Then he said, “Hold out the shawl 1 you are wearing 2 and grip it tightly.” As she held it tightly, he measured out about sixty pounds 3 of barley into the shawl and put it on her shoulders. Then he 4 went into town,
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1 tn Or “cloak” (so NAB, NRSV, NLT); CEV “cape.” The Hebrew noun occurs only here and in Isa 3:22.
2 tn Heb “which [is] upon you”; NIV, NRSV “you are wearing.”
3 tn Heb “and she gripped it tightly and he measured out six of barley and placed upon her.” The unit of measure is not indicated in the Hebrew text, although it would probably have been clear to the original hearers of the account. Six ephahs, the equivalent of 180-300 pounds, is clearly too heavy, especially if carried in a garment. Six omers (an omer being a tenth of an ephah) seems too little, since this would have amounted to six-tenths of an ephah, less than Ruth had gleaned in a single day (cf. 2:17). Thus a seah (one third of an ephah) may be in view here; six seahs would amount to two ephahs, about 60 pounds (27 kg). See R. L. Hubbard, Jr., Ruth (NICOT), 222, and F. W. Bush, Ruth, Esther (WBC), 178.
4 tc The MT preserves the 3rd person masculine singular form וַיָּבֹא (vayyavo’, “then he went”; cf. ASV, NAB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, NLT), while many medieval