The Law of Moses required grain harvesters to leave a portion of grain in the field for the poor to glean for their own use. Since it was the time of barley harvest, Ruth went out to glean and happened to be in the field of Boaz, a close relative of her deceased husband.
Boaz had heard of the care that Ruth had given to Naomi and because of her reputation, he gave her special favors. At the end of the day she had gleaned about an ephah of grain. That was equivalent to about six or seven gallons. She continued to glean in Boaz’s fields through the barley and following wheat harvests.
Naomi had returned to Bethlehem bitter toward God for the loss of her husband and sons. Her attitude changed to one of thanksgiving for His allowing Ruth to find favor with Boaz. She then began to focus upon the role of matchmaker between Ruth and Boaz.