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THE BOOK OF RUTH
Elimelech of Bethlehem going with his wife Noemi, and two sons, into
the land of Moab, dieth there. His sons marry wives of that country and
die without issue. Noemi returneth home with her daughter in law Ruth,
who refuseth to part with her.
1:1. In the days of the judges, when the judges ruled, there came a
famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem Juda, went to
sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons.
1:2. He was named Elimelech, and his wife Noemi: and his two sons, the
one Mahalon, and the other Chelion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Juda. And
entering into the country of Moab, they abode there.
1:3. And Elimelech the husband of Noemi died: and she remained with her
1:4. And they took wives of the women of Moab, of which one was called
Orpha, and the other Ruth. And they dwelt their ten years,
1:5. And they both died, to wit, Mahalon and Chelion: and the woman was
left alone, having lost both her sons and her husband.
1:6. And she arose to go from the land of Moab to her own country, with
both her daughters in law: for she had heard that the Lord had looked
upon his people, and had given them food.
1:7. Wherefore she went forth out of the place of her sojournment, with
both her daughters in law: and being now in the way to return into the
land of Juda,
1:8. She said to them: Go ye home to your mothers, the Lord deal
mercifully with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.
1:9. May he grant you to find rest in the houses of the husbands whom
you shall take. And she kissed them. And they lifted up their voice,
and began to weep,
1:10. And to say: We will go on with thee to thy people.
1:11. But she answered them: Return, my daughters: why come ye with me?
have I any more sons in my womb, that you may hope for husbands of me?
1:12. Return again, my daughters, and go your ways: for I am now spent
with age, and not fit for wedlock. Although I might conceive this
night, and bear children,
1:13. If you would wait till they were grown up, and come to man's
estate, you would be old women before you marry. Do not so, my
daughters, I beseech you: for I am grieved the more for your distress,
and the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.
1:14. And they lifted up their voice, and began to weep again: Orpha
kissed her mother in law, and returned: Ruth stuck close to her mother
1:15. And Noemi said to her: Behold thy kinswoman is returned to her
people, and to her gods, go thou with her.
To her gods, etc. . .Noemi did not mean to persuade Ruth to return to
the false gods she had formerly worshipped: but by this manner of
speech, insinuated to her, that if she would go with her, she must
renounce her false gods and return to the Lord the God of Israel.
1:16. She answered: Be not against me, to desire that I should leave
thee and depart: for whithersoever thou shalt go, I will go: and where
thou shalt dwell, I also will dwell. Thy people shall be my people, and
thy God my God.
1:17. The land that shall receive thee dying, in the same will I die:
and there will I be buried. The Lord do so and so to me, and add more
also, if aught but death part me and thee.
The Lord do so and so, etc. . .A form of swearing usual in the history
of the Old Testament, by which the person wished such and such evils to
fall upon them, if they did not do what they said.
1:18. Then Noemi seeing that Ruth was steadfastly determined to go with
her, would not be against it, nor persuade her any more to return to
1:19. So they went together, and came to Bethlehem. And when they were
come into the city, the report was quickly spread among all: and the
women said: This is that Noemi.
1:20. But she said to them: Call me not Noemi (that is, beautiful,) but
call me Mara (that is, bitter), for the Almighty hath quite filled me
1:21. I went out full and the Lord hath brought me back empty. Why then
do you call me Noemi, whom the Lord hath humbled, and the Almighty hath
1:22. So Noemi came with Ruth, the Moabitess, her daughter in law, from
the land of her sojournment: and returned into Bethlehem, in the
beginning of the barley harvest.
Ruth gleaneth in the field of Booz, who sheweth her favour.
2:1. Now her husband Elimelech had a kinsman, a powerful man, and very
rich, whose name was Booz.
2:3. And Ruth, the Moabitess, said to her mother in law: If thou wilt,
I will go into the field, and glean the ears of corn that escape the
hands of the reapers, wheresoever I shall find grace with a
householder, that will be favourable to me. And she answered her: Go,
2:3. She went, therefore, and gleaned the ears of corn after the
reapers. And it happened that the owner of that field was Booz, who was
of the kindred of Elimelech.
2:4. And behold, he came out of Bethlehem, and said to the reapers: The
Lord be with you. And they answered him: The Lord bless thee.
2:5. And Booz said to the young man that was set over the reapers:
Whose maid is this ?
