Ruth 1-4

Elimelech's Family Goes to Moab 1In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons.2The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there.3But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons.4These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years,5both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.Naomi and Her Moabite Daughters-in-Law 6Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had considered his people and given them food.7So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah.8But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother's house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.9The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud.10They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”11But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands?12Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons,13would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me.”14Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.15So she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”16But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.17Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!”18When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.19So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them; and the women said, “Is this Naomi?”20She said to them, “Call me no longer Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me.21I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty; why call me Naomi when the Lord has dealt harshly with me, and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”22So Naomi returned together with Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, who came back with her from the country of Moab. They came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.Chapter 2Ruth Meets Boaz 1Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband's side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.2And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.”3So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.4Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you.” They answered, “The Lord bless you.”5Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “To whom does this young woman belong?”6The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab.7She said, ‘Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.’ So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment.”8Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women.9Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.”10Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?”11But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before.12May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!”13Then she said, “May I continue to find favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, even though I am not one of your servants.”14At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over.15When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, “Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her.16You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”17So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.18She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied.19Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.”20Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a relative of ours, one of our nearest kin.”21Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay close by my servants, until they have finished all my harvest.’ ”22Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is better, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, otherwise you might be bothered in another field.”23So she stayed close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests; and she lived with her mother-in-law.Chapter 3Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor 1Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you.2Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor.3Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.4When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.”5She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.”6So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had instructed her.7When Boaz had eaten and drunk, and he was in a contented mood, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came stealthily and uncovered his feet, and lay down.8At midnight the man was startled, and turned over, and there, lying at his feet, was a woman!9He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant; spread your cloak over your servant, for you are next-of-kin.”10He said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter; this last instance of your loyalty is better than the first; you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.11And now, my daughter, do not be afraid, I will do for you all that you ask, for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman.12But now, though it is true that I am a near kinsman, there is another kinsman more closely related than I.13Remain this night, and in the morning, if he will act as next-of-kin for you, good; let him do it. If he is not willing to act as next-of-kin for you, then, as the Lord lives, I will act as next-of-kin for you. Lie down until the morning.”14So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before one person could recognize another; for he said, “It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.”15Then he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and put it on her back; then he went into the city.16She came to her mother-in-law, who said, “How did things go with you, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her,17saying, “He gave me these six measures of barley, for he said, ‘Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’ ”18She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today.”Chapter 4The Marriage of Boaz and Ruth 1No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin, of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, “Come over, friend; sit down here.” And he went over and sat down.2Then Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here”; so they sat down.3He then said to the next-of-kin, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech.4So I thought I would tell you of it, and say: Buy it in the presence of those sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not, tell me, so that I may know; for there is no one prior to you to redeem it, and I come after you.” So he said, “I will redeem it.”5Then Boaz said, “The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man's name on his inheritance.”6At this, the next-of-kin said, “I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”7Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel.8So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, “Acquire it for yourself,” he took off his sandal.9Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon.10I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man's name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.”11Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem;12and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”The Genealogy of David 13So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son.14Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel!15He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.”16Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse.17The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.18Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron,19Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab,20Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon,21Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed,22Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David.