*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.
A kinsman - More literally "an acquaintance"; here (and in the feminine, Ruth 3:2) denoting the person with whom one is intimately acquainted, one's near relation. The next kinsman of Ruth 2:20, etc. גאל gā'al, is a wholly different word.
Boaz - Commonly taken to mean, "strength is in him" (compare 1-Kings 7:21).
A mighty man of wealth - We have already seen that some suppose Boaz to have been one of the judges of Israel; he was no doubt a man of considerable property.
And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of (a) wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name [was] Boaz.
(a) Or power, both in virtue, authority and riches.
And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's,.... That was her kinsman by her husband's side, who now lived at Bethlehem; and yet it does not appear that Naomi made any application to him for assistance in her circumstances, though well known to her, as the word used signifies; which might arise from her modesty, and being loath to be troublesome to him, especially as he was a relation, not of her own family, but of her husband's; but, what is more strange, that this kinsman had taken no notice of her, nor sent to her, who yet was a very generous and liberal man, and had knowledge of her coming, for he had heard of the character of Ruth, Ruth 2:11 but perhaps he was not acquainted with their indigent circumstances:
a mighty man of wealth; a man of great wealth and riches, and of great power and authority, which riches give and raise a man to, and also of great virtue and honour, all which the word "wealth" signifies; to which may be added the paraphrase the Targumist gives, that he was mighty in the law; in the Scriptures, in the word of God, a truly religious man, which completes his character:
of the family of Elimelech; the husband of Naomi; some say that his father was Elimelech's brother; see Gill on Ruth 2:2,
and his name was Boaz; which signifies, "in him is strength", strength of riches, power, virtue, and grace; it is the name of one of the pillars in Solomon's temple, so called from its strength. This man is commonly said by the Jews to be the same with Ibzan, a judge of Israel, Judges 12:8, he was the grandson of Nahshon, prince of the tribe of Judah, who first offered at the dedication of the altar, Numbers 7:12, his father's name was Salmon, and his mother was Rahab, the harlot of Jericho, Matthew 1:5. A particular account is given of this man, because he, with Ruth, makes the principal part of the following history.
Observe Ruth's humility. When Providence had made her poor, she cheerfully stoops to her lot. High spirits will rather starve than stoop; not so Ruth. Nay, it is her own proposal. She speaks humbly in her expectation of leave to glean. We may not demand kindness as a debt, but ask, and take it as a favour, though in a small matter. Ruth also was an example of industry. She loved not to eat the bread of idleness. This is an example to young people. Diligence promises well, both for this world and the other. We must not be shy of any honest employment. No labour is a reproach. Sin is a thing below us, but we must not think any thing else so, to which Providence call us. She was an example of regard to her mother, and of trust in Providence. God wisely orders what seem to us small events; and those that appear altogether uncertain, still are directed to serve his own glory, and the good of his people.
The account of this occurrence commences with a statement which was necessary in order to make it perfectly intelligible, namely that Boaz, to whose field Ruth went to glean, was a relative of Naomi through her deceased husband Elimelech. The Kethibh מידע is to be read מידּע, an acquaintance (cf. Psalm 31:12; Psalm 55:14). The Keri מודע is the construct state of מודע, lit. acquaintanceship, then an acquaintance or friend (Proverbs 7:4), for which מודעת occurs afterwards in Ruth 3:2 with the same meaning. That the acquaintance or friend of Naomi through her husband was also a relation, is evident from the fact that he was "of the family of Elimelech. " According to the rabbinical tradition, which is not well established however, Boaz was a nephew of Elimelech. The ל before אישׁהּ is used instead of the simple construct state, because the reference is not to the relation, but to a relation of her husband; at the same time, the word מודע has taken the form of the construct state notwithstanding this ל (compare Ewald, 292, a., with 289, b.). חיל גּבּור generally means the brave man of war (Judges 6:12; Judges 11:1, etc.); but here it signifies a man of property. The name Boaz is not formed from עז בּו, in whom is strength, but from a root, בּעז, which does not occur in Hebrew, and signifies alacrity.
*More commentary available at chapter level.