Ruth 1

Israel's War with the Tribe of Benjamin

20 Then yall the people of Israel came out, zfrom Dan to Beersheba, including the land of Gilead, and the congregation assembled as one man to the Lord at aMizpah. And the bchiefs of all the people, of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, 400,000 men on foot cthat drew the sword. (Now the people of Benjamin heard that the people of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) And the people of Israel said, Tell us, how did this evil happen? And the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered and said, dI came to Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to spend the night. eAnd the leaders of Gibeah rose against me and surrounded the house against me by night. They meant to kill me, and they violated my concubine, and she is dead. fSo I took hold of my concubine and cut her in pieces and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel, for they have committed abomination and goutrage in Israel. Behold, you people of Israel, all of you, hgive your advice and counsel here.

And all the people arose as one man, saying, None of us will go to his tent, and none of us will return to his house. But now this is what we will do to Gibeah: we will go up against it by lot, 10 and we will take ten men of a hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred of a thousand, and a thousand of ten thousand, to bring provisions for the people, that when they come they may repay Gibeah of Benjamin for all the outrage that they have committed in Israel. 11 So all the men of Israel gathered against the city, united as one man.

12 iAnd the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What evil is this that has taken place among you? 13 Now therefore give up the men, jthe worthless fellows in Gibeah, that we may put them to death kand purge evil from Israel. But the Benjaminites would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the people of Israel. 14 Then the people of Benjamin came together out of the cities to Gibeah to go out to battle against the people of Israel. 15 And the people of Benjamin mustered out of their cities on that day l26,000 men mwho drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who mustered 700 chosen men. 16 Among all these were 700 chosen men who were nleft-handed; every one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss. 17 And the men of Israel, apart from Benjamin, mustered m400,000 men who drew the sword; all these were men of war.

18 The people of Israel arose and went up to oBethel and inquired of God, pWho shall go up first for us to fight against the people of Benjamin? And the Lord said, pJudah shall go up first.

19 Then the people of Israel rose in the morning and encamped against Gibeah. 20 And the men of Israel went out to fight against Benjamin, and the men of Israel drew up the battle line against them at Gibeah. 21 qThe people of Benjamin came out of Gibeah and destroyed on that day 22,000 men of the Israelites. 22 But the people, the men of Israel, took courage, and again formed the battle line in the same place where they had formed it on the first day. 23 rAnd the people of Israel went up and wept before the Lord until the evening. And they inquired of the Lord, Shall we again draw near to fight against our brothers, the people of Benjamin? And the Lord said, Go up against them.

24 So the people of Israel came near against the people of Benjamin the second day. 25 And Benjamin swent against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed 18,000 men of the people of Israel. All these were men who tdrew the sword. 26 Then all the people of Israel, the whole army, went up and came to uBethel and wept. They sat there before the Lord and fasted that day until evening, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 27 And the people of Israel inquired of the Lord v(for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, 28 and wPhinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, xministered before it in those days), saying, Shall we go out once more to battle against our brothers, the people of Benjamin, or shall we cease? And the Lord said, Go up, for tomorrow I will give them into your hand.

29 ySo Israel set men in ambush around Gibeah. 30 And the people of Israel went up against the people of Benjamin on the third day and set themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times. 31 And the people of Benjamin went out against the people and were drawn away from the city. And as at other times they began to strike and kill some of the people in the highways, zone of which goes up to aBethel and the other to Gibeah, and in the open country, about thirty men of Israel. 32 And the people of Benjamin said, bThey are routed before us, as at the first. But the people of Israel said, Let us flee and draw them away from the city to the highways. 33 And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place and set themselves in array at Baal-tamar, and the men of Israel who were in ambush rushed out of their place from Maareh-geba.1 34 And there came against Gibeah 10,000 chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was hard, cbut the Benjaminites did not know that disaster was close upon them. 35 And the Lord defeated Benjamin before Israel, and the people of Israel destroyed 25,100 men of Benjamin that day. All these were men who ddrew the sword. 36 So the people of Benjamin saw that they were defeated.

The men of Israel gave ground to Benjamin, because they trusted the men in ambush whom they had set against Gibeah. 37 eThen the men in ambush hurried and rushed against Gibeah; the men in ambush moved out and struck all the city with the edge of the sword. 38 Now the appointed signal between the men of Israel and the men in the main ambush was that when they made a great cloud of smoke rise up out of the city 39 the men of Israel should turn in battle. Now Benjamin had begun to strike and kill about thirty men of Israel. They said, fSurely they are defeated before us, as in the first battle. 40 But when the signal began to rise out of the city in a column of smoke, the Benjaminites looked behind them, and behold, gthe whole of the city went up in smoke to heaven. 41 Then the men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were dismayed, hfor they saw that disaster was close upon them. 42 Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel in ithe direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them. And those who came out of the cities were destroying them in their midst. 43 Surrounding the Benjaminites, they pursued them and trod them down from Nohah2 as far as opposite Gibeah on the east. 44 Eighteen thousand men of Benjamin fell, all of them men of valor. 45 And they turned iand fled toward the wilderness to the rock of jRimmon. Five thousand men of them were cut down in the highways. And they were pursued hard to Gidom, and 2,000 men of them were struck down. 46 So all who fell that day of Benjamin were 25,000 men who drew the sword, all of them men of valor. 47 But 600 men turned and ifled toward the wilderness to the rock of jRimmon and remained at the rock of Rimmon four months. 48 And the men of Israel turned back against the people of Benjamin and struck them with the edge of the sword, the city, men and beasts and all that they found. And all the towns that they found they set on fire.

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.