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Ruth New Living Translation (NLT)
 

Chapter 1


Elimelech Moves His Family to Moab

1In the days
when the judges ruled in Israel, a man from Bethlehem in Judah left the country because of a severe famine. He took his wife and two sons and went to live in the country of Moab. 2The man's name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. During their stay in Moab, 3Elimelech died and Naomi was left with her two sons. 4The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, 5both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her husband or sons.


Naomi and Ruth Return

6Then Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. 7With her two daughters-in-law she set out from
the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah.
8But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back to your mothers' homes instead of coming with me. And may the LORD reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me. 9May the LORD bless you with the security of another marriage." Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept.
10"No," they said. "We want to go with you to your people."
11But Naomi replied, "Why should you go on with me? Can I still give birth to other sons who could grow up
to be your husbands? 12No, my daughters, return to your parents' homes, for I am too old to marry again. And even if it were possible, and I were to get married tonight and bear sons, then what? 13Would you wait for them to grow up and refuse to marry someone else? No, of course not, my daughters! Things are far more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD himself has caused me to suffer."
14And again they wept together, and Orpah
kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi. 15"See," Naomi said to her, "your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same."
16But Ruth replied, "Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17I will die where you die and will be buried there. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!" 18So when Naomi saw that Ruth had made up her mind to go with her, she stopped urging her.
19So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was stirred by their arrival. "Is it really Naomi?" the women asked.
20"Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. 21I went away full, but the LORD has brought me home empty. Why should you call me Naomi when the LORD has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy?"
22So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.


Chapter 2


Ruth Works in Boazs Field

1Now there was a wealthy and influential man in Bethlehem named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi's husband, Elimelech.
2One day Ruth said to Naomi, "Let me go out into the fields to gather leftover grain behind anyone who will let me do it."
And Naomi said, "All right, my daughter, go ahead."
3So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech.
4While she was there, Boaz arrived
from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters. "The LORD be with you!" he said.
"The LORD bless you!" the harvesters replied.
5Then Boaz asked his foreman, "Who is that girl over there?"
6And the foreman replied, "She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. 7She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes' rest over there in the shelter."
8Boaz went over and said to Ruth, "Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don't go to any other fields. Stay right behind the women working in my field. 9See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them. I have warned
the young men not to bother you. And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well."
10Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. "Why are you being so kind to me?" she asked. "I am only a foreigner."
11"Yes, I know," Boaz replied. "But I also know about the love and kindness you have shown your mother-in-law
since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. 12May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully."
13"I hope I continue to please you, sir," she replied. "You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not as worthy as your workers."
14At lunchtime Boaz called to her, "Come over here and help yourself to some of our food. You can dip your bread in the wine if you like." So she sat with his harvesters, and Boaz gave her food--more than she could eat.
15When Ruth went back to work again, Boaz ordered
his young men, "Let her gather grain right among the sheaves without stopping her. 16And pull out some heads of barley from the bundles and drop them on purpose for her. Let her pick them up, and don't give her a hard time!"
17So Ruth gathered barley there all day, and when she beat out the grain that evening, it came to about half a bushel. 18She carried it back into town and showed it to her mother-in-law. Ruth also gave her the food that was left over from her lunch.
19"So much!" Naomi exclaimed. "Where did you gather all this grain today? Where did you work? May the LORD bless the one who helped you!"
So Ruth told her mother-in-law about the man in whose field she had worked. And she said, "The man I worked with today is named Boaz."
20"May the LORD bless him!" Naomi told her daughter-in-law. "He is showing his kindness to us as well as to your dead husband. That man is one of our closest relatives, one of our family redeemers."
21Then Ruth said, "What's more, Boaz even told me to come back and stay with his harvesters until the entire harvest is completed."
22"This is wonderful!" Naomi exclaimed. "Do as he said. Stay with his workers right through the whole harvest. You will be safe there, unlike in other fields."
23So Ruth worked alongside the women in Boaz's fields and gathered grain with them until the end of the barley harvest. Then she worked with them through the wheat harvest, too. But all the while she lived
with her mother-in-law.


