Ruth 3:11
(11) City.--Literally, gate: the constant meeting-place of persons going in and out. (See Genesis 19:1; Genesis 34:20; Genesis 34:24; Deuteronomy 16:18; Deuteronomy 21:19, &c.)

Verse 11. - And now, my daughter, fear not: all that thou sayest I shall do to thee, for it is on all hands known in the gate of my people that thou art a truly capable woman. The word חָיִל in the expression אֵשֶׁת ךחיִל is of many-sided import, and has no synonym in English, German, Latin, or Greek. But every side of its import brings into view one or other or more of such affiliated ideas as strength, force, forces, capability - whether mental and moral only, or also financial; competency, substantiality, ability, bravery. All who had taken notice of Ruth perceived that she was mentally and morally, as well as physically, a substantial and capable woman. She was possessed of force, both of mind and character. She was, in the New England sense, of the expression, a woman of "faculty. She was full of resources, and thus adequate to the position which, as Boaz's wife, she would be required to fill. There was no levity about her, "no nonsense." She was earnest, industrious, virtuous, strenuous, brave. There was much of the heroine in her character, and thus the expression connects itself with the masculine application of the distinctive and many-sided word, "a mighty man of valor." The expression אֵשֶׁת חֲיִל occurs in Proverbs 12:4, where, in King James's version, it is, as here and in Proverbs 31:10, translated 'Ca virtuous woman" - "a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband." But it is not so much to moral virtue that there is a reference as to that general capacity which consists in "large discourse, looking before and after" ('Hamlet, ' 4:4). Compare the masculine expression אַנְשֵׁיאּחֲיִל in Exodus 18:21, 25, rendered, in King-James's version, "able men," and meaning capable or substantial men, who, however, as we learn from the additional characteristics that are specified, were to be likewise conspicuous for high moral worth. In Proverbs 31:10 there is the same reference to general capacity, as is evidenced by the graphic representation that follows - a representation that by no means exhausts itself in the idea of moral virtue. Ibn Ezra takes the whole soul out of the expression when he interprets it, both here and in Proverbs, as meaning "a woman possessed of riches." When Boaz says, "All that thou sayest I will do to thee," he means, "All that thou hast so winsomely and yet so modestly referred to in what thou didst say, I am prepared to do to thee. There was only one obstacle in the way, and that of a somewhat technical description. If that should be honorably surmounted, nothing would be more agreeable to Boaz s heart than to get nearer to Ruth "For," said he, "it is on all hands known in the gate of my people that," etc. Literally the phrase is, "for all the gate of my people know," a strange inverted but picturesque mode of expression. It was not "the gate of the people," but the people of the gate," that knew.

3:6-13 What in one age or nation would be improper, is not always so in another age or another nation. Being a judge of Israel, Boaz would tell Ruth what she should do; also whether he had the right of redemption, and what methods must be taken, and what rites used, in order to accomplishing her marriage with him or another person. The conduct of Boaz calls for the highest praise. He attempted not to take advantage of Ruth; he did not disdain her as a poor, destitute stranger, nor suspect her of any ill intentions. He spoke honourably of her as a virtuous woman, made her a promise, and as soon as the morning arrived, sent her away with a present to her mother-in-law. Boaz made his promise conditional, for there was a kinsman nearer than he, to whom the right of redemption belonged.And now, my daughter, fear not,.... Either of being forced and defiled, to which he had exposed herself by lying down at a man's feet, or of being reproached as an immodest woman for so doing, or of being despised as a poor woman, and of not succeeding in her suit and enterprise:

and I will do to thee all that thou requirest; which could be done according to the law of God, and without injury to another person after mentioned:

for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman; or righteous, as the Targum; a good woman, possessed of grace and virtue, having every agreeable qualification to recommend to the marriage state; and therefore, should they come to the knowledge of the step taken to obtain it, will never reproach thee for it, nor blame me for marrying a person, though poor, of such an excellent character, which, by her conduct and behaviour, was universally established. It is in the original text, "all the gate of my people" (u); meaning either all the people that pass through the gate of the city, that is, all the inhabitants of it, or the whole court of judicature, the elders of the city, that sit in judgment there, as was usual in gates of cities, see Ruth 4:1. So the Targum,"it is manifest before all that sit in the gate of the great sanhedrim of my people that thou art a righteous woman''

(u) "tota porta populi mei", Montanus; so Vatablus, Tigurine version.

Ruth 3:10
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