What does Ruth 3:5 mean?
ESV: And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”
NIV: I will do whatever you say,' Ruth answered.
NASB: And she said to her, 'All that you say I will do.'
CSB: So Ruth said to her, "I will do everything you say."
NLT: I will do everything you say,' Ruth replied.
KJV: And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.
NKJV: And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.”
Verse Commentary:
Ruth has worked in Boaz's fields for two months. The harvest is over, and she will have little chance to spend time with him in town as he is a wealthy landowner of some renown, and she is a Moabite widow. Ruth's mother-in-law, Naomi, thinks Boaz would make Ruth a good husband. But their social standings and Ruth's complete lack of a dowry make it impossible for Naomi to arrange the marriage through normal channels.

Instead, Naomi tells Ruth to take off her widow's clothes and dress like a woman looking to marry. After Boaz has celebrated a successful harvest and fallen asleep, surrounded by sleeping witnesses for both privacy and propriety, Ruth is to approach him carefully. Finally, Naomi instructs Ruth to wake up Boaz by uncovering his feet to the cool night air. (Ruth 3:1–4). Ruth agrees.

Naomi doesn't seem to realize that Ruth has her own agenda. Naomi had casually mentioned that Boaz is a kinsman-redeemer of her late husband's (Ruth 2:20). That means Boaz may be responsible for buying Elimelech's land which would provide for Naomi's needs. Ruth intends to challenge Boaz to fulfill that responsibility (Ruth 3:9). But she wants more. She wants a levirate marriage. By the law, a widow could marry her late husband's brother to bear a son in her husband's name (Deuteronomy 25:5–6). Boaz isn't required to do this; he's not Elimelech's brother, and Ruth isn't even blood-related to Elimelech.

But Boaz agrees (Ruth 3:13). Within a year, Naomi will get her wish of seeing Ruth successfully married. But she'll also hold a baby boy in her lap, removing the shame of her inability to provide her husband with an heir (Ruth 4:13–17).
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.
Accessed 4/24/2024 5:53:43 PM
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