Naomi’s Plan for Ruth’s Marriage
Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, said to her, “My daughter, shouldn’t I try to look for a home that would be good for you? Isn’t Boaz, whose young women you’ve been working with, our relative? He will be separating the barley from its husks on the threshing floor * tonight. Freshen up, put on some perfume, dress up, and go down to the threshing floor. Don’t let him know that you’re there until he’s finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, notice the place where he is lying. Then uncover his feet, and lie down there. He will make it clear what you must do.”
Ruth answered her, “I will do whatever you say.”
Ruth at the Feet of Boaz
Ruth went to the threshing floor and did exactly as her mother-in-law had directed her. Boaz had eaten and drunk to his heart’s content, so he went and lay at the edge of a pile of grain. Then she went over to him secretly, uncovered his feet, and lay down.
At midnight the man was shivering. When he turned over, he was surprised to see a woman lying at his feet. “Who are you?” he asked.
She answered, “I am Ruth. Spread the corner of your garment over me because you are a close relative who can take care of me.”
10 Boaz replied, “May the Lord bless you, my daughter. This last kindness—that you didn’t go after the younger men, whether rich or poor—is better than the first. 11 Don’t be afraid, my daughter. I will do whatever you say. The whole town knows that you are a woman who has strength of character. 12 It is true that I am a close relative of yours, but there is a relative closer than I. 13 Stay here tonight. In the morning if he will agree to take care of you, that is good. He can take care of you. But if he does not wish to take care of you, then, I solemnly swear, as the Lord lives, I will take care of you myself. Lie down until morning.”
Ruth Returns to Bethlehem
14 So Ruth lay at his feet until morning. Then she got up early before anyone could be recognized. At that moment Boaz thought to himself, “I hope that no one will ever know that this woman came to the threshing floor.”
15 Then Boaz told Ruth, “Stretch out the cape you’re wearing and hold it tight.” So she held it tight while he measured out six measures of barley. Then he placed it on her ⌞back⌟ and went into the town.
16 When Ruth returned, her mother-in-law Naomi asked, “How did things go, my daughter?”
Ruth told Naomi everything the man had done for her. 17 She said, “He gave me these six measures of barley and told me not to come back to you empty-handed.”
18 Naomi replied, “Stay here, my daughter, until you know how it turns out. The man won’t rest unless he settles this matter today.”
* 3:2 A threshing floor is an outdoor area where grain is separated from its husks.