21 The men of Israel had sworn an oath at Mizpah: “None of us will give his daughter to a Benjaminite in marriage.” 2 So the people went to Bethel and sat there before God until evening. They wept loudly and bitterly, 3 and cried out, “Why, Lord God of Israel, has it occurred[a] that one tribe is missing in Israel today?” 4 The next day the people got up early, built an altar there, and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. 5 The Israelites asked, “Who of all the tribes of Israel didn’t come to the Lord with the assembly?” For a great oath had been taken that anyone who had not come to the Lord at Mizpah would certainly be put to death.
6 But the Israelites had compassion on their brothers, the Benjaminites, and said, “Today a tribe has been cut off from Israel. 7 What should we do about wives for the survivors? We’ve sworn to the Lord not to give them any of our daughters as wives.” 8 They asked, “Which city among the tribes of Israel didn’t come to the Lord at Mizpah?” It turned out that no one from Jabesh-gilead had come to the camp and the assembly. 9 For when the people were counted, no one was there from the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead.
10 The congregation sent 12,000 brave warriors[b] there and commanded them: “Go and kill the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the sword, including women and children. 11 This is what you should do: Completely destroy every male, as well as every female who has slept with a man.” 12 They found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 young women, who had not had sexual relations with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan.
13 The whole congregation sent a message of peace to the Benjaminites who were at the rock of Rimmon. 14 Benjamin returned at that time, and Israel gave them the women they had kept alive from Jabesh-gilead. But there were not enough for them.
15 The people had compassion on Benjamin, because the Lord had made this gap in the tribes of Israel. 16 The elders of the congregation said, “What should we do about wives for those who are left, since the women of Benjamin have been destroyed?” 17 They said, “There must be heirs for the survivors of Benjamin, so that a tribe of Israel will not be wiped out. 18 But we can’t give them our daughters as wives.” For the Israelites had sworn, “Anyone who gives a wife to a Benjaminite is cursed.” 19 They also said, “Look, there’s an annual festival to the Lord in Shiloh, which is north of Bethel, east of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah.”
20 Then they commanded the Benjaminites: “Go and hide in the vineyards. 21 Watch, and when you see the young women of Shiloh come out to perform the dances, each of you leave the vineyards and catch a wife for yourself from the young women of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22 When their fathers or brothers come to us and protest, we will tell them, ‘Show favor to them, since we did not get enough wives for each of them in the battle. You didn’t actually give the women to them, so[c] you are not guilty of breaking your oath.’”
23 The Benjaminites did this and took the number of women they needed from the dancers they caught. They went back to their own inheritance, rebuilt their cities, and lived in them. 24 At that time, each of the Israelites returned from there to his own tribe and family. Each returned from there to his own inheritance.
25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever he wanted.[d]
1 During the time[e] of the judges, there was a famine in the land. A man left Bethlehem[f] in Judah with his wife and two sons to live in the land of Moab for a while. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech,[g] and his wife’s name was Naomi.[h] The names of his two sons were Mahlon[i] and Chilion.[j] They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They entered the land of Moab and settled there. 3 Naomi’s husband Elimelech died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 Her sons took Moabite women as their wives: one was named Orpah and the second was named Ruth. After they lived in Moab about 10 years, 5 both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two children and without her husband.
6 She and her daughters-in-law prepared to leave the land of Moab, because she had heard in Moab that the Lord had paid attention to His people’s need by providing them food. 7 She left the place where she had been living, accompanied by her two daughters-in-law, and traveled along the road leading back to the land of Judah.
8 She said to them, “Each of you go back to your mother’s home. May the Lord show faithful love to you as you have shown to the dead and to me. 9 May the Lord enable each of you to find security in the house of your new husband.” She kissed them, and they wept loudly.
