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Ruth 2 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Ruth Meets Boaz

1-3 One day, Ruth said to Naomi, “Let me see if I can find someone who will let me pick up the grain left in the fields by the harvest workers.”[a]

Naomi answered, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So right away, Ruth went out to pick up grain in a field owned by Boaz. He was a relative of Naomi’s husband Elimelech, as well as a rich and important man.

When Boaz left Bethlehem and went out to his field, he said to the harvest workers, “The Lord bless you!”

They replied, “And may the Lord bless you!”

Then Boaz asked the man in charge of the harvest workers, “Who is that young woman?”

The man answered, “She is the one who came back from Moab with Naomi. She asked if she could pick up grain left by the harvest workers, and she has been working all morning without a moment’s rest.”[b]

Boaz went over to Ruth and said, “I think it would be best for you not to pick up grain in anyone else’s field. Stay here with the women and follow along behind them, as they gather up what the men have cut. I have warned the men not to bother you, and whenever you are thirsty, you can drink from the water jars they have filled.”

10 Ruth bowed down to the ground and said, “You know I come from another country. Why are you so good to me?”

11 Boaz answered, “I’ve heard how you’ve helped your mother-in-law ever since your husband died. You even left your own father and mother to come and live in a foreign land among people you don’t know. 12 I pray that the Lord God of Israel will reward you for what you have done. And now that you have come to him for protection, I pray that he will bless you.”

13 Ruth replied, “Sir, it’s good of you to speak kindly to me and make me feel so welcome. I’m not even one of your servants.”

14 At mealtime Boaz said to Ruth, “Come, eat with us. Have some bread and dip it in the sauce.” Right away she sat down with the workers, and Boaz handed her some roasted grain. Ruth ate all she wanted and had some left over.

15 When Ruth got up to start picking up grain, Boaz told his men, “Don’t stop her, even if she picks up grain from where it is stacked. 16 Be sure to pull out some stalks of grain from the bundles and leave them on the ground for her. And don’t speak harshly to her!”

17 Ruth worked in the field until evening. Then after she had pounded the grain off the stalks, she had a large basket full of grain. 18 She took the grain to town and showed Naomi how much she had picked up. Ruth also gave her the food left over from her lunch.

19 Naomi said, “Where did you work today? Whose field was it? God bless the man who treated you so well!” Then Ruth told her that she had worked in the field of a man named Boaz.

20 “The Lord bless Boaz!” Naomi replied. “He[c] has shown that he is still loyal to the living and to the dead. Boaz is a close relative, one of those who is supposed to look after us.”

21 Ruth told her, “Boaz even said I could stay in the field with his workers until they had finished gathering all his grain.”

22 Naomi replied, “My daughter, it’s good that you can pick up grain alongside the women who work in his field. Who knows what might happen to you in someone else’s field!” 23 And so, Ruth stayed close to the women, while picking up grain in his field.

Ruth worked in the fields until the barley and wheat were harvested. And all this time she lived with Naomi.

Footnotes:

  1. 2.1-3 grain left. . . workers: It was the custom at harvest time to leave some grain in the field for the poor to pick up (see Leviticus 19.10; 23.22).
  2. 2.7 she has. . . rest: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 2.20 He: Or “The Lord.”

Ruth 2 New International Version (NIV)

Ruth Meets Boaz in the Grain Field

Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz.

And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.

Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.

Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The Lord be with you!

“The Lord bless you!” they answered.

Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?”

The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest 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 men are harvesting, 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.”

10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?

11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.

13 “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.”

14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.”

When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”

17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.[a] 18 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 over after she had eaten enough.

19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!

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.

20 “The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.[b]

21 Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’”

22 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.”

23 So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Footnotes:

  1. Ruth 2:17 That is, probably about 30 pounds or about 13 kilograms
  2. Ruth 2:20 The Hebrew word for guardian-redeemer is a legal term for one who has the obligation to redeem a relative in serious difficulty (see Lev. 25:25-55).
New International Version (NIV)

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