2:6. And he answered him: This is the Moabitess, who came with Noemi,
from the land of Moab,
2:7. And she desired leave to glean the ears of corn that remain,
following the steps of the reapers: and she hath been in the field from
morning till now, and hath not gone home for one moment.
2:8. And Booz said to Ruth: Hear me, daughter, do not go to glean in
any other field, and do not depart from this place: but keep with my
2:9. And follow where they reap. For I have charged my young men, not
to molest thee: and if thou art thirsty, go to the vessels, and drink
of the waters whereof the servants drink.
2:10. She fell on her face, and worshipping upon the ground, said to
him: Whence cometh this to me, that I should find grace before thy
eyes, and that thou shouldst vouchsafe to take notice of me, a woman of
2:11. And he answered her: All hath been told me, that thou hast done
to thy mother in law after the death of thy husband: and how thou hast
left thy parents, and the land wherein thou wast born, and art come to
a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
2:12. The Lord render unto thee for thy work, and mayst thou receive a
full reward of the Lord the God of Israel, to whom thou art come, and
under whose wings thou art fled.
2:13. And she said: I have found grace in thy eyes, my lord, who hast
comforted me, and hast spoken to the heart of thy handmaid, who am not
like to one of thy maids.
2:14. And Booz said to her: At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of
the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. So she sat at the side of
the reapers, and she heaped to herself frumenty, and ate and was
filled, and took the leavings.
2:15. And she arose from thence, to glean the ears of corn as before.
And Booz commanded his servants, saying: If she would even reap with
you, hinder her not:
2:16. And let fall some of your handfuls of purpose, and leave them,
that she may gather them without shame, and let no man rebuke her when
she gathereth them.
2:17. She gleaned therefore in the field till evening: and beating out
with a rod, and threshing what she had gleaned, she found about the
measure of an ephi of barley, that is, three bushels:
2:18. Which she took up, and returned into the city, and shewed it to
her mother in law: moreover, she brought out, and gave her of the
remains of her meat, wherewith she had been filled.
2:19. And her mother in law said to her: Where hast thou gleaned today,
and where hast thou wrought? blessed be he that hath had pity on thee.
And she told her with whom she had wrought: and she told the man's
name, that he was called Booz.
2:20. And Noemi answered her: Blessed be he of the Lord: because the
same kindness which he shewed to the living, he hath kept also to the
dead. And again she said: The man is our kinsman.
2:21. And Ruth said: He also charged me, that I should keep close to
his reapers, till all the corn should be reaped.
2:22. And her mother in law said to her: It is better for thee, my
daughter, to go out to reap with his maids, lest in another man's field
some one may resist thee.
2:23. So she kept close to the maids of Booz: and continued to glean
with them, till all the barley and the wheat were laid up in the barns.
Ruth instructed by her mother in law lieth at Booz's feet, claiming him
for her husband by the law of affinity: she receiveth a good answer,
and six measures of barley.
3:1. After she was returned to her mother in law, Noemi said to her: My
daughter, I will seek rest for thee, and will provide that it may be
well with thee.
3:2. This Booz, with whose maids thou wast joined in the field, is our
near kinsman, and behold this night he winnoweth barley in the
3:3. Wash thyself therefore and anoint thee, and put on thy best
garments, and go down to the barnfloor: but let not the man see thee,
till he shall have done eating and drinking.
3:4. And when he shall go to sleep, mark the place wherein he sleepeth:
and thou shalt go in, and lift up the clothes wherewith he is covered
towards his feet, and shalt lay thyself down there: and he will tell
thee what thou must do.
3:5. She answered: Whatsoever thou shalt command, I will do.
3:6. And she went down to the barnfloor, and did all that her mother in
law had bid her.
3:7. And when Booz had eaten, and drunk, and was merry, he went to
sleep by the heap of sheaves, and she came softly, and uncovering his
feet, laid herself down.
3:8. And behold, when it was now midnight the man was afraid, and
troubled: and he saw a woman lying at his feet,
3:9. And he said to her: Who art thou ? And she answered: I am Ruth,
thy handmaid: spread thy coverlet over thy servant, for thou art a near
3:10. And he said: Blessed art thou of the Lord, my daughter, and thy
latter kindness has surpassed the former: because thou hast not
followed young men either poor or rich.
Thy latter kindness, viz. . .to thy husband deceased in seeking to keep
up his name and family by marrying his relation according to the law,
and not following after young men. For Booz, it seems, was then in
3:11. Fear not therefore, but whatsoever thou shalt say to me I will do
to thee. For all the people that dwell within the gates of my city,
know that thou art a virtuous woman.
