And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou
&c.] He was, and her question supposes and concludes it, and which she observes, that Ruth might take notice of it, and encouragement from it; and the rather, since she had been admitted into the company and conversation of his maidens; and which was more, though not mentioned, into the company and conversation of himself, and whom Ruth knew full well; and who being, Naomi thought, the next nearest kinsman, and obliged by the law in ( Deuteronomy 25:5 ) to marry Ruth, with which view his relation is mentioned:
behold, he winnoweth barley tonight in the threshingfloor;
which afforded a fit opportunity of meeting with him, being at night, and out of the city, from his own house, and alone, and after a feast for his reapers and threshers of corn, seems, from ( Ruth 2:7 ) as it was usual to have threshingfloors in an open place without the city, so to winnow at them, whereby the chaff was more easily separated from the corn, and that, in the evening, when in those countries there were the strongest breezes of wind to carry it off; hence the Targum here has it,
``behold, he is winnowing the barley floor with the wind, which is in the night.''For before the invention and use of fans in winnowing, it was only done by the wind carrying off the chaff, as the oxen trod the corn, for it was done in the threshingfloor, as here: hence Hesiod F13 advises that the threshingfloors should be (cwrw en euaei) , in a place exposed to wind; and so Varro F14 observes, the floor should be in the higher part of the field, that the wind might blow through it; to this manner of winnowing Virgil F15 has respect. Nor was it unusual for great personages, owners of farms and fields, to attend and overlook such service. Pliny F16 reports, that Sextus Pomponius, father of the praetor and prince of the hither Spain, presided over the winnowing of his reapers; so Gideon, another judge Israel, was found threshing wheat, ( Judges 6:11 ) .
F13 Opera & Dies, l. 2. ver. 221.
F14 De re Rustica, l. 1. c. 41.
F15 "Cum graviter tunsis" Georgic. l. 3. Vid. Homer. Iliad 5. ver. 499. & Iliad, 13. ver. 588
F16 Nat. Hist. l. 22. c. 25.