*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.
Shall I not seek rest for thee - That is, Shall I not endeavor to procure thee a proper husband? See Ruth 1:9, and the observations at the end of that chapter.
Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek (a) rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
(a) Meaning that she would provide her with a husband, with whom she might live peacefully.
Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her,.... After the harvests were over, and so gleaning likewise; when Naomi and Ruth were together alone in their apartment, the mother addressed the daughter after this manner:
my daughter, shall I not seek for thee, that it may be well with thee? that is, in the house of an husband, as in Ruth 1:9 her meaning is, to seek out for an husband for her, that she might have an house of her own to rest in, and an husband to provide her; that so she might be free from such toil and labour she had been lately exercised in, and enjoy much ease and comfort, and all outward happiness and prosperity in a marriage state with a good husband. This interrogation carries in it the force of a strong affirmation, may suggest that she judged it to be her duty, and that she was determined to seek out such a rest for her; and the Targum makes her way of speaking stronger still, for that is,"by an oath I will not rest, until the time that I have sought a rest for thee.''
The married state should be a rest, as much as any thing upon earth can be so, as it ought to fix the affections and form a connexion for life. Therefore it should be engaged in with great seriousness, with earnest prayers for direction, for the blessing of God, and with regard to his precepts. Parents should carefully advise their children in this important concern, that it may be well with them as to their souls. Be it always remembered, That is best for us which is best for our souls. The course Naomi advised appears strange to us; but it was according to the laws and usages of Israel. If the proposed measure had borne the appearance of evil, Naomi would not have advised it. Law and custom gave Ruth, who was now proselyted to the true religion, a legal claim upon Boaz. It was customary for widows to assert this claim, Deuteronomy 25:5-10. But this is not recorded for imitation in other times, and is not to be judged by modern rules. And if there had been any evil in it, Ruth was a woman of too much virtue and too much sense to have listened to it.
Rest - A life of rest, and comfort, and safety, under the care of a good husband.
*More commentary available at chapter level.