There is a *Redeemer

An EasyEnglish Bible Version and Commentary (1200 word vocabulary) on the Book of Ruth

Gordon Churchyard

This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.

Words in boxes are notes on the Bible text.

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.


Jesus said, ‘The Son of Man came to give his life to *redeem many people’ (Matthew 20:28). (‘Son of Man’ is a name that Jesus gave to himself.)

This book is in the *Old Testament. The *Old Testament tells us some of the things that happened before the life of Jesus on earth. There is a lot in it about the kings of Israel. The most famous one may be David. His grandfather was Obed. The story of Ruth is a true story, and it tells us about the birth of Obed.

What happens in the story

Chapter 1

A family from Bethlehem in the country called Judah went to live in Moab. Moab was the country east of Judah. The two sons in the family married women from Moab. The father in the family died. Then the two sons also died. Their mother Naomi went home to Bethlehem, and one of the women went with her. The woman’s name was Ruth.

Chapter 2

Ruth and her husband’s mother came to Bethlehem while the farmers were cutting *barley. God had told the people in Israel to leave some *barley for poor people to get. So, Ruth went out into the fields to get some. She worked in a field where Boaz was the farmer. He told his men to leave some extra *barley for Ruth.

Chapter 3

One night, Ruth’s husband’s mother Naomi sent Ruth to where Boaz worked. Naomi told Ruth what to do then. Ruth hid while Boaz worked. Then he went to sleep, but he woke up at midnight. He found Ruth by his feet. Ruth asked Boaz to marry her. He said that he would answer in the morning.

Chapter 4

The next day Boaz found that he could marry Ruth. They got married, and later they had a baby. He was Obed, the grandfather of the great King David! Naomi helped Ruth with the new baby. The book ends with a *family tree.

What the Story of Ruth teaches us

Here are some of the things that it teaches us:

1)       God rules what happens in the world. It was God that gave food to the people in Bethlehem, Ruth 1:6. It was God that led Ruth to Boaz’s field, Ruth 2:3. It was God that gave Ruth and Boaz a son, Ruth 4:12. When bad things happened (Ruth 1:21), God still used them. God can make good things come from bad things.

2)       God loves people. He does not only love *Jews. He loves people from all other countries also. He does not only love men. He also loves women, Ruth 2:10, 13. Boaz’s love for Ruth is a picture of God’s love for us. Read the *family tree in Matthew 1. There are 4 women in it. And we think that 3 of them were foreign to the *Jews.

3)       God is kind to people. In other words, he gives them what they need. God was kind to the family of Jesus 1000 years before Jesus came to the earth, (Ruth 4:16). God uses people to give help to other people. He used Naomi to give help to Ruth and Obed. Those people that love Jesus are part of his family. That means that God gives help to them as well.

The Goel

The *Jews spoke a language that we call *Hebrew. An important *Hebrew word in the Book of Ruth is GOEL. We have translated it as ‘*redeemer’. ‘*Redeem’ means ‘buy back again’. Here is an example. Someone buys an animal from you. Later, you go and buy that animal back for yourself. You have *redeemed the animal.

In the Book of Ruth, it was land that Boaz *redeemed. The land first *belonged to Elimelech. When he went to Moab somebody else had the land. Boaz bought it back from that person. But Boaz made a new rule. He said that if you bought the land back you must buy Ruth as well! So, Boaz was a goel, or *redeemer, for the land and for Ruth.

We call Jesus ‘The *Redeemer’. It is one of his many names. God made everybody. But nobody obeyed God’s rules. Some tried, but they could not. Everybody became a slave to sin. Sin is when we do not obey God’s rules. When Jesus died, he bought men back from sin. He *redeemed them. So, if we thank Jesus for *redeeming us, we are not slaves to sin any longer. We become part of the *Church of Jesus Christ. And remember … it does not matter who you are, Jesus can be your *Redeemer. Ask him! You may be a man or a woman or a child from any country in the world. JESUS CAN BE YOUR *REDEEMER!

The *Levirate Marriage

This was part of the law of Israel in the *Old Testament. The law tells you what you must do. *Levirate comes from an old word that means ‘the brother of your husband or wife’.

Here is an example of that law. A *Jewish woman married. The man died before they had any children. The *levirate law said, ‘The brother of your dead husband must marry you. The first son that the two of you have will be your dead husband’s son.’

In Ruth 1:11–13, Naomi is talking about *levirate marriage. The brothers of Mahlon and Kilion must marry Ruth and Orpah. But there were no brothers! Perhaps Naomi could find a husband and have sons. But Ruth and Orpah could not really wait for them. Naomi was too old to marry and to have children. There would be no *levirate marriage.

Some people believe that the marriage of Boaz to Ruth was a *levirate marriage. It was not, unless the rules in those days were different. Boaz was not the brother of Mahlon. And they did not say that Mahlon was the father of Obed. Boaz may have been Mahlon’s *uncle (see Ruth 4:3) but he was not his brother.

So we think that Boaz really loved Ruth. And that is why he wanted to marry her. We do not think that he married her because of the law.

Chapter 1

v1 There was a *famine in the country. It happened in the days when the *judges ruled the people. A man from Bethlehem in Judah went to stay in the country called Moab. His wife and his two sons went with him. v2 The man’s name was Elimelech and his wife’s name was Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were all *Ephrathites. They went from Bethlehem in Judah and they came to live in Moab. v3 But Elimelech died. He was Naomi’s husband. Naomi and her two sons remained. v4 The two sons married women from Moab. The name of one was Orpah and the name of the second was Ruth. Naomi’s family stayed there for about 10 years. v5 Then Mahlon and Kilion died also. The woman now remained without her children or her husband.

v6 Then she heard in Moab that the *LORD had given his people help. He was giving food to them. So, she started to go home from Moab. Her sons’ wives went with her. v7 She left the place where she lived. She and her two sons’ wives went on the road to return to the place called Judah. v8 Then Naomi said to her two sons’ wives, ‘Go; return home to your own mothers. You gave kind love to me and to those that died. So I hope that the *LORD gives you his kind love. v9 I hope that the *LORD will give you rest in the home of a husband.’ Then Naomi kissed them. But they cried, v10 and they said to Naomi, ‘No, we will not go home. We will go with you to your people.’ v11 But Naomi said, ‘My daughters, go home. You should not come with me. I will not have more sons to become your husbands.

v12 Go, my daughters, go home. I am too old to have a husband. I might say that:

·           there is hