What does it mean to uncover feet?

Nov 16th, 2009 | By | Category: Questions You Ask (click for the full answer)

What does it mean to uncover feet?

The JFB (Jameson, Fausett and Brown) Commentary gives this explanation which best answers the question:

Rth 3:4

go in, and uncover his feet and lay thee down — Singular as these directions may appear to us, there was no impropriety in them, according to the simplicity of rural manners in Beth-lehem. In ordinary circumstances these would have seemed indecorous to the world; but in the case of Ruth, it was a method, doubtless conformable to prevailing usage, of reminding Boaz of the duty which devolved on him as the kinsman of her deceased husband. Boaz probably slept upon a mat or skin; Ruth lay crosswise at his feet – a position in which Eastern servants frequently sleep in the same chamber or tent with their master; and if they want a covering, custom allows them that benefit from part of the covering on their master’s bed. Resting, as the Orientals do at night, in the same clothes they wear during the day, there was no indelicacy in a stranger, or even a woman, putting the extremity of this cover over her.

For more on the incident with Ruth and Boaz see our verse by verse account on the Book of Ruth.

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