BOOK ENDS. Seraphim, April 2009.
JB RUTH Chapter 1
- RUTH AND NAOMI
1:1 In the days of the Judges famine came to the land and a certain man from Bethlehem of Judah went – he, his wife and his two sons – to live in the country of Moab.
1:2 The man was called Elimelech, his wife Naomi and his two sons, Mahion and Chilion;[*a] they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem of Judah. They came to the country of Moab and settled there.
1:3 Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she and her two sons were left.
1:4 These married Moabite women: one was named Orpah and the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years.
1:5 Then both Mahion and Chilion also died and the woman was bereft of her two sons and her husband.
1:6 So she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard that Yahweh had visited his people and given them food.
1:7 So, with her daughters-in-law, she came away from the place where she was living and they took the road back to the land of Judah.
1:8 Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, ‘Go back, each of you to her mother’s house. May Yahweh be kind to you as you have been to those who have died and to me.
1:9 Yahweh grant that you find rest, each of you, in the house of a husband.’ And she kissed them. But they wept aloud
1:10 and said to her, ‘No, we will go back with you to your people’.
1:11 And Naomi said, ‘You must return, my daughters; why come with me? Have I any more sons in my womb to make husbands for you?[*b]
1:12 Return my daughters, go, for I am too old now to marry again. Even if I said there is still hope for me, even if I were to have a husband this very night and bear sons,
1:13 would you be prepared to wait until they were grown up? Would you refuse to marry for this? No, my daughters, I should then be deeply grieved for you, for the hand of Yahweh has been raised against me.’
1:14 And once more they started to weep aloud. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and went back to her people. But Ruth clung to her.
1:15 Naomi said to her, ‘Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her god. You must return too; follow your sister-in-law.’
1:16 But Ruth said, ‘Do not press me to leave you and to turn back from your company, for ‘wherever you go, I will go, wherever you live, I willlive.Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
1:17 Wherever you die, I will die and there I will be buried. May Yahweh do this thing to me and more also,[*c] if even death should come between us!’
1:18 Seeing that she was determined to go with her, Naomi said no more.
1:19 The two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. Their arrival there set the whole town astir, and the women said, ‘Can this be Naomi?’
1:20 But she said to them, ‘Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara,[*d] for Shaddai has marred me bitterly.
1:21 ‘Filled full I departed, Yahweh brings me back empty. Why call me Naomi, then, since Yahweh has given witness against me and Shaddai has afflicted me?’
1:22 This was how Naomi, she who returned from the country of Moab, came back with Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
JB RUTH Chapter 2
- RUTH IN THE FIELDS OF BOAZ
2:1 Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, well-to-do and of Elimelech’s clan. His name was Boaz.
2:2 Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, ‘Let me go into the fields and glean among the ears of corn[*a] in the footsteps of some man who will look on me with favour’. And she said to her, ‘Go, my daughter’.
2:3 So she set out and went to glean in the fields after the reapers. And it chanced that she came to that part of the fields which belonged to Boaz of Elimelech’s clan.
2:4 Now Boaz, as it happened, had just come from Bethlehem. ‘Yahweh be with you!’ he said to the reapers. ‘Yahweh bless you!’ they replied.
2:5 Boaz said to a servant of his who was in charge of the reapers, ‘To whom does this young woman belong?’
2:6 And the servant in charge of the reapers replied, ‘The girl is the Moabitess, the one who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab,
2:7 and she said, “Please let me glean and gather the ears of corn after the reapers”. So she came and has been on her feet from morning till now.’
2:8 Boaz said to Ruth, ‘Listen, my daughter, and understand this. You are not to glean in any other field, do not leave here but stay with my servants.
2:9 Keep your eyes on whatever part of the field they are reaping and follow behind. I have ordered my servants not to molest you. And if you are thirsty, go to the pitchers and drink what the servants have drawn.’
2:10 Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground. And she said to him, ‘How have I so earned your favour that you take notice of me, even though I am a foreigner?’
2:11 And Boaz answered her, ‘I have been told all you have done for your mother-in-law since your husband’s death, and how you left your own father and mother and the land where you were born to come among a people whom you knew nothing about before you came here.
2:12 May Yahweh reward you for what you have done! May rich recompense be made to you by Yahweh, the God of Israel, to whom you have come, to find shelter beneath his wings.’
2:13 Then she said, ‘May I find favour in your eyes, my lord, since you have given me courage and spoken kindly to your maidservant, though indeed I am not the equal of one maidservant of yours’.
2:14 When it was time to eat Boaz said to her, ‘Come, eat some of this bread and dip your piece in the wine’. Ruth sat with the reapers and Boaz made a heap of roasted grain for her and she ate till her hunger was satisfied, and she had some left over.
2:15 Then she got up to glean and Boaz gave orders to his servants, ‘Let her glean among the sheaves themselves,’ he said ‘and do not check her.
2:16 And see you pull a few ears of corn from the bundles and let them fall. Let her glean them, and do not scold her.’
2:17 So she gleaned in the field till evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned and it came to about an ephah of barley.
2:18 And taking it with her, she went into the town. She showed her mother-in-law what she had gleaned. and also showed her the food she had set aside after satisfying her hunger, and gave it to her.
2:19 And her mother-in-law said to her, ‘Where did you glean today? Where have you been working? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!’ Then Ruth told her mother-in-law in whose field she had worked, ‘The name of the man with whom I have been working today’ she said ‘is Boaz’.
2:20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, ‘May he be blessed by Yahweh who does not withhold his kindness from living or dead! This man’ Naomi added ‘is a relative of ours. He is one of those who has the right of redemption over us.’
