So she gleaned in the field until even
An instance of her great diligence and industry, attending to this mean employment constantly from morning tonight:
and beat out that she had gleaned:
she did not bind up her gleanings in a bundle, and carry it home on her head, as gleaners with us do, but she beat it out with a staff in the field, where she gleaned it, and winnowed it, very probably in the threshingfloor of Boaz; by which means what she had gleaned was brought into a lesser size and weight, and was a lighter burden to carry home:
and it was an ephah of barley;
or three seahs of barley, as the Targum; which, according to Bishop Cumberland F9, was six gallons, and three pints, and three solid inches: an omer is said to be the tenth part of an ephah, and, made into bread, was as much as a man could eat in one day, ( Exodus 16:16 Exodus 16:36 ) , so that Ruth got enough in one day, for herself and her mother-in-law, which would last five days at least. This was a great deal for one woman to pick up, ear by ear, in one day; and must be accounted for, not only by her diligence and industry, but by the favour shown her by the reapers, under the direction of Boaz, who suffered her to glean among the sheaves, and let fall handfuls for her to pick up.
F9 Of Scripture Weights and Measures, ch. 3. p. 64.