Ruth - 3:2

2 Now isn't Boaz our kinsman, with whose maidens you were? Behold, he winnows barley tonight in the threshing floor.

Verse In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of Ruth 3:2.

Differing Translations

Compare verses for better understanding.
And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.
And now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to-night in the threshing-floor.
This Booz, with whose maids thou wast joined in the field, is our near kinsman, and behold this night he winnoweth barley in the threshingfloor.
And now, is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he is winnowing barley in the threshing-floor to-night.
And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to-night in the threshing-floor.
and now, is not Boaz of our acquaintance, with whose young women thou hast been? lo, he is winnowing the threshing-floor of barley to-night,
And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens you were? Behold, he winnows barley to night in the threshing floor.
And now, is there not Boaz, our relation, with whose young women you were? See, tonight he is separating the grain from the waste in his grain-floor.
This Boaz, whose young women you joined in the field, is our near relative, and this night he will winnow the threshing floor of barley.

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

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

Behold, he winnoweth barley - The simple manners of Boaz and his times are here before us. This "mighty man of wealth" assists personally in the winnowing of his barley, which lies in a great heap on the floor Ruth 3:15, and sleeps in the open threshing-floor to protect his grain from depredation.
Tonight - For the sake of the breeze which springs up at sunset, and greatly facilitates the "cleansing" (separation) of the grain tossed up across the wind.

He winnoweth barley tonight - It is very likely that the winnowing of grain was effected by taking up, in a broad thin vessel or sieve, a portion of the corn, and letting it down slowly in the wind; thus the grain would, by its own weight, fall in one place, while the chaff, etc., would be carried to a distance by the wind. It is said here that this was done at night; probably what was threshed out in the day was winnowed in the evening, when the sea breeze set in, which was common in Palestine; and as this took place in the evening only, that was the time in which they would naturally winnow their corn.

And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast?.... He was, and her question supposes and concludes it, and which she observes, that Ruth might take notice of it, and encouragement from it; and the rather, since she had been admitted into the company and conversation of his maidens; and which was more, though not mentioned, into the company and conversation of himself, and whom Ruth knew full well; and who being, Naomi thought, the next nearest kinsman, and obliged by the law in Deuteronomy 25:5 to marry Ruth, with which view his relation is mentioned:
behold, he winnoweth barley tonight in the threshingfloor; which afforded a fit opportunity of meeting with him, being at night, and out of the city, from his own house, and alone, and after a feast for his reapers and threshers of corn, seems, from Ruth 2:7 as it was usual to have threshingfloors in an open place without the city, so to winnow at them, whereby the chaff was more easily separated from the corn, and that, in the evening, when in those countries there were the strongest breezes of wind to carry it off; hence the Targum here has it,"behold, he is winnowing the barley floor with the wind, which is in the night.''For before the invention and use of fans in winnowing, it was only done by the wind carrying off the chaff, as the oxen trod the corn, for it was done in the threshingfloor, as here: hence Hesiod (m) advises that the threshingfloors should be , in a place exposed to wind; and so Varro (n) observes, the floor should be in the higher part of the field, that the wind might blow through it; to this manner of winnowing Virgil (o) has respect. Nor was it unusual for great personages, owners of farms and fields, to attend and overlook such service. Pliny (p) reports, that Sextus Pomponius, father of the praetor and prince of the hither Spain, presided over the winnowing of his reapers; so Gideon, another judge Israel, was found threshing wheat, Judges 6:11.
(m) Opera & Dies, l. 2. ver. 221. (n) De re Rustica, l. 1. c. 41. (o) "Cum graviter tunsis", &c. Georgic. l. 3. Vid. Homer. Iliad 5. ver. 499. & Iliad, 13. ver. 588, &c. (p) Nat. Hist. l. 22. c. 25.

he winnoweth barley to-night in the threshing-floor--The winnowing process is performed by throwing up the grain, after being trodden down, against the wind with a shovel. The threshing-floor, which was commonly on the harvest-field, was carefully leveled with a large cylindric roller and consolidated with chalk, that weeds might not spring up, and that it might not chop with drought. The farmer usually remained all night in harvest-time on the threshing-floor, not only for the protection of his valuable grain, but for the winnowing. That operation was performed in the evening to catch the breezes which blow after the close of a hot day, and which continue for the most part of the night. This duty at so important a season the master undertakes himself; and, accordingly, in the simplicity of ancient manners, Boaz, a person of considerable wealth and high rank, laid himself down to sleep on the barn floor, at the end of the heap of barley he had been winnowing.

Threshing - floor - Which was in a place covered at the top, but open elsewhere, whither Ruth might easily come. And this work of winnowing corn was usually ended with a feast.

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