Now Naomi had a relative1 on her husband's side, a man of standing2 from the clan of Elimelek,3 whose name was Boaz.42
And Ruth the Moabite5 said to Naomi, "Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain6 behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.7" Naomi said to her, "Go ahead, my daughter."
So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters.8 As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.94
Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, "The LORD be with you!10" "The LORD bless you!11" they answered.
Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, "Who does that young woman belong to?"
The overseer replied, "She is the Moabite12 who came back from Moab with Naomi.
She said, 'Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves13 behind the harvesters.' She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest14 in the shelter."
So Boaz said to Ruth, "My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me.
Watch the field where the harvesters are working, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled."
At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground.15 She asked him, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me16--a foreigner?17"
Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law18 since the death of your husband19--how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know20 before.2112
May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD,22 the God of Israel,23 under whose wings24 you have come to take refuge.25"
"May I continue to find favor in your eyes,26 my lord," she said. "You have reassured me and have spoken kindly to your servant--though I do not have the standing of one of your servants."
At mealtime Boaz said to her, "Come over here. Have some bread27 and dip it in the wine vinegar." When she sat down with the harvesters,28 he offered her some roasted grain.29 She ate all she wanted and had some left over.3015
As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, "Let her gather among the sheaves31 and don't reprimand her.
Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke32 her."
So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed33 the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.a3418
She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over35 after she had eaten enough.
Her mother-in-law asked her, "Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!36" Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. "The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz," she said.
"The LORD bless him!37" Naomi said to her daughter-in-law.38 "He has not stopped showing his kindness39 to the living and the dead." She added, "That man is our close relative;40 he is one of our family guardians.b41"
Then Ruth the Moabite42 said, "He even said to me, 'Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.' "
Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, "It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else's field you might be harmed."
So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley43 and wheat harvests44 were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.