Chapter three seems to continue the narrative, but the context changes, indicating a later time. 1 Naomi was still concerned about Ruth’s long-term care, so she developed a plan that would hopefully lead Boaz to marry Ruth (Ruth 3:1-5). One night while Boaz was “winnowing barley” by himself, Noami told Ruth to clean herself, put on perfume, and get dressed up, then go to Boaz’ threshing floor after he had fallen asleep. Once there, she was to “uncover his legs and lie down beside him.” He would know what this meant and would give her further instructions.
- Even though the Hebrew text does not specifically show it, a few English Bibles indicate this with an opening phrase: “At that time” (NET), “One day” (NLT, NIV). Others simply include “then” (NASB, ESV, KJV). ↩
- Many scholars admit that “uncover his legs” is probably a euphemism for his genitals here. Exactly what Ruth was to do is unclear, but there is no direct mention of sexual activity, which would have violated Mosaic Law until they were married. It is more likely that we should see this as only a symbolic expression of submission and request for marriage rather than improper sexual contact. ↩