Ruth 2

Wives Provided for the Tribe of Benjamin

21 Now the men of Israel had sworn kat Mizpah, No one of us shall give his daughter in marriage to Benjamin. And the people came to lBethel and sat there till evening before God, and they lifted up their voices and wept bitterly. And they said, O Lord, the God of Israel, why has this happened in Israel, that today there should be one tribe lacking in Israel? And the next day the people rose early and mbuilt there an altar and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the people of Israel said, Which of all the tribes of Israel did not come up in the assembly to the Lord? nFor they had taken a great oath concerning him who did not come up to the Lord to Mizpah, saying, He shall surely be put to death. And the people of Israel ohad compassion for Benjamin their brother and said, One tribe is cut off from Israel this day. pWhat shall we do for wives for those who are left, since we have sworn by the Lord that we will not give them any of our daughters for wives?

And they said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel that did not come up to the Lord to Mizpah? And behold, no one had come to the camp from qJabesh-gilead, to the assembly. For when the people were mustered, behold, not one of the inhabitants of qJabesh-gilead was there. 10 So the congregation sent 12,000 of their bravest men there and commanded them, rGo and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword; also the women and the little ones. 11 This is what you shall do: severy male and every woman that has lain with a male you shall devote to destruction. 12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 young virgins who had not known a man by lying with him, and they brought them to the camp at tShiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

13 Then the whole congregation sent word to the people of Benjamin who were at the urock of Rimmon and vproclaimed peace to them. 14 And Benjamin returned at that time. And they gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead, but they were not enough for them. 15 And the people whad compassion on Benjamin because the Lord had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.

16 Then the elders of the congregation said, xWhat shall we do for wives for those who are left, since the women are destroyed out of Benjamin? 17 And they said, There must be an inheritance for the survivors of Benjamin, that a tribe not be blotted out from Israel. 18 Yet we cannot give them wives from our daughters. yFor the people of Israel had sworn, Cursed be he who gives a wife to Benjamin. 19 So they said, Behold, there is the yearly feast of the Lord at Shiloh, which is north of Bethel, on the east of zthe highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah. 20 And they commanded the people of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in ambush in the vineyards 21 and watch. If the daughters of Shiloh come out to adance in the dances, then come out of the vineyards and snatch each man his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22 And when their fathers or their brothers come to complain to us, we will say to them, Grant them graciously to us, because we did not take for each man of them his wife in battle, neither did you give them to them, else you would now be guilty. 23 And the people of Benjamin did so and took their wives, according to their number, from the dancers whom they carried off. Then they went and returned to their inheritance band rebuilt the towns and lived in them. 24 And the people of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and family, and they went out from there every man to his inheritance.

25 cIn those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Ruth Illustration

Ruth

Naomi Widowed

In the days awhen the judges ruled there was ba famine in the land, and a man of cBethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The 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 dEphrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years, and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.

Ruth's Loyalty to Naomi

Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that ethe Lord had visited his people and fgiven them food. So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the Lord gdeal kindly with you, as you have dealt with hthe dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find irest, each of you in the house of her husband! Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, No, we will return with you to your people. 11 But Naomi said, Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb jthat they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that kthe hand of the Lord has gone out against me. 14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

15 And she said, See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to lher gods; return after your sister-in-law. 16 But Ruth said, Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. mYour people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. nMay the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you. 18 oAnd when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.

Naomi and Ruth Return

19 So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, pthe whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, Is this Naomi? 20 She said to them, Do not call me Naomi;1 call me qMara,2 for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 rI went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?

22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem sat the beginning of barley harvest.

Ruth Meets Boaz

Now Naomi had ta relative of her husband's, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was uBoaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, Let me go to the field and vglean among the ears of grain after him win whose sight I shall find favor. And she said to her, Go, my daughter. So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, xThe Lord be with you! And they answered, The Lord bless you. Then Boaz said to his young man who was in charge of the reapers, Whose young woman is this? And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, She is the young Moabite woman, ywho came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. She said, Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers. So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.1

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. Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn. 10 Then zshe fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should atake notice of me, since I am a foreigner? 11 But Boaz answered her, bAll that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12 cThe Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge! 13 Then she said, dI have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.

14 And at mealtime Boaz said to her, Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine. So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until eshe was satisfied, and she had some left over. 15 When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16 And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it 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 ephah2 of barley. 18 And she took it up and went into the city. Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also brought out and gave her what food she had left over fafter being satisfied. 19 And her mother-in-law said to her, Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man gwho took notice of you. So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, The man's name with whom I worked today is Boaz. 20 And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, hMay he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken ithe living or the dead! Naomi also said to her, The man is a close relative of ours, one of jour redeemers. 21 And Ruth the Moabite said, Besides, he said to me, You shall keep close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest. 22 And Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, lest in another field you be assaulted. 23 So she kept 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.

Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, My daughter, should I not seek krest for you, that it may be well with you? Is not Boaz lour relative, mwith whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. nWash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. But when 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. And she replied, All that you say I will do.

So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and ohis heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! He said, Who are you? And she answered, I am Ruth, your servant. pSpread your wings1 over your servant, for you are qa redeemer. 10 And he said, rMay you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than sthe first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are ta worthy woman. 12 And now it is true that I am ua redeemer. Yet there is a redeemer nearer than I. 13 Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will vredeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, was the Lord lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.

14 So she lay at his feet until the morning, but arose before one could recognize another. And he said, Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor. 15 And he said, Bring the garment you are wearing and hold it out. So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley and put it on her. Then she went into the city. 16 And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, How did you fare, my daughter? Then she told her all that the man had done for her, 17 saying, These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said to me, You must not go back empty-handed to your mother-in-law. 18 She replied, Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.

Boaz Redeems Ruth

Now Boaz had gone up to xthe gate and sat down there. And behold, ythe redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, Turn aside, friend; sit down here. And he turned aside and sat down. And he took ten men zof the elders of the city and said, Sit down here. So they sat down. Then he said to the redeemer, Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it and say, aBuy 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 you1 will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you. And he said, I will redeem it. Then Boaz said, The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth2 the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order bto perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance. cThen the redeemer said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.

dNow this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one drew off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the redeemer said to Boaz, Buy it for yourself, he drew off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to eChilion and to Mahlon. 10 Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, fto perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day. 11 Then all the people who were gat the gate and the elders said, We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, hwho together ibuilt up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in jEphrathah and kbe renowned in Bethlehem, 12 and may your house be like the house of Perez, lwhom Tamar bore to Judah, because mof the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.

Ruth and Boaz Marry

13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, nand the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 oThen the women said to Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without pa redeemer, and may his name qbe renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, rwho is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him. 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 sAnd the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, A son has been born to Naomi. They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

The Genealogy of David

18 Now these are the generations of Perez: tPerez fathered Hezron, 19 Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, 20 uAmminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, 21 Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, 22 Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.