Ruth met Boaz
1 There was a man in Bethlehem who belonged to the clan of her dead husband, Elimelech. He was rich and well-known/influential. His name was Boaz.
2 One day Ruth said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the left-over grain behind anyone who acts kindly toward me.” Naomi replied, “Go ahead, my daughter.” 3 So Ruth went to the fields and began to pick up some of the leftover grain behind the men who were harvesting it. And it happened that she was working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the man from the clan of her dead father-in-law, Elimelech!
4 Just then, Boaz arrived from Bethlehem. He greeted the men who were harvesting the grain, saying, “I want Yahweh to bless you!” They replied, “We want Yahweh to bless you, too!”
5 Then Boaz saw Ruth, and asked the ◄foreman/man in charge of the other workmen►, “Whose daughter is that young woman?” 6 The foreman replied, “She is the woman from Moab who returned from there with her mother-in-law Naomi. 7 She said to me, ‘Please let me pick up some of the leftover grain as I walk behind the men who are harvesting the grain.’ I gave her permission, and she went into the field, and she has been working from this morning until now. The only time she did not work was when she rested for a short time in the shelter.”
8 So Boaz went over to Ruth and said to her, “Young lady, listen to me. Don't go and pick up grain in another field. Do not go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls. 9 Watch where the men are harvesting, and follow along behind the servant girls. I will tell the men who are working not to touch/molest you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get some water to drink from the jars that the men have filled.”
10 When he said that, she knelt down in front of him in respect, with her face touching the ground. She exclaimed, “Why are you acting so kindly toward me, by paying attention to me? I am not even a Jew; I am a foreigner!” 11 Boaz replied, “People have told me all about what you have done for your mother-in-law. They told me that you left your parents and your homeland, and you came here to live among people whom you did not know before. 12 I hope/desire that Yahweh will repay you for what you have done. You have put yourself in the care of Yahweh, like a little bird puts itself under its mother's wings [MET]. I desire that he will reward you very greatly.”
13 She replied, “Sir, I hope you will continue to act kindly toward me. You have comforted/encouraged me, even though I do not have the status that any of your servant girls have.”
14 At mealtime, Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Take some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar and eat it.” Then when she sat down with the men who had been harvesting, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all the grain she wanted, and had some left over. 15 As she stood up to start gathering grain again, Boaz ordered his workers, “Even if she gathers some grain near the bundles of grain that have been cut, do not scold her. 16 Instead, pull out some stalks of grain from the bundles, and leave them on the ground for her to pick up, and do not rebuke her.”
17 So Ruth gathered grain in the field until evening. Then she ◄threshed/beat with a stick► the barley that she had gathered, to separate the kernels from the stalks, and the barley filled a large basket. 18 She carried it back to town, and showed to her mother-in-law how much she had gathered. Ruth also showed to her the grain that was left over after she had eaten enough from what Boaz had given her at lunchtime. 19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you gather grain today? In whose field did you work? God will surely bless the man who was kind to you.” Then Ruth told her about the man in whose field she had been working. She said, “The name of the man who owns the field where I worked today is Boaz.” 20 Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “I hope/desire that Yahweh will bless him! He has not stopped acting kindly toward us, who are still living, and to our husbands who have died.” Then she added, “That man is a close relative of Elimelech; he is one of those who has a responsibility to help those who are his relatives.”
21 Then Ruth said, “He also said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they have finished harvesting all my grain.’ ”
22 Naomi replied, “My daughter, it will be good for you to go to his field with his servant girls, because if you go to someone else's field, someone might harm/molest you.”
23 So Ruth stayed close to Boaz's servant girls while she was working. She gathered stalks of grain until the barley harvest and the wheat harvest were finished. During that time she lived with Naomi.