Ruth 3:1-5

Translation helps for the second part of the course (Ruth 3-4) will only include information on less common words, tricky forms, and many of the verbs unless they are easy. For a refresher on special vocabulary useful to memorize for Ruth, see “Special Vocabulary in Ruth.”

Ruth 3:1

Question for class discussion: Why the unusual order after the opening verb, in which a pronoun referring to Ruth comes prior to the mention of Naomi, the speaker?

The ה in הֲלֹא is the interrogative. See Holladay, 75.

The Piel verb אֲבַקֶּשׁ is from בּקשׁ. Vowels are reduced because the attached prepositional phrase functions like a suffix.

The Qal verb יִיטַב is from יטב.

Ruth 3:2

The Qal participle זֹרֶה is from זרה.

Ruth 3:3

The Qal verb וָסַכְתְּ is from סוך.

The Qal verb וְשַׂמְתְּ is from שׂים.

The Qere (to be read aloud form) שִׂמְלֹתַיִךְ is the scribal correction for the Ketiv (written form) which lacks the י.

The Qere וְיָרַדְתְּ, the usual feminine form. But some scholars think the Ketiv (which has the 1cs form) may be correct. It is theorized that at an early stage the 3fs may have looked like the 1cs and that the author used this form to make Naomi’s speech sound archaic.

The Niphal (passive or reflexive) verb תִּוָּדְעִי is from ידע. See Holladay, 129, bottom left column.

The Piel Infinitive Construct כַּלֹתוֹ is from כלה and has the 3ms suffix.

The Qal Infinitive Construct לֶאֱכֹל is from אכל.

The Qal Infinitive Construct לִשׁתוֹת is from שׁתה.

Ruth 3:4 (with extra help!)

The first word can easily fool you. It is not the usual וַיְהִי vav-conversive. Rather note that וִיהִי is the Imperfect 3ms of היה but with a Jussive (modal) sense (a complicated idea, but the lead verb can set the tone for verbs that follow — so this “and it should be” colors the next verb וְיָדַעַתְּ, rendering is modal also: “you should note”).

ֹNote that the ב preposition can mean “when.” שָׁכְבוֹ is a kind of Infinitive Construct worth noting and learning the pattern. An infinitive is a verbal noun. In many cases the infinitive has the ל prefix, making it a “to” verb (“to lie down”). But this Infinitive Construct has no ל prefix, but rather a pronominal suffix וֹ. When an Infinitive Construct has a pronoun suffixed to it, use “-ing” with the verb (“lying down”) and then add the meaning of the suffix (“his lying down”).

We might expect the final letter in בָאת to have a sh’va under it (בָאתְּ) but even without it, this is easily recognizable as the Perfect 2fs form. It has a ו attached, making it a vav-conversive (still carrying the Jussive-modal meaning from the lead verb).

The Hiphil verb וְגִּלִּית is the same in form as וּבָאת and is from the root גלה.

The noun מַרְגְּלֹתָיו is a noun, מַרְגְּלֹת, in construct (genitive) form with the 3ms suffix attached. The meaning of this noun is somewhat in doubt. The usual word for foot is רֶגֶל and the plural feet is sometimes in the dual form often found with body parts that come in twos, רַגְלָיִם, and sometimes in the regular plural, רַגְלִים. But מַרְגְּלֹת is found only in Ruth and Daniel 10:6. It is another way to make a noun from the root רגל. It’s exact meaning could be “feet” or “place of the feet.” The distinction could be important in the question of exactly how sexual was Ruth’s action with Boaz on the threshing floor (see “Ruth 3:7: Did She or Didn’t She?”).

The Qere form וְשָׁכָבְתְּ is a parallel case to וְיָרַדְתְּ in vs. 3. See the note there.

The Hiphil יַגִּיד is from נגה.

The Qal verb תַּעֲשִׂין is from עשׂה and it is 2fs Imperfect. The extra (technical term is paragogic) נ on the end can be ignored.

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