Tarry this day
Or lodge here tonight, where she was; this he said not from any design upon her, but for her own safety and honour, that she might not be exposed to danger or disgrace, by returning home at such an unseasonable time of night. The first letter in the word for "tarry" is larger than usual in the Hebrew text; which may be done to raise the attention of the reader, to observe it as a thing very singular, that a widow should lodge with a man without any diminution of her chastity; so Buxtorf F24 says, that hereby attention is noted, even the honesty of Boaz ordering Ruth to lodge without a man, and wait until a nearer kinsman, according to the law, should come, and promising that on failure thereof he would be the lawful redeemer; but Dr. Lightfoot F25 observes, that as there is a special mark over a word in the story of Lot's eldest daughter lying with her father, ( Genesis 19:34 ) and a special mark on this word here, in the story of Ruth going to Boaz his bed, seems to relate one to the other, and both together to point at the great providence of God in bringing light out of darkness, Ruth, a mother of Christ, out of the incest of Lot:
and it shall be, in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the
part of a kinsman, well, let him do the kinsman's part;
by marrying Ruth, and redeeming her husband's estate, which if he did, it would be all very well, and right according to law; and it would be very well for Ruth, as Aben Ezra and Abendana interpret it; seeing, as they observe, that kinsman was a very respectable man, a man of great esteem and worth, a man of wealth and authority, and she would be well matched to him. Some think, as the same writers observe, that the word "Tob", translated "well", is the name of the kinsman, the same with Tobias; so R. Joshuah says F26, that Salmon (who was the father of Boaz), and Elimelech (the father of Ruth's husband), and Tob (this near kinsman), were brethren:
but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the
part of a kinsman to thee, as the Lord liveth:
that is, he swore he would marry her, and redeem the inheritance, if the other would not; for the phrase, "as the Lord liveth", is the form of an oath, it is swearing by the living God; so the Targum,
``I say with an oath before the Lord, that as I have spoken unto thee, so will I do:''lie down until the morning;
and take some sleep and rest, and be at ease in mind, depending upon the performance of what I have promised.
F24 Tiberias, c. 14. p. 38.
F25 Works, vol. 1. p. 48.
F26 In Midrash Ruth, ut supra. (fol. 31. 4. & 34. 2.)