2:2 One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go 1 to the fields so I can gather 2 grain behind whoever permits me to do so.” 3 Naomi 4 replied, “You may go, my daughter.”
2:13 She said, “You really are being kind to me, 11 sir, 12 for you have reassured 13 and encouraged 14 me, your servant, 15 even though I am 16 not one of your servants!” 17
1 tn The cohortative here (“Let me go”) expresses Ruth’s request. Note Naomi’s response, in which she gives Ruth permission to go to the field.
2 tn Following the preceding cohortative, the cohortative with vav conjunctive indicates purpose/result.
3 tn Heb “anyone in whose eyes I may find favor” (ASV, NIV similar). The expression אֶמְצָא־חֵן בְּעֵינָיו (’emtsa’-khen bÿ’enayv, “to find favor in the eyes of [someone]”) appears in Ruth 2:2, 10, 13. It is most often used when a subordinate or servant requests permission for something from a superior (BDB 336 s.v. חֵן). Ruth will play the role of the subordinate servant, seeking permission from a landowner, who then could show benevolence by granting her request to glean in his field behind the harvest workers.
4 tn Heb “she”; the referent (Naomi) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
5 tn Heb “she”; the referent (Ruth) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
6 tn Heb “she fell upon her face and bowed to the ground” (KJV, NASB similar).
7 tn Heb “Why do I find favor in your eyes…?” The expression מָצַא חֵן בְּעֵינֶי (matsa’ khen bÿ’eney, “to find favor in the eyes of [someone]”) is often characterized by the following features: (1) A subordinate or servant is requesting permission for something from a superior (master, owner, king). (2) The granting of the request is not a certainty but dependent on whether or not the superior is pleased with the subordinate to do so. (3) The granting of the request by the superior is an act of kindness or benevolence; however, it sometimes reciprocates loyalty previously shown by the subordinate to the superior (e.g., Gen 30:27; 32:6; 33:8, 10, 15; 34:11; 39:4; 47:25, 29; 50:4; Num 32:5; Deut 24:1; 1 Sam 1:18; 16:22; 20:3, 29; 27:3; 2 Sam 14:22; 16:4; 1 Kgs 11:19; Esth 5:8; 7:3; BDB 336 s.v. חֵן). While Boaz had granted her request for permission to glean in his field, she is amazed at the degree of kindness he had shown – especially since she had done nothing, in her own mind, to merit such a display. However, Boaz explains that she had indeed shown kindness to him indirectly through her devotion to Naomi (v. 11).
8 tn Heb “Why do I find favor in your eyes by [you] recognizing me.” The infinitive construct with prefixed לְ (lamed) here indicates manner (“by”).
9 tn Heb “and I am a foreigner.” The disjunctive clause (note the pattern vav + subject + predicate nominative) here has a circumstantial (i.e., concessive) function (“even though”).
10 sn The similarly spelled Hebrew terms נָכַר (nakhar, “to notice”) and נָכְרִי (nokhriy, “foreigner”) in this verse form a homonymic wordplay. This highlights the unexpected nature of the attentiveness and concern Boaz displayed to Ruth.
11 tn Heb “I am finding favor in your eyes.” In v. 10, where Ruth uses the perfect, she simply states the fact that Boaz is kind. Here the Hebrew text switches to the imperfect, thus emphasizing the ongoing attitude of kindness displayed by Boaz. Many English versions treat this as a request: KJV “Let me find favour in thy sight”; NAB “May I prove worthy of your kindness”; NIV “May I continue to find favor in your eyes.”
12 tn Heb “my master”; KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “my lord.”
13 tn Or “comforted” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT).
14 tn Heb “spoken to the heart of.” As F. W. Bush points out, the idiom here means “to reassure, encourage” (Ruth, Esther [WBC], 124).
15 tn Ruth here uses a word (שִׁפְחָה, shifkhah) that describes the lowest level of female servant (see 1 Sam 25:41). Note Ruth 3:9 where she uses the word אָמָה (’amah), which refers to a higher class of servant.
16 tn The imperfect verbal form of הָיָה (hayah) is used here. F. W. Bush shows from usage elsewhere that the form should be taken as future (Ruth, Esther [WBC], 124-25).
17 tn The disjunctive clause (note the pattern vav [ו] + subject + verb) is circumstantial (or concessive) here (“even though”).