Then Boaz spoke to Ruth: "Listen, my daughter. From now on don't go to any other field to glean - stay right here in this one. And stay close to my young women.
Watch where they are harvesting and follow them. And don't worry about a thing; I've given orders to my servants not to harass you. When you get thirsty, feel free to go and drink from the water buckets that the servants have filled."
She dropped to her knees, then bowed her face to the ground. "How does this happen that you should pick me out and treat me so kindly - me, a foreigner?"
Boaz answered her, "I've heard all about you - heard about the way you treated your mother-in-law after the death of her husband, and how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth and have come to live among a bunch of total strangers.
God reward you well for what you've done - and with a generous bonus besides from God, to whom you've come seeking protection under his wings."
She said, "Oh sir, such grace, such kindness - I don't deserve it. You've touched my heart, treated me like one of your own. And I don't even belong here!"
At the lunch break, Boaz said to her, "Come over here; eat some bread. Dip it in the wine." So she joined the harvesters. Boaz passed the roasted grain to her. She ate her fill and even had some left over.
When she got up to go back to work, Boaz ordered his servants: "Let her glean where there's still plenty of grain on the ground - make it easy for her.
Better yet, pull some of the good stuff out and leave it for her to glean. Give her special treatment."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)