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Now Naomi had an in-law there in Bethlehem who was a very wealthy man. His name was Boaz.

One day Ruth said to Naomi, “Perhaps I can go out into the fields of some kind man to glean the free grain[a] behind his reapers.”

And Naomi said, “All right, dear daughter. Go ahead.”

So she did. And as it happened, the field where she found herself belonged to Boaz, this relative of Naomi’s husband.

4-5 Boaz arrived from the city while she was there. After exchanging greetings with the reapers he said to his foreman, “Hey, who’s that girl over there?”

And the foreman replied, “It’s that girl from the land of Moab who came back with Naomi. She asked me this morning if she could pick up the grains dropped by the reapers, and she has been at it ever since except for a few minutes’ rest over there in the shade.”

8-9 Boaz went over and talked to her. “Listen, my child,” he said to her. “Stay right here with us to glean; don’t think of going to any other fields. Stay right behind my women workers; I have warned the young men not to bother you; when you are thirsty, go and help yourself to the water.”

10-11 She thanked him warmly. “How can you be so kind to me?” she asked. “You must know I am only a foreigner.”

“Yes, I know,” Boaz replied, “and I also know about all the love and kindness you have shown your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you left your father and mother in your own land and have come here to live among strangers. 12 May the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, bless you for it.”

13 “Oh, thank you, sir,” she replied. “You are so good to me, and I’m not even one of your workers!”

14 At lunchtime Boaz called to her, “Come and eat with us.”

So she sat with his reapers and he gave her food,[b] more than she could eat. 15 And when she went back to work again, Boaz told his young men to let her glean right among the sheaves without stopping her, 16 and to snap off some heads of barley and drop them on purpose for her to glean, and not to make any remarks. 17 So she worked there all day, and in the evening when she had beaten out the barley she had gleaned, it came to a whole bushel! 18 She carried it back into the city and gave it to her mother-in-law, with what was left of her lunch.

19 “So much!” Naomi exclaimed. “Where in the world did you glean today? Praise the Lord for whoever was so kind to you.” So Ruth told her mother-in-law all about it and mentioned that the owner of the field was Boaz.

20 “Praise the Lord for a man like that! God has continued his kindness to us as well as to your dead husband!” Naomi cried excitedly. “Why, that man is one of our closest relatives!”[c]

21 “Well,” Ruth told her, “he said to come back and stay close behind his reapers until the entire field is harvested.”

22 “This is wonderful!” Naomi exclaimed. “Do as he has said. Stay with his girls right through the whole harvest; you will be safer there than in any other field!”

23 So Ruth did and gleaned with them until the end of the barley harvest, and then the wheat harvest too.


  1. Ruth 2:2 glean the free grain, see Leviticus 19:9 and Deuteronomy 24:19, which established this custom.
  2. Ruth 2:14 he gave her food, literally, “he served her roasted grain.”
  3. Ruth 2:20 one of our closest relatives, literally, “a near relative, one of our redeemers.”

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