Ruth 3–4; Proverbs 31

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 you2 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 Ruth3 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.


The Words of King Lemuel

31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

What are you doing, my son?1 What are you doing, fson of my womb?

What are you doing, gson of my vows?

Do hnot give your strength to women,

your ways to those iwho destroy kings.

jIt is not for kings, O Lemuel,

it is not for kings kto drink wine,

or for rulers to take lstrong drink,

lest they drink and forget what has been decreed

and mpervert the rights of all the afflicted.

Give strong drink to the one who nis perishing,

and wine to othose in bitter distress;2

plet them drink and forget their poverty

and remember their misery no more.

qOpen your mouth for the mute,

for the rights of all who are destitute.3

Open your mouth, rjudge righteously,

sdefend the rights of tthe poor and needy.

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10  4 uAn excellent wife who can find?

She is far more precious than vjewels.

11  The heart of her husband trusts in her,

and he will have no lack of gain.

12  She does him good, and not harm,

all the days of her life.

13  She wseeks wool and flax,

and works with willing hands.

14  She is like the ships of the merchant;

she brings her food from afar.

15  She xrises while it is yet night

and yprovides food for her household

and portions for her maidens.

16  She considers a field and buys it;

with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

17  She zdresses herself5 with strength

and makes her arms strong.

18  She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.

Her lamp does not go out at night.

19  She puts her hands to the distaff,

and her hands hold the spindle.

20  She aopens her hand to bthe poor

and reaches out her hands to bthe needy.

21  She is not afraid of snow for her household,

for all her household are clothed in cscarlet.6

22  She makes dbed coverings for herself;

her clothing is efine linen and fpurple.

23  Her husband is known in gthe gates

when he sits among the elders of the land.

24  She makes hlinen garments and sells them;

she delivers sashes to the merchant.

25  iStrength and dignity are her clothing,

and she laughs at the time to come.

26  She opens her mouth with wisdom,

and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27  She looks well to the ways of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28  Her children rise up and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

29  Many jwomen have done kexcellently,

but you surpass them all.

30  lCharm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31  Give her of the fruit of her hands,

and let her works praise her in the gates.