2008-08-31 - Ruth: Boaz's Provision
Installment 21 ~ Chapter 2, Part 7
Chapter 2, Verses 14-18: There seems to be a change in Boazs view of Ruth. He has become enamored with her. From an older man concerned in a fatherly way for a young woman who has fallen under his protection, he now seems impressed in a way that causes him to want to spend time with her. So he invites her to dinner.
Next he instructs his men to make sure she gets at much as possible from her gleaning, even to the point of making sure some of the sheaves, not just the leavings, are placed in her path. And if, by chance, she takes more than she is supposed to then they are not to mention it, so she wont be embarrassed. So Ruth has a very successful day, working in the fields.
Her gleanings measured about an ephah of barley, about one-half to two-thirds a bushel (also estimated as twenty-nine to fifty pounds). Such a large quantity could not have been acquired in a day by an ordinary gleaner. It shows how Boazs instructions to his reapers aided Ruth and also how diligently Ruth had worked. Since the ration of a male worker in ancient Mari was about one to two pounds of grain per day, Ruth probably gathered enough to last Naomi and her for several weeks. 9
In addition to the barley she also brought Naomi a doggy bag. It certainly was an amazing day. Going out in the morning, Ruths expectations were most likely a long day in the fields, bringing back a small amount of food for a large amount of labor. But Ruth, and for that matter Naomi, werent aware of God working in the background. Instead of limited results, Ruth found a protector who was looking out for her and Naomis needs. He provided the opportunity for Ruth to gather enough to last the family for a few weeks. But of even more importance, she found someone whose interest in her was beyond just the family ties. But more of that next time.
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