10 “No,” they said to her. “We will go with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi replied, “Return home, my daughters. Why do you want to go with me? Am I able to have any more sons[k] who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters. Go on, for I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me to have a husband tonight and to bear sons, 13 would you be willing to wait for them to grow up? Would you restrain yourselves from remarrying?[l] No, my daughters, my life is much too bitter for you to share,[m] because the Lord’s hand has turned against me.” 14 Again they wept loudly, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15 Naomi said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her god.[n] Follow your sister-in-law.”
16 But Ruth replied:
Do not persuade me to leave you
or go back and not follow you.
For wherever you go, I will go,
and wherever you live, I will live;
your people will be my people,
and your God will be my God.
17 Where you die, I will die,
and there I will be buried.
May Yahweh punish me,[o]
and do so severely,
if anything but death separates you and me.
18 When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped trying to persuade her.
19 The two of them traveled until they came to Bethlehem. When they entered Bethlehem, the whole town was excited about their arrival[p] and the local women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”
20 “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara,”[q] she answered,[r] “for the Almighty has made me very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has pronounced judgment on[s] me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”
22 So Naomi came back from the land of Moab with her daughter-in-law Ruth the Moabitess. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
4 He had to travel through Samaria, 5 so He came to a town of Samaria called Sychar near the property[a] that Jacob had given his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, worn out from His journey, sat down at the well. It was about six in the evening.[b]
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
“Give Me a drink,” Jesus said to her, 8 for His disciples had gone into town to buy food.
10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.”
11 “Sir,” said the woman, “You don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do You get this ‘living water’? 12 You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are You? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and livestock.”
13 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well[e] of water springing up within him for eternal life.”
15 “Sir,” the woman said to Him, “give me this water so I won’t get thirsty and come here to draw water.”
16 “Go call your husband,” He told her, “and come back here.”
17 “I don’t have a husband,” she answered.
“You have correctly said, ‘I don’t have a husband,’” Jesus said. 18 “For you’ve had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain,[f] yet you Jews say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 Jesus told her, “Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans[g] worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah[h] is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”
26 “I am He,” Jesus told her, “the One speaking to you.”
27 Just then His disciples arrived, and they were amazed that He was talking with a woman. Yet no one said, “What do You want?” or “Why are You talking with her?”
28 Then the woman left her water jar, went into town, and told the men, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They left the town and made their way to Him.
31 In the meantime the disciples kept urging Him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But He said, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”
33 The disciples said to one another, “Could someone have brought Him something to eat?”
34 “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work,” Jesus told them. 35 “Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open[i] your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready[j] for harvest. 36 The reaper is already receiving pay and gathering fruit for eternal life, so the sower and reaper can rejoice together. 37 For in this case the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap what you didn’t labor for; others have labored, and you have benefited from[k] their labor.”
39 Now many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the woman said[l] when she testified, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 Therefore, when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them, and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of what He said.[m] 42 And they told the woman, “We no longer believe because of what you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this really is the Savior of the world.”[n]
1 Give thanks to Yahweh, call on His name;
proclaim His deeds among the peoples.
2 Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
tell about all His wonderful works!
3 Honor His holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.
4 Search for the Lord and for His strength;
seek His face always.
5 Remember the wonderful works He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments He has pronounced,[a]
6 you offspring of Abraham His servant,
Jacob’s descendants—His chosen ones.
7 He is the Lord our God;
His judgments govern the whole earth.
8 He remembers His covenant forever,
the promise He ordained
for a thousand generations—
9 the covenant He made with Abraham,
swore[b] to Isaac,
10 and confirmed to Jacob as a decree
and to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 “I will give the land of Canaan to you
as your inherited portion.”
12 When they were few in number,
very few indeed,
and temporary residents in Canaan,
13 wandering from nation to nation
and from one kingdom to another,
14 He allowed no one to oppress them;
He rebuked kings on their behalf:
15 “Do not touch My anointed ones,
or harm My prophets.”
25 A truthful witness rescues lives,
but one who utters lies is deceitful.