So she lay at his feet until the morning, but arose before one could recognize another. And he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 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. And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her, saying, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said to me, ‘You must not go back empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’” She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.”
Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, “Turn aside, friend; sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. Then he said to the redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it and say, Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people.’ If you will redeem it, redeem it. But if you will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you.” And he said, “I will redeem it.”
Comment: Today we meet four major players in this situation.
- Ruth: Having heard the good news during the night of what sounded like a proposal of marriage Ruth returns to Naomi’s place. But before leaving the threshing floor she is given an extra six measures (?scoops) of barley. which she hands over to Naomi.
- Naomi: Reading between the lines, it seems as if she is pretty confident that her match-making skills are working. But she advises Ruth to wait for the definite offer.
- Boaz: As written earlier, smitten by this beautiful young lady, after warning his workers to say nothing about Ruth, Boaz hastens to what we would call the magistrate’s office. In that place it was to the main gate of the city where the elders sat to decide important issues. When his ‘competitor’ the forerunner with the right to buy back the land, passed through the gate, he took the opportunity to explain the situation to him in front of the elders.. However, he did hold back a little information.
- The first runner: We are not told his name but he had the first right to buy back Elimelech’s property. Boaz said ‘if you don’t want it, I do.’ It seemed a good real estate deal, so he quickly said ‘yes’. Boaz seems to have lost out on what he desired.
Prayer: Teach to me be patient when I could easily, but to no profit, be anxious and worry.