Ruth - 3:15

15 He said, "Bring the mantle that is on you, and hold it." She held it; and he measured six (measures) of barley, and laid it on her; and he went into the city.

Verse In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of Ruth 3:15.

Differing Translations

Compare verses for better understanding.
Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.
And again he said: Spread thy mantle, wherewith thou art covered, and hold it with both hands. And when she spread it and held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it upon her. And she carried it and went into the city,
And he said, Bring the cloak that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And she held it, and he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her; and he went into the city.
And he saith, 'Give the covering which is on thee, and keep hold on it;' and she keepeth hold on it, and he measureth six measures of barley, and layeth it on her; and he goeth into the city.
Also he said, Bring the veil that you have on you, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.
And he said, Take your robe, stretching it out in your hands: and she did so, and he took six measures of grain and put them into it, and gave it her to take: and she went back to the town.
And again he said, "Spread your mantle that covers you, and hold it with both hands." As she extended it and held it, he measured six measures of barley and placed it upon her. Carrying it, she went into the city.

*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

The vail - Quite a different word from that rendered "vail," in Genesis 38:14. It seems rather to mean a kind of loose cloak, worn over the ordinary dress (see the margin).
Six measures - i. e. six seahs, in all two ephahs, twice as much as she gleaned Ruth 3:17, and a heavy load to carry; for which reason he laid it on her, probably placed it on her head. It is well known that women can carry great weights when duly positioned on their heads.
And she went into the city - The Hebrew has "he went," namely, Boaz, where, accordingly, we find him Ruth 4:1.

Bring the veil - המט פחת hammit pachath; this seems to have been a cloak, plaid, or what the Arabs call hayk, which has been largely explained elsewhere. See Judges 14:12.
Six measures of barley - We supply the word measures, for the Hebrew mentions no quantity. The Targum renders six seahs, שית סאין shith sein, which, as a seah was about two gallons and a half, must have been a very heavy load for a woman; and so the Targumist thought, for he adds, And she received strength from the Lord to carry it. If the omer be meant, which is about six pints, the load would not be so great, as this would amount to but about four gallons and a half; a very goodly present. The Targum says, that on receiving these six measures "it was said in the spirit of prophecy, that from her should proceed the six righteous persons of the world, viz., David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and the King Messiah; each of whom should be blessed with six benedictions." It is, however, remarkable, that the Targum makes the Messiah to spring from her through the line of David, and goes down to Daniel and his companions; which Daniel prophesied so clearly, not only of the advent of Messiah the prince, but also of the very time in which he was to come, and the sacrificial death he was to die.

Also he said,.... Which seems to confirm the first sense, that what he had said before was to Ruth, beside which he also said to her what follows:
bring the vail which thou hast upon thee, and hold it; by which it appears that he rose also thus early, since he ordered her to bring her vail to him, and hold it with both her hands, while he filled it from the heap of corn: this vail was either what she wore on her head, as women used to do, or a coverlet she brought with her to cover herself with, when she lay down; the Septuagint renders it a "girdle", that is, an apron she tied or girt about her; which is as likely as anything: and when she held it, he measured six measures of barley; what these measures were is not expressed; the Targum is six seahs or bushels, as the Vulgate Latin version, but that is too much, and more than a woman could carry; unless we suppose, with the Targum, that she had strength from the Lord to carry it, and was extraordinarily assisted by him in it, which is not very probable; rather six omers, an omer being the tenth part of an ephah, and so was a quantity she might be able to carry:
and laid it upon her; upon her shoulder, or put it on her head, it being, no doubt, as much as she could well bear, and which required some assistance to help her up with it:
and she went into the city; of Bethlehem, with her burden; or rather he went (b); for the word is masculine, and to be understood of Boaz, who accompanied her to the city, lest she should meet with any that should abuse her; and so the Targum expresses it,"Boaz went into the city.''
(b) "et ingressus est", Tigurine version. Drusius, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee, and hold it--Eastern veils are large sheets--those of ladies being of red silk; but the poorer or common class of women wear them of blue, or blue and white striped linen or cotton. They are wrapped round the head, so as to conceal the whole face except one eye.

He then said, "Bring the cloak that thou hast on, and lay hold of it" (to hold it open), and measured for her six measures of barley into it as a present, that she might not to back empty to her mother-in-law (Ruth 3:17). מטפּחת, here and Isaiah 3:22, is a broad upper garment, pallium, possibly only a large shawl. "As the cloaks worn by the ancients were so full, that one part was thrown upon the shoulder, and another gathered up under the arm, Ruth, by holding a certain part, could receive into her bosom the corn which Boaz gave her" (Schrder, De vestit. mul. p. 264). Six (measures of) barley: the measure is not given. According to the Targum and the Rabbins, it was six seahs = two ephahs. This is certainly incorrect; for Ruth would not have been able to carry that quantity of barley home. When Boaz had given her the barley he measured out, and had sent here away, he also went into the city. This is the correct rendering, as given by the Chaldee, to the words העיר ויּבא; though Jerome referred the words to Ruth, but certainly without any reason, as יבא cannot stand for תּבא. This reading is no doubt found in some of the MSS, but it merely owes its origin to a mistaken interpretation of the words.

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