“It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” This would protect both Boaz’s and Ruth’s reputation. In the same way that thieves would try to steal from a threshing floor (see commentary on Ruth 3:4), prostitutes knew that the men at the threshing floor were generally away from their families and could pay right away in grain. So it was not uncommon to see a prostitute at the threshing floor (Hos. 9:1), and neither Boaz nor Ruth needed that accusation hanging over their heads. The Hebrew text reads “the woman” while the Septuagint text reads “a woman.” It is possible that “the woman” is a copyists error, or it is possible that by “the woman” Boaz meant Ruth and that people had taken notice of his concern for Ruth and Naomi.