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Then he said, “May you be blessed by Yahweh, my daughter! You have shown more devotion at the end than at the beginning in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. Bible

“May you be blessed by Yahweh, my daughter!” The Hebrew can also be translated as many versions do, “Blessed are you of Yahweh,” but it seems more likely that Boaz is not stating here that Ruth is blessed, but rather saying “May you be blessed.” Boaz’s statement allows the reader to breathe a sigh of relief and opens the door for marriage for Ruth and protection for her and Naomi. Boaz is obviously looking favorably upon Ruth and even if he doesn’t marry her he understands what she needs and will assist her in getting it. The other possibility (a very possible alternative, actually), was that Boaz would be scandalized at Ruth’s bold and unorthodox approach and would have driven her from the threshing floor. If that had occurred, the Book of Ruth would read quite differently.

“You have shown more devotion at the end than at the beginning.” This powerful statement shows us that Boaz was not in some “I just woke up” muddled state of mind, but was thinking and analyzing very clearly. He immediately recognizes the boldness and risk Ruth was taking in what she was doing, and makes the statement that this act of hers took more “devotion” than what she had done “at the beginning,” most likely a referral to what Ruth had done in leaving her family and the land of her birth and coming to Israel with Naomi. The word translated “devotion.” is hesed, which is generally a covenant word that indicates the kind of faithful and loving behavior that people in a covenant relationship show. [For more on hesed, see commentary on Ruth 1:8].

“you did not go after young men.” This implies that Boaz was quite old. But even if old he was capable. He traveled back and forth to his fields, diligently cared for his land and crops, and was obviously still very clear-headed in his thinking.


Commentary for: Ruth 3:10