2:21 Then Ruth said to her mother-in-law, ‘He also said to me, “Stay with my servants until they have gathered in all my harvest”‘.
2:22 And Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, ‘It is better for you, my daughter, to go with his servants than to go to some other field where you might be molested’.
2:23 So Ruth stayed with the servants of Boaz and gleaned until the barley and wheat harvests were done. And she went on living with her mother-in-law.
JB RUTH Chapter 3
III. BOAZ SLEEPS
3:1 Then Naomi, her mother-in-law, said to her, ‘My daughter, is it not my duty to see you happily settled?
3:2 And is not Boaz, with whose servants you were, our kinsman? Now tonight he is winnowing the barley at the threshing-floor.
3:3 Come, wash and anoint and dress yourself. Then go down to the threshing-floor. Do not make yourself known to him before he has finished eating and drinking.
3:4 But when he settles down to sleep, take careful note of the place where he lies, then go and turn back the covering at his feet and lie there yourself. He will tell you what to do.’
3:5 And Ruth said to her, ‘I will do all you say’.
3:6 So she went down to the threshing-floor and did all that her mother-in-law had told her.
3:7 When Boaz had eaten and drunk, he was in a happy mood and went to lie down by the heap of barley. Then she came quietly and turned back the covering at his feet and lay there.
3:8 In the middle of the night the man started up and looked about him; and there lying at his feet was a woman.
3:9 ‘Who are you?’ he said; and she replied, ‘I am Ruth, your maidservant. Spread the skirt of your cloak over your servant for you have right of redemption over me.'[*a]
3:10 ‘May Yahweh bless you, my daughter,’ said Boaz ‘for this last act of kindness of yours is greater than the first, since you have not gone after young men, poor or rich.
3:11 Have no fear then, my daughter, I will do whatever you ask, for the people of Bethlehem all know your worth.
3:12 But, though it is true I have right of redemption over you, you have a kinsman closer than myself.
3:13 Stay here for tonight, and in the morning if he wishes to exercise his right over you, very well, let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to do so, then as Yahweh lives, I will redeem you. Lie here till morning.’
3:14 So she lay at his feet till morning. Boaz rose before the hour when one man can recognise another, ‘For’ said he ‘it must not be known that this woman came to the threshing-floor’.
3:15 Then he said is to her, ‘Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out’. She held it out while he put six measures of barley into it and then gave it to her to carry. And she went into the town.
3:16 When Ruth came back, her mother-in-law asked her, ‘How did things go with you, my daughter?’ Then she told her all that the man had done for her.
3:17 ‘He gave me these six measures of barley,’ she added ‘and he said to me, “You must not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed”.’
3:18 Naomi replied, ‘Wait, my daughter, and see how things will go, for he will not rest until it is settled, and settled today’.
JB RUTH Chapter 4
- BOAZ MARRIES RUTH
4:1 Meanwhile Boaz had gone up to the gate of the town and sat down, and the relative of whom he had spoken chanced to come past. Boaz said to him, ‘Come here, man, and sit down’; and he came and sat down.
4:2 Then Boaz picked out ten of the town’s elders and said to them, ‘Sit down here’, and they sat down.
4:3 Then Boaz said to the man who had right of redemption, ‘Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our brother, Elimelech.
4:4 I thought I should tell you about this and say: Buy it in the presence of the men who are sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you want to use your right of redemption, redeem it; if you do not, tell me so and I shall know, for there is no one but you to redeem it except me, though I come after you, myself.’ And he said, ‘I am willing to redeem it’.
4:5 But Boaz continued, ‘On the day you purchase the land from Naomi, you purchase Ruth the Moabitess also, the wife of the dead man,[*a] and so restore his name to his inheritance’.
4:6 And the man with right of redemption said, ‘Then I cannot use my right of redemption, without jeopardising my own inheritance. As I cannot use my right of redemption, exercise the right yourself.’
4:7 Now in former times it was the custom in Israel, in matters of redemption or exchange, to confirm the transaction by one of the parties removing his sandal and giving it to the other. In Israel this was the form of ratification in the presence of witnesses.
4:8 So when the man with right of redemption said to Boaz, ‘Purchase it for yourself’, he took off his sandal.
4:9 Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, ‘You are witnesses this day that I buy from Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech, to Chilionand to Mahlon.
4:10 You are witnesses too that I buy Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon’s widow, to be my wife, to keep the name of the dead man in his inheritance, so that the dead man’s name may not die out among his brothers and at the gate of his town.’
4:11 All the people at the gate said, ‘We are witnesses’; and the elders said, ‘May Yahweh make the woman who is to enter your House like Rachel and Leah who together built up the House of Israel.’Grow mighty in Ephrathah, be renowned in Bethlehem.
4:12 And through the children Yahweh will give you by this young woman, may your House become like the House of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah.’
4:13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. And when they came together, Yahweh made her conceive and she bore a son.
4:14 And the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed be Yahweh who has not left the dead man without next of kin this day to perpetuate his name in Israel.
4:15 The child will be a comfort to you and the prop of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you and is more to you than seven sons has given him birth.’
4:16 And Naomi took the child to her own bosom and she became his nurse.[*b]
4:17 And the women of the neighbourhood gave him a name. ‘A son has been born for Naomi’ they said; and they named him Obed. This was the father of David’s father, Jesse.
THE GENEALOGY OF DAVID[*c]
4:18 These are the descendants of Perez. Perez was the father of Hezron,
4:19 Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab,
4:20 Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon,
4:21 Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed,
4:22 Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David.
END OF JB RUTH [4 Chapters].