Naomi and Ruth are talking (I’m thinking they are in the kitchen drinking coffee before Ruth has to get her gloves and go) and Naomi is a little anxious that Ruth should find a husband and a home. So she tells Ruth to take a bath and wear a cute outfit, and go to the threshing floor and (get this..) uncover his feet and lay down….
Ok. Let’s get this ‘threshing floor’ out of the way so we can move to the laying down thingy….
The threshing floor (according to my sources) was flat and hardened by the passing of oxen over the sheaves, sometimes pulling a sled designed to separate the grain from the husks. After the threshing process, the stalks and grain were thrown up into the air so that the wind might blow the unwanted chaff away and leave the valuable kernels. This was known as winnowing. The threshing floors were important places and were often used as landmarks.
Anywho….this is where we find Boaz…at night. Verse 7 says that Boaz had eaten and thrown back a few (wine, I’m sure) and felt great. He went and laid down at the end of a stack of barley and this is where Ruth, like a ninja, slips in and uncovers his feet and lays down. During the middle of the night Boaz sits up and says, “Whoa! What the…?” And Ruth says, “Its me! Ruth…remember? You’ve been protecting me and I’m your close relative….so you’ve got the right to ask me to marry you and all…I’m jus’ sayin’….” (I’m just sure that she said it like that)
Boaz sobers up pretty quick and instead of rebuking her he blesses her! (Lucky). He is wowed by the fact that she could’ve had any guy out there and she chose him and he says, “Lookit. Stay here and go back to sleep. You’ve got a second cousin that gets first dibs and if he doesn’t want you, then I’ll take you.” (ok, it sounds waay better in the bible, but you know what I mean). So Ruth slept as long as she could, but hey! She practically got engaged so she went ahead and got up so no one would see her. Boaz is up muttering, “No one must know that Ruth came here…” and he tells her to bring her shawl and he loads her up with barley and sends her home.
She gets home and Naomi is about to burst wanting to know the details. Ruth told her everything and showed her all that she brought home and how she had this cousin out there who might get first rights ….etc. She’s probably pacing and talking really fast here. But Naomi tells her to chill and just be patient.
It seems that the Law of Moses requires that when a man dies childless, a close relative should marry the widow (Deut. 25:5-10) so they can keep the family name and keep the land in the family. So we’ll find out in the last chapter what the other cousin decides……………………….(thank you, God that we don’t have to marry like that today…..)