Chapter 3


Ruth at the Threshing Floor

1One day Naomi said to Ruth, "My daughter, it's time that I found a permanent home for you, so that you will be provided for. 2Boaz is a close relative of ours, and he's been very kind by letting you gather grain with his workers. Tonight he will be winnowing barley at
the threshing floor. 3Now do as I tell you--take a bath and put on perfume and dress in your nicest clothes. Then go to the threshing floor, but don't let Boaz see you until he has finished his meal. 4Be sure to notice where he lies down; then go and uncover his feet and lie down there. He will tell you what to do."
5"I will do everything you say," Ruth replied. 6So she went down to
the threshing floor that night and followed the instructions of her mother-in-law.
7After Boaz had finished his meal and was in good spirits, he lay down beside the heap of grain and went to sleep. Then Ruth came quietly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8Around midnight, Boaz suddenly woke up and turned over. He was surprised to find a woman lying at his feet! 9"Who are you?" he demanded.
"I am your servant Ruth," she replied. "Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer."
10"The LORD bless you, my daughter!" Boaz exclaimed. "You are showing more family loyalty now than ever by not running after a younger man, whether rich or poor. 11Now don't worry about a thing, my daughter. I will do what is necessary, for everyone in town knows you are an honorable woman. 12But there is one problem. While it is true that I am one of your family redeemers, there is another man who is more closely related to you than I am. 13Stay here tonight, and in the morning I will talk to him. If he is willing to redeem you, then let him marry you. But if he is not willing, then as surely as the LORD lives, I will marry you! Now lie down here until morning."
14So Ruth lay at Boaz's feet until the morning, but she got up before it was light enough for people to recognize each other. For Boaz said, "No one must know that a woman was here at the threshing floor." 15Boaz also said to her, "Bring your cloak and spread it out." He measured out six scoops of barley into the cloak and helped her put it on her back. Then Boaz returned to the town.
16When Ruth went back to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, "What happened, my daughter?"
Ruth told Naomi everything Boaz had done for her,
17and she added, "He gave me these six scoops
of barley and said, `Don't go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.' "
18Then Naomi said to her, "Just be patient, my daughter, until we hear what happens. The man won't rest until he has followed through on this. He will settle it today."


Chapter 4


Boaz Marries Ruth

1So Boaz went to the town gate and took a seat there. When the family redeemer he had mentioned came by, Boaz called out to him, "Come over here, friend. I want to talk to you." So they sat down together. 2Then Boaz called ten leaders from the town and asked them to sit as witnesses. 3And Boaz said to the family redeemer, "You know Naomi, who came back from Moab. She is selling the land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. 4I felt that I should speak to you about it so that you can redeem it if you wish. If you want the land, then buy it here in the presence of these witnesses. But if you don't want it, let me know right away, because I am next in line to redeem it after you."
The man replied, "All right, I'll redeem it."
5Then Boaz told him, "Of course, your purchase of the land from Naomi also requires that you marry Ruth, the Moabite widow. That way, she can have children who will carry on her husband's name and keep the land in the family."
6"Then I can't redeem it," the family redeemer replied, "because this might endanger my own estate. You redeem the land; I cannot do it."
7In those days it was the custom in Israel for anyone transferring a right of purchase to remove his sandal and hand it to the other party. This publicly validated the transaction. 8So the other family redeemer drew off his sandal as he said to Boaz, "You buy the land."
9Then Boaz said to the leaders and to the crowd standing around, "You
are witnesses that today I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion, and Mahlon. 10And with the land I have acquired Ruth, the Moabite widow of Mahlon, to be my wife. This way she can have a son to carry on the family name of her dead husband and to inherit the family property here in his hometown. You are all witnesses today."
11Then the leaders and
all the people standing there replied, "We are witnesses! May the LORD make the woman who is now coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, from whom all the nation of Israel descended! May you be great in Ephrathah and famous in Bethlehem. 12And may the LORD give you descendants by this young woman who will be like those of our ancestor Perez, the son of Tamar and Judah."


The Descendants of Boaz

13So Boaz married Ruth and took her home to live with him. When he slept with her, the LORD enabled her to become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son. 14And the women of the town said to Naomi, "Praise the LORD who has given you a family redeemer today! May he be famous in Israel. 15May this child restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you so much and who has been better to you
than seven sons!"
16Naomi took care of the baby and cared for him as if he were her own. 17The neighbor women said, "Now at last Naomi has a son again!" And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David.
18This is their family line beginning with their ancestor Perez:

Perez was
the father of Hezron.
19
Hezron was the father of Ram.

Ram was the father of Amminadab.
20
Amminadab was the father of Nahshon.

Nahshon was the father of Salmon.
21
Salmon was the father of Boaz.

Boaz was the father of Obed.
22
Obed was the father of Jesse.

Jesse was
the father of David.