THE STORY OF RUTH AND NAOMI
 NOW it came to pass, many hundreds of years ago, that
there was a good woman named Naomi who lived in the
land of the Moabites. She had once been very rich and
happy, but now her husband was dead and her two sons
also, and she had left only Orpah and Ruth, the wives
of her sons. There was a famine in the land. Naomi
could find no grain in the fields to beat into flour.
She and Orpah and Ruth were lonely and sad and very
But Naomi heard there was a land where the Lord had
visited His People and given them bread; so she went
forth from the place where she was, and her two
daughters with her, to the land called Judah. It was a
long, hard way to go. There were rough roads to travel
and steep hills to climb. Their feet grew so weary
they could scarcely walk, and at last Naomi said:
"Go, return each to your father's house. The Lord deal
kindly with you as you have dealt with me. The Lord
grant you that you may find rest."
Then she kissed them, and Orpah kissed her and left
her, but Ruth would not leave Naomi. And Naomi said to
 "Behold, thy sister is gone back unto her own
people; return thou!"
But Ruth clung to Naomi more closely, as she said:
"Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from
following after thee: for whither thou goest, there
will I go; and where thou lodgest, there will I lodge.
Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."
When Naomi saw that Ruth loved her so much, she forgot
how tired and hungry she was and the two journeyed on
together until they came to Bethlehem in Judah in the
beginning of the barley harvest. There was no famine
in Bethlehem. The fields were full of waving grain,
and busy servants were reaping it, and gathering it up
to bind into sheaves. Above all were the fields of the
rich man, Boaz, shining with barley and corn.
Naomi and Ruth came to the edge of the fields and
watched the busy reapers. They saw that after each
sheaf was bound, and each pile of corn was stacked, a
little grain fell, unnoticed, to the ground. Ruth said
to Naomi: "Let me go to the field and glean the ears
of corn after them." And Naomi said to her: "Go, my
daughter." And she went, and came and gleaned in the
field after the reapers.
And Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to his reapers:
"Whose damsel is this?" for he saw how very beautiful
Ruth was, and how busily she was gleaning. The reapers
said: "It is the damsel that came back with Naomi out
of the land of the Moabites."
And Ruth ran up to Boaz, crying: "I pray you, let me
glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves."
And Boaz, who was good and kind, said to Ruth:
 "Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean
in any other field, but abide here."
Then Ruth bowed herself to the ground, and said: "Why
have I found such favor in thine eyes, seeing I am a
And Boaz answered her: "It hath been showed me all
that thou hast done to thy mother."
So, all day, Ruth gleaned in Boaz's fields. At noon
she ate bread and parched corn with the others. Boaz
commanded his reapers to let fall large handfuls of
grain, as they worked, for Ruth to gather, and at night
she took it all home to Naomi.
"Where hast thou gleaned to-day?" asked Naomi, when she
saw the food that Ruth had brought to her.
"The man's name with whom I wrought to-day is Boaz,"
said Ruth. And Naomi said: "Blessed be he of the
Lord—the man is near of kin unto us."
So Ruth gleaned daily, and at the end of the barley
harvest the good man Boaz took Ruth and Naomi to live
with him in his own house forever.