The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleRuth 2:8
Then said Boaz unto Ruth…
Having heard what the servant
said concerning her, he turned himself to her, and addressed her in the
hearest thou not, my daughter?
meaning not what the servant had said,
but hereby exciting her to hearken to what he was about to say to her.
Noldius F23 takes the particle to signify beseeching and entreating,
and renders the words, "hear, I pray thee, my daughter". Some from
hence conclude that Boaz was a man in years, and Ruth much younger than
he, and therefore calls her his daughter:
go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence;
might be inclined to, lest she should be thought to be too troublesome
to be always in one man's field; but Boaz taking a liking to her, and
willing to do her some favour, chose she should not go elsewhere:
but abide here fast by my maidens;
not maidens that gleaned also as she
did, poor maidens he permitted to glean; or that gleaned for the poor,
and much less that gleaned for him; a person so rich and liberal as he
was would never employ such for his advantage, and to the detriment of
the poor; nor would it be admitted of it being contrary to the law as
it should seem, and certain it is to the later traditions of the
elders; for it is said F24,
``a man may not hire a workman on this condition, that his son
should glean after him; he who does not suffer the poor to
glean, or who suffers one and not another, or who helps any
one of them, robs the poor.''
But these maidens were such, who either gathered the handfuls, cut and
laid down by the reapers, and bound them up in sheaves, or else they
also reaped, as it seems from the following verse; and it was very
probably customary in those times for women to reap, as it is now with
F23 Ebr. Concord. part. p. 257. No. 1150.
F24 Misnah Peah, c. 5. sect. 6.