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Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest until he has settled the matter today.” Bible

“Then she said.” These are the last words of Naomi in the Book of Ruth, and they are factual but as comforting as she could be given the situation. Naomi does not give glowing words of hope about the future, but her confidence in Boaz is comforting. It often happens in life that people have to rely on one another, and being a reliable person is part of being a godly person, and God has a lot to say about being a faithful, reliable person (cp. Prov. 25:19).

“Sit still.” The Hebrew is just “sit,” but the idea is “sit still,” or “wait.”

“how the matter turns out.” A more literal translation would be “how the matter will fall,” which was her way of expressing how the matter will turn out. The source of the idiom is not known, and this is the only place in the Bible where the word “fall” is used to mean “turn out” or “result.” It is possible that the idiom came from the practice of using lots or dropping other things to determine the will of God (cp. Ezek. 21:21). This does not seem to be just helpless fatalism on the part of Naomi, but based on her telling Ruth to “sit still,” it seems to be based in Naomi’s perhaps newfound confidence that things will turn out well. Nevertheless, she expresses the situation well, because good outcomes are not guaranteed in life.

“for the man will not rest.” Naomi had picked up upon the concern that Boaz had for her and Ruth, and realized that he would deal with the matter of the kinsman-redeemer that day if at all possible.


Commentary for: Ruth 3:18