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When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did it go, my daughter?”

And she told her all that the man had done for her. Bible

“How did it go, my daughter?” The Hebrew text is idiomatic, literally, “Who are you, my daughter.” The Hebrew text, while idiomatic, shows a deep grasp of humanity, because “who” we are changes with the circumstances with our life. If things are going well for us, then we are calm, peaceful, happy, and tend to be giving and forgiving. But if things are not going well for us, then we tend to be more self-centered and could be angry, unhappy, etc. Although it has been suggested that Naomi said “Who are you” because it was still dark and Naomi did not recognize her, that seems hardly credible. Naomi sent Ruth to be with Boaz, and now Ruth returns, and there is very little doubt that Naomi spent the night without sleep, waiting and worrying about the situation. She was looking for Ruth and would not have mistaken her. Even though the literal “who are you” is an idiom meaning something such as “how did it go,” the idiom arose out of the truth that people are different in different situations.

“all that the man had done for her.” The use of “the man” here is purposeful. Both Naomi and Ruth knew Boaz well by this time, and it seems natural that Ruth would have used his name. But at this point in the record, Ruth and Naomi need a “man” who can take them under his wing and make sure they are cared for, so in this sentence it is more important to emphasize that a “man” had promised Ruth much, and emphasize his gender, than use his name and say, “Boaz.”


Commentary for: Ruth 3:16