Study Guide

The Book of Ruth Chapter 3

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Chapter 3

To Catch a Husband

  • Naomi tells Ruth that she "need[s] to seek some security for [her]." Naturally, she means that she wants to try to secure Ruth a rich husband.
  • So she hatches a plan for Ruth to snag Boaz.
  • She tells her daughter-in-law to pretty herself up ("wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes") and go visit Boaz, who will be sleeping on the threshing floor that night, guarding the barley that was harvested at the end of the day (source, p. 242).
  • When Ruth sees Boaz lie down, she's supposed to go lay by his feet. Today, no one really knows what this means, but we're guessing it's meant to be a little sexy. Wink, wink.

What Happens on the Threshing Floor Stays on the Threshing Floor

  • Ruth agrees and heads out to lie with Boaz. In the biblical sense. Literally.
  • She sees him eat dinner and start to snooze on the threshing floor, and then she sneaks over, uncovers his feet, and lies down. Comfy.
  • At around midnight, Boaz wakes up and is pretty much like, What the what?
  • Ruth identifies herself and tells him to "spread [his] cloak" over her because he's her next-of-kin. In other words, Boaz is family, so if he likes it, he should put a ring on it.
  • Boaz seems pretty psyched about it. He tells her that she's clearly a super loyal lady because she's come to him (a family member) instead of going after some young, handsome stud for a husband. He knows she's a "worthy woman." In other words, our girl Ruth is a catch.
  • So, Boaz and Ruth live happily-ever-after, right? Not, so fast…

Let's Meet Bachelor #2

  • Boaz tells that he's a relative all right, but he's not the closest relative to her late husband. There's another guy running around town who has more of a claim to her than he does.
  • Boaz says that Ruth should hang out for the night (wink, wink) and in the morning he'll go see this guy and check in with him.
  • Seriously, dude? That's like Edward asking Jacob if he'd rather marry Bella.
  • If this random dude isn't willing to marry her then Boaz totally will. How… romantic?
  • Ruth "lay at his feet until morning" and leaves before the sun comes up (since Boaz is a little bit concerned about someone seeing her there and stirring up a scandal). He does give her a bunch of barley to take back with her. That's almost better than a dozen roses, right?

She's Engaged! Sort Of…

  • Ruth does the walk of shame (kind of) back home.
  • There, Naomi instantly wants to know what's up. Did her super sexy husband-snaring plan work?
  • Sort of, Ruth explains. Naomi seems satisfied and the women settle in to wait and hear who Ruth with marry—an unnamed guy who she has never met or Boaz McDreamy.

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