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 one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there for about ten years, 5both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons or her husband.
6 Then 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 had consideration for 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 mothers 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.
15 So 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.
17 Where 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.
19 So 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.
21 I 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?
22 So 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.
2Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husbands 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 favour. 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.*
8 Then 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 favour 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 favour 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.
14 At 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.
17 So 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.*
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011