Ruth 1–2; Psalm 129; Proverbs 30

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.3

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 ephah4 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.


They Have Afflicted Me from My Youth

A Song of mAscents.

129  Greatly1 have they pafflicted me qfrom my youth

rlet Israel now say

Greatly have they pafflicted me qfrom my youth,

syet they have not prevailed against me.

tThe plowers plowed uupon my back;

they made long their furrows.

The Lord is righteous;

he has cut vthe cords of the wicked.

May all who hate Zion

be wput to shame and turned backward!

Let them be like xthe grass on the housetops,

which ywithers before it grows up,

with which the reaper does not fill his hand

nor the binder of sheaves his arms,

nor do those who pass by say,

aThe blessing of the Lord be upon you!

We bbless you in the name of the Lord!


The Words of Agur

30 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.1

The man declares, I am weary, O God;

I am weary, O God, and worn out.2

Surely I am too mstupid to be a man.

I have not the understanding of a man.

I have not learned wisdom,

nor have I knowledge of nthe Holy One.

Who has oascended to heaven and come down?

Who has pgathered the wind in his fists?

Who has qwrapped up the waters in a garment?

Who has established all rthe ends of the earth?

sWhat is his name, and what is his son’s name?

Surely you know!

tEvery word of God proves true;

he is ua shield to those who take refuge in him.

vDo not add to his words,

lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

Two things I ask of you;

deny them not to me wbefore I die:

Remove far from me falsehood and lying;

give me neither poverty nor riches;

feed me with the food that is xneedful for me,

lest I be yfull and zdeny you

and say, aWho is the Lord?

or lest I be poor and steal

band profane the name of my God.

10  cDo not slander a servant to his master,

dlest he curse you, and you be held guilty.

11  There are those3 who ecurse their fathers

and do not bless their mothers.

12  There are those who are fclean in their own eyes

but are not washed of their filth.

13  There are thosehow glofty are their eyes,

how high their eyelids lift!

14  There are those whose teeth are hswords,

whose ifangs are knives,

to jdevour the poor from off the earth,

the needy from among mankind.

15  The leech has two daughters:

Give and Give.4

kThree things are never satisfied;

kfour never say, Enough:

16  lSheol, mthe barren womb,

the land never satisfied with water,

and the fire that never says, Enough.

17  The eye that nmocks a father

and oscorns to obey a mother

will pbe picked out by qthe ravens of the valley

and eaten by the vultures.

18  kThree things are rtoo wonderful for me;

kfour I do not understand:

19  the way of an eagle in the sky,

the way of a serpent on a rock,

the way of a ship on the high seas,

and the way of a man with a virgin.

20  This is the way of an adulteress:

she eats and wipes her mouth

and says, I have done no wrong.

21  Under kthree things sthe earth trembles;

under kfour it cannot bear up:

22  ta slave when he becomes king,

and a fool when he is ufilled with food;

23  van unloved woman when she wgets a husband,

and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.

24  kFour things on earth are small,

but they are exceedingly wise:

25  xthe ants are a people not strong,

yet they provide their food in the summer;

26  ythe rock badgers are a people not mighty,

yet they make their homes in the cliffs;

27  the locusts have no zking,

yet all of them march in arank;

28  the lizard you can take in your hands,

yet it is in kings’ palaces.

29  bThree things are stately in their tread;

bfour are stately in their stride:

30  the lion, which is mightiest among beasts

and cdoes not turn back before any;

31  the dstrutting rooster,5 the he-goat,

and a king whose army is with him.6

32  If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,

or if you have been devising evil,

eput your hand on your mouth.

33  For pressing milk produces curds,

pressing the nose produces blood,

and pressing anger produces strife.