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HOW RUTH GLEANED IN THE FIELD OF BOAZ
Ruth i: 1, to iv: 22.
N the time of the judges in Israel, a man named Elimelech
was living in the town of Bethlehem, in the tribe of
Judah, about six miles south of Jerusalem. His wife's
name was Naomi, and his two sons were Mahlon and
Chilion. For some years the crops were poor, and food
was scarce in Judah; and Elimelech, with his family,
went to live in the land of Moab, which was on the east
of the Dead Sea, as Judah was on the west.
There they stayed ten years, and in that time Elimelech
died. His two sons married women of the country of
Moab, one woman named Orpah, the other named Ruth. But
the two young men also died in the land of Moab, so
that Naomi and her two daughters-in-law
were all left widows.
Naomi heard that God had again given good harvests and
bread to the land of Judah, and she rose up
to go from Moab back to her own land and
her own town of Bethlehem. Her two
daughters-in-law loved her and
both would have gone with her, though the land of Judah
was a strange land to them, for they were of the
Naomi said to them, "Go back, my daughters, to your own
mothers' homes. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as
you have been kind to your husbands and to me. May the
Lord grant that each of you may yet find another
husband and a happy home." Then Naomi kissed them in
farewell, and the three women all wept together. The
two young widows said to her, "You have been a good
mother to us, and we will go with you, and live among
"No, no," said Naomi. "You are young, and I am old. Go
back and be happy among your own people."
 Then Orpah kissed Naomi and went back to her people;
but Ruth would not leave her. She said, "Do not ask me
to leave you, for I never will. Where you go, I will
go; where you live, I will live; your people shall be
my people; and your God shall be my God. Where you die,
I will die, and be buried. Nothing but death itself
shall part you and me."
ORPAH LEAVES NAOMI
When Naomi saw that Ruth was firm in her purpose, she
ceased trying to persuade her; so the two women went on
 walked around the Dead Sea, and crossed the river
Jordan, and climbed the mountains of Judah, and came to
Naomi had been absent from Bethlehem for ten years, but
her friends were all glad to see her again. They said,
"Is this Naomi, whom we knew years ago?" Now the name
Naomi means "pleasant." And Naomi said:
"Call me not Naomi; call me Mara, for the Lord has made
my life bitter. I went out full, with my husband and
two sons; now I come home empty, without them. Do not
call me 'Pleasant'; call me 'Bitter.' " The name "Mara,"
by which Naomi wished to be called, means "bitter." But
Naomi learned later that "Pleasant" was the right name
for her after all.
There was living in Bethlehem at that time a very rich
man named Boaz. He owned large fields that were
abundant in their harvests; and he was related to the
family of Elimelech, Naomi's husband, who had died.
It was the custom in Israel when they reaped the grain
not to gather all the stalks, but to leave some for the
poor people, who followed after the reapers with their
sickles, and gathered what was left. When Naomi and
Ruth came to Bethlehem it was the time of the barley
harvest; and Ruth went out into the fields to glean the
grain which the reapers had left. It so happened that
she was gleaning in the field that belonged to Boaz,
this rich man.
Boaz came out from the town to see his men reaping, and
he said to them, "The Lord be with you;" and they
answered him, "The Lord bless you." And Boaz said to
his master of the reapers, "Who is this young woman
that I see gleaning in the field?"
The man answered, "It is the young woman from the land
of Moab, who came with Naomi. She asked leave to
glean after the reapers, and has been here gathering
grain since yesterday."
RUTH GLEANING IN THE FIELD OF BOAZ
Then Boaz said to Ruth, "Listen to me, my daughter. Do
not go to any other field, but stay here with my young
women. No one shall harm you; and when you are thirsty,
go and drink at our vessels of water."
Then Ruth bowed to Boaz, and thanked him for his
kindness, all the more kind because she was a stranger
in Israel. Boaz said:
"I have heard how true you have been to your
mother-in-law, Naomi, in leaving your own land and
coming with her to this land.
 May the Lord, under whose wings you have come, give you
a reward!" And at noon, when they sat down to rest and
to eat, Boaz gave her some of the food. And he said to
"When you are reaping, leave some of the sheaves for
her; and drop out some sheaves from the bundles, where
she may gather them."
That evening Ruth showed Naomi how much she had
gleaned, and told her of the rich man Boaz, who had
been so kind to her. And Naomi said, "This man is a
near relation of ours. Stay in his fields as long as
the harvest lasts." And so Ruth gleaned in the fields
of Boaz until the harvest had been gathered.
At the end of the harvest Boaz held a feast on the
threshing-floor. And after the feast, by the advice of
Naomi, Ruth went to him, and said to him, "You are a
near relation of my husband and of his father,
Elimelech. Now will you not do good to us for his
And when Boaz saw Ruth he loved her; and soon after
this he took her as his wife. And Naomi and Ruth went
to live in his
 home; so that Naomi's life was no more bitter, but
pleasant. And Boaz and Ruth had a son, whom they named
Obed; and later Obed had a son named Jesse; and Jesse
was the father of David, the shepherd boy who became
king. So Ruth, the young woman of Moab, who chose the
people and the God of Israel, became the mother of
RUTH WILL NOT LEAVE NAOMI