husband's field from the man Elimelech sold it to so that the land would stay in the clan and Naomi would not be destitute (Leviticus 25:25–28, 47–49).

The second is as the man who took great pains to protect Ruth as she worked. Ruth has spent the last two months in Boaz's fields gleaning grain. This meant scavenging dropped stalks from the hired workers. Typically, a gleaner would make no more than a modern person today who collected aluminum cans from the street. But Boaz was so impressed by Ruth's desire to provide for her mother-in-law that he told his reapers to leave extra stalks of grain for Ruth to pick up. He also fed her, arranged for her to take water with his reapers, and told her to stay close to the women he'd hired to bundle the stalks together, thus keeping her safe from any man who was tempted to harm a foreign widow (Ruth 2:8–9, 14–16).

The passage doesn't explain why Naomi thinks Boaz will be winnowing his grain this night. It might be because it's sufficiently windy. Or, because he has been using the communal threshing floor and town gossip has revealed he has more to do.

Winnowing is one step in processing the harvested grain. First, the grain is threshed—crushed by foot, a sledge, animal hooves, or heavy stones—to break the husks away from the kernels. Then the grain is winnowed: tossed in the air so the wind can blow away the lighter husks, leaving the kernels. The threshing season is a celebratory time, especially after such a long famine (Ruth 1:1). It's also a time for eating, drinking, and immorality. Likely, Naomi mentions how Boaz protected Ruth to reassure them both that Boaz will not do anything to harm the young woman.
Verse Context:
Ruth 3:1–5 highlights Naomi's plan. Ruth has been gleaning Boaz's fields throughout the barley and wheat harvests. She has more than enough to feed the two women for a year. But Naomi always wanted Ruth to find rest with a new husband (Ruth 1:9). She thinks Boaz will do nicely. She tells Ruth how to approach Boaz in a way that protects both their reputations. But Naomi doesn't quite understand that Ruth has other priorities.
Chapter Summary:
In Ruth 3, Naomi schemes to find Ruth a good husband, as was always her hope (Ruth 1:9). She tells Ruth how to propose to Boaz. When Boaz has fallen asleep after a long and joyful day of winnowing grain, Ruth is to gently awaken him and make her proposal. Ruth goes beyond Naomi's instruction, however. Boaz understands that Ruth expects him to buy Naomi's land and give her an heir to re-inherit it. He praises Ruth for her devotion to her mother-in-law, but there is another relative who is closer. In the next chapter, Boaz dispenses with his rival and marries Ruth.
Chapter Context:
Ruth 3 is the wind-up to the climax of the story. Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem from Moab two months prior. Boaz, a relative of Naomi's late husband, has allowed Ruth to harvest enough grain to last the women a year (Ruth 1—2). Now that their physical needs are addressed, Naomi wants Ruth married to Boaz. Ruth wants Boaz to provide an heir for Naomi. Boaz is again impressed with Ruth's self-sacrifice and agrees (Ruth 3). After negotiating with a closer relative, Boaz marries Ruth and gives Naomi a son. That son becomes King David's grandfather (Ruth 4).
Book Summary:
Though set in a time of violence and tragedy, the book of Ruth tells one of Scripture’s most uplifting stories. Naomi, an Israelite, leaves her home during a famine. While away, in Moab, her husband and sons die. Naomi convinces one of her Moabite daughters-in-law to leave her and seek a new life. The other, Ruth, refuses, declaring her love and loyalty to Naomi. When the pair return to Israel, they encounter Boaz. This man is both kind and moral; his treatment of Ruth secures Naomi’s future and becomes part of king David’s ancestry.
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