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Ruth 3 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Naomi Makes Plans for Ruth

One day, Naomi said to Ruth:

It’s time I found you a husband, who will give you a home and take care of you.

You have been picking up grain alongside the women who work for Boaz, and you know he is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be threshing the grain. Now take a bath and put on some perfume, then dress in your best clothes. Go where he is working, but don’t let him see you until he has finished eating and drinking. Watch where he goes to spend the night, then when he is asleep, lift the cover and lie down at his feet.[a] He will tell you what to do.

Ruth answered, “I’ll do whatever you say.” She went out to the place where Boaz was working and did what Naomi had told her.

After Boaz finished eating and drinking and was feeling happy, he went over and fell asleep near the pile of grain. Ruth slipped over quietly. She lifted the cover and lay down near his feet.

In the middle of the night, Boaz suddenly woke up and was shocked to see a woman lying at his feet. “Who are you?” he asked.

“Sir, I am Ruth,” she answered, “and you are the relative who is supposed to take care of me. So spread the edge of your cover over me.”[b]

10 Boaz replied:

The Lord bless you! This shows how truly loyal you are to your family. You could have looked for a younger man, either rich or poor, but you didn’t. 11 Don’t worry, I’ll do what you have asked. You are respected by everyone in town.

12 It’s true that I am one of the relatives who is supposed to take care of you, but there is someone who is an even closer relative. 13 Stay here until morning, then I will find out if he is willing to look after you. If he isn’t, I promise by the living God to do it myself. Now go back to sleep until morning.

14 Ruth lay down again, but she got up before daylight, because Boaz did not want anyone to know she had been there. 15 Then he told her to spread out her cape. And he filled it with a lot of grain and placed it on her shoulder.

When Ruth got back to town, 16 Naomi asked her[c] what had happened, and Ruth told her everything. 17 She also said, “Boaz gave me this grain, because he didn’t want me to come back without something for you.”

18 Naomi replied, “Just be patient and don’t worry about what will happen. He won’t rest until everything is settled today!”

Footnotes:

  1. 3.4 lift the cover. . . feet: To ask for protection and possibly for marriage.
  2. 3.9 So. . . me: To show that he would protect and take care of her.
  3. 3.15,16 When. . . her: Some Hebrew manuscripts and two ancient translations; most Hebrew manuscripts “Boaz went back to town. 16 Naomi asked Ruth.”

Ruth 3 New International Version (NIV)

Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home[a] for you, where you will be well provided for. Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”

“I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.

When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!

“Who are you?” he asked.

“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer[b] of our family.”

10 “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. 12 Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. 13 Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.”

14 So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.

15 He also said, “Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he[c] went back to town.

16 When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?”

Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her 17 and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”

18 Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ruth 3:1 Hebrew find rest (see 1:9)
  2. Ruth 3:9 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); also in verses 12 and 13.
  3. Ruth 3:15 Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac she
New International Version (NIV)

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