3:12. Neither do I deny myself to be near of kin, but there is another
nearer than I.
3:13. Rest thou this night: and when morning is come, if he will take
thee by the right of kindred, all is well: but if he will not, I will
undoubtedly take thee, so the Lord liveth: sleep till the morning.
3:14. So she slept at his feet till the night was going off. And she
arose before men could know one another, and Booz said: Beware lest any
man know that thou camest hither.
3:15. And again he said: Spread thy mantle, wherewith thou art covered,
and hold it with both hands. And when she spread it and held it, he
measured six measures of barley, and laid it upon her. And she carried
it, and went into the city,
3:16. And came to her mother in law; who said to her: What hast thou
done, daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.
3:17. And she said: Behold he hath given me six measures of barley: for
he said: I will not have thee return empty to thy mother in law.
3:18. And Noemi said: Wait, my daughter, till we see what end the thing
will have. For the man will not rest until he have accomplished what he
Upon the refusal of the nearer kinsman, Booz marrieth Ruth, who
bringeth forth Obed, the grandfather of David.
4:1. Then Booz went up to the gate, and sat there. And when he had seen
the kinsman going by, of whom he had spoken before, he said to him,
calling him by his name: Turn aside for a little while, and sit down
here. He turned aside, and sat down.
4:2. And Booz, taking ten men of the ancients of the city, said to
them: Sit ye down here.
4:3. They sat down, and he spoke to the kinsman: Noemi, who is returned
from the country of Moab will sell a parcel of land that belonged to
our brother Elimelech.
4:4. I would have thee to understand this, and would tell thee before
all that sit here, and before the ancients of my people. If thou wilt
take possession of it by the right of kindred: buy it, and possess it:
but if it please thee not, tell me so, that I may know what I have to
do. For there is no near kinsman besides thee, who art first, and me,
who am second. But he answered: I will buy the field.
4:5. And Booz said to him: When thou shalt buy the field at the woman's
hand, thou must take also Ruth, the Moabitess, who was the wife of the
deceased: to raise up the name of thy kinsman in his inheritance.
4:6. He answered: I yield up my right of next akin: for I must not cut
off the posterity of my own family. Do thou make use of my privilege,
which I profess I do willingly forego.
4:7. Now this in former times was the manner in Israel between kinsmen,
that if at any time one yielded his right to another: that the grant
might be sure, the man put off his shoe and gave it to his neighbour;
this was a testimony of cession of right in Israel.
4:8. So Booz said to his kinsman: Put off thy shoe. And immediately he
took it off from his foot.
4:9. And he said to the ancients, and to all the people: You are
witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and
Chelion's, and Mahalon's, of the hand of Noemi:
4:10. And have taken to wife Ruth, the Moabitess, the wife of Mahalon,
to raise up the name of the deceased in his inheritance lest his name
be cut off, from among his family and his brethren and his people. You,
I say, are witnesses of this thing.
4:11. Then all the people that were in the gate, and the ancients,
answered: We are witnesses: The Lord make this woman who cometh into
thy house, like Rachel, and Lia, who built up the house of Israel: that
she may be an example of virtue in Ephrata, and may have a famous name
Ephrata. . .Another name of Bethlehem.
4:12. And that the house may be, as the house of Phares, whom Thamar
bore unto Juda, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this
4:13. Booz therefore took Ruth, and married her: and went in unto her,
and the Lord gave her to conceive, and to bear a son.
4:14. And the women said to Noemi: Blessed be the Lord, who hath not
suffered thy family to want a successor: that his name should be
preserved in Israel.
4:15. And thou shouldst have one to comfort thy soul, and cherish thy
old age. For he is born of thy daughter in law: who loveth thee: and
is much better to thee, than if thou hadst seven sons.
4:16. And Noemi taking the child, laid it in her bosom, and she carried
it, and was a nurse unto it.
4:17. And the women, her neighbours, congratulating with her, and
saying, There is a son born to Noemi, called his name Obed: he is the
father of Isai, the father of David.
4:18. These are the generations of Phares: Phares begot Esron,
4:19. Esron begot Aram, Aram begot Aminadab,
4:20. Aminadab begot Nahasson, Nahasson begot Salmon,
4:21. Salmon begot Booz, Booz begot Obed,
4:22. Obed begot Isai, Isai begot David.