Ruth

Naomi Becomes a Widow
(1 Timothy 5:3-16)

1In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. And a certain man from Bethlehem in Judah, with his wife and two sons, went to reside in the land of Moab. 2The man’s name was Elimelech, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah, and they entered the land of Moab and settled there.

3Then Naomi’s husband Elimelech died, and she was left with her two sons, 4who took Moabite women as their wives, one named Orpah and the other named Ruth.

And after they had lived in Moab about ten years, 5both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and without her husband.

Ruth's Loyalty to Naomi

6When Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had attended to His people by providing them with food, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to leave the land of Moab. 7So she left the place where she was, accompanied by her two daughters-in-law, and set out on the road leading back to the land of Judah.

8Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you to your mother’s home. May the LORD show you loving devotion, as you have shown to your dead and to me. 9May the LORD enable each of you to find security in the home of your new husband.”

And she kissed them as they wept aloud 10and said, “Surely we will return with you to your people.”

11But Naomi replied, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb to become your husbands? 12Return home, my daughters. Go on, for I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me to have a husband tonight and to bear sons, 13would you wait for them to grow up? Would you refrain from having husbands? No, my daughters, it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me.”

14Again they wept aloud, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.

15“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; follow her back home.”

16But Ruth replied:

“Do not urge me to leave you

or to turn from following you.

For wherever you go, I will go,

and wherever you live, I will live;

your people will be my people,

and your God will be my God.

17Where you die, I will die,

and there I will be buried.

May the LORD punish me,

and ever so severely,

if anything but death

separates you and me.”

18When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped trying to persuade her.

The Return to Bethlehem

19So Naomi and Ruth traveled until they came to Bethlehem. When they entered Bethlehem, the whole city was stirred because of them, and the women of the city exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”

20“Do not call me Naomi,a ” she replied. “Call me Mara,b because the Almighty has dealt quite bitterly with me. 21I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, since the LORD has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”

22So Naomi returned from the land of Moab with her daughter-in-law Ruth the Moabitess. And they arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Footnotes:

20 a Naomi means pleasant
20 b Mara means bitter

Ruth 2

Boaz Meets Ruth

1Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a prominent man of noble character from the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.

2And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go into the fields and glean heads of grain behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.”

“Go ahead, my daughter,” Naomi replied.

3So Ruth departed and went out into the field and gleaned after the harvesters. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech.

4Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and said to the harvesters, “The LORD be with you.”

“The LORD bless you,” they replied.

5And Boaz asked the foreman of his harvesters, “Whose young woman is this?”

6The foreman answered, “She is the Moabitess who returned with Naomi from the land of Moab. 7She has said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ So she came out and has continued from morning until now, except that she rested a short time in the shelter.”

8Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Do not go and glean in another field, and do not go away from this place, but stay here close to my servant girls. 9Let your eyes be on the field they are harvesting, and follow along after these girls. Indeed, I have ordered the young men not to touch you. And when you are thirsty, go and drink from the jars the young men have filled.”

10At this, she fell on her face, bowing low to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you should take notice of me, even though I am a foreigner?”

11Boaz replied, “I have been made fully aware of all you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and how you came to a people you did not know before. 12May the LORD repay your work, and may you receive a rich reward from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have taken refuge.”

13“My lord,” she said, “may I continue to find favor in your eyes, for you have comforted and spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your servant girls.”

14At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here; have some bread and dip it into the vinegar sauce.” So she sat down beside the harvesters, and he offered her roasted grain, and she ate and was satisfied and had some left over.

15When Ruth got up to glean, Boaz ordered his young men, “Even if she gathers among the sheaves, do not insult her. 16Rather, pull out for her some stalks from the bundles and leave them for her to gather. Do not rebuke her.”

17So Ruth gathered grain in the field until evening. And when she beat out what she had gleaned, it was about an ephaha of barley. 18She picked up the grain and went into the town, where her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. And she brought out what she had saved from her meal and gave it to Naomi.

19Then her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today, and where did you work? Blessed be the man who noticed you.”

So she told her mother-in-law where she had worked. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said.

20Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the LORD, who has not withdrawn his kindness from the living or the dead.” Naomi continued, “The man is a close relative. He is one of our kinsman-redeemers.b

21Then Ruth the Moabitess said, “He also told me, ‘Stay with my young men until they have finished gathering all my harvest.’”

22And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law Ruth, “My daughter, it is good for you to work with his young women, so that nothing will happen to you in another field.”

23So Ruth stayed close to the servant girls of Boaz to glean grain until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Footnotes:

17 a That is, about 23 quarts or 22 liters (probably about 30 pounds or 13 kilograms of barley)
20 b The Hebrew word for kinsman-redeemer or guardian-redeemer is a legal term for the kinsman who redeems or vindicates a relative (see Leviticus 25:25-55)

Ruth 3

Naomi Instructs Ruth

1One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek a placea for you, that it may be well with you? 2Now is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been working, a relative of ours? In fact, tonight he is winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3Therefore wash yourself, put on perfume, and wear your best clothes. Go down to the threshing floor, but do not let the man know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4When he lies down, note the place where he lies. Then go in and uncover his feet, and lie down, and he will explain to you what you should do.”

5“I will do everything you say,” Ruth answered. 6So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law had instructed her.

7After Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then Ruth went in secretly, uncovered his feet, and lay down.

Ruth Claims Boaz as Kinsman

8At midnight, Boaz was startled, turned over, and there lying at his feet was a woman!

9“Who are you?” he asked.

“I am your servant Ruth,” she replied. “Spread the corner of your garmentb over me, for you are a kinsman-redeemer.c

10Then Boaz said, “May the LORD bless you, my daughter. You have shown more kindness now than before, because you have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11And now do not be afraid, my daughter. I will do for you whatever you request, since all my fellow townspeople know that you are a woman of noble character. 12Yes, it is true that I am a kinsman-redeemer, but there is a redeemer nearer than I. 13Stay here tonight, and in the morning, if he wants to redeem you, good. Let him redeem you. But if he does not want to redeem you, as surely as the LORD lives, I will. Now lie here until morning.”

14So she lay down at his feet until morning, but she got up before anyone else could recognize her.

Then Boaz said, “Do not let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor.” 15And he told her, “Bring the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he shoveled six measuresd of barley into her shawl. Then he wente into the city.

16When Ruth returned to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked her, “How did it go, my daughter?”

Then Ruth told her all that Boaz had done for her. 17And she said, “He gave me these six measures of barley, for he said, ‘Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”

18“Wait, my daughter,” said Naomi, “until you find out how things go, for he will not rest unless he has resolved the matter today.”

Footnotes:

1 a Or find rest (see Ruth 1:9)
9 b Or wings (See Ruth 2:12); the word for wings can also mean corners of a garment
9 c The Hebrew word for kinsman-redeemer or guardian-redeemer is a legal term for the kinsman who redeems or vindicates a relative (see Leviticus 25:25-55); also in verses 12 and 13
15 d Possibly six seahs, which would amount to two ephahs, or 60 pounds
15 e Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac she went

Ruth 4

Boaz Redeems Ruth

1Meanwhile Boaz went to the gate and sat down there. Soon the kinsman-redeemera of whom he had spoken came along, and Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down.

2Then Boaz took ten of the elders of the city and said, “Sit here,” and they did so.

3And he said to the kinsman-redeemer, “Naomi, who has returned from the land of Moab, is selling a piece of land that belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4I thought I should inform you that you may buy it back in the presence of those seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you want to redeem it, do so. But if youb will not redeem it, tell me so I may know, because there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.”

“I will redeem it,” he replied.

5Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi and also from Ruth the Moabitess, you must also acquirec the widow of the deceased in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance.”

6The kinsman-redeemer replied, “I cannot redeem it myself, or I would jeopardize my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption, because I cannot redeem it.”

7(Now in former times in Israel, concerning the redemption or exchange of property, to make any matter legally binding a man would remove his sandal and give it to the other party, and this was a confirmation in Israel.)

8So the kinsman-redeemer removed his sandal and said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.”

9At this, Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses today that I am buying from Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech, Chilion, and Mahlon. 10Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, to raise up the name of the deceased through his inheritance, so that his name will not disappear from among his brothers or from the gate of his home. You are witnesses today.”

11“We are witnesses,” said the elders and all the people at the gate. “May the LORD make the woman entering your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you be prosperous in Ephrathah and famous in Bethlehem. 12And may your house become like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring the LORD will give you by this young woman.”

Boaz Marries Ruth

13So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. And he had relations with her, the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.

14Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a kinsman-redeemer. May his name become famous in Israel. 15He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

16And Naomi took the child, placed him on her lap, and became a nurse to him. 17The neighbor women said, “A son has been born to Naomi,” and they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

The Line of David
(Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38)

18Now these are the generations of Perez:

Perez was the father of Hezron,

19Hezron was the father of Ram,

Ram was the father of Amminadab,

20Amminadab was the father of Nahshon,

Nahshon was the father of Salmon,d

21Salmon was the father of Boaz,

Boaz was the father of Obed,

22Obed was the father of Jesse,

and Jesse was the father of David.

Footnotes:

1 a The Hebrew word for kinsman-redeemer or guardian-redeemer is a legal term for the kinsman who redeems or vindicates a relative (see Leviticus 25:25-55); also in verses 3, 6, 8, and 14
4 b Many Hebrew manuscripts, LXX, Vulgate and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts he
5 c Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew (see also LXX) acquire it from
20 d A few Hebrew manuscripts, some LXX manuscripts, and Vulgate (see also verse 21 and LXX of 1 Chronicles 2:11); most Hebrew manuscripts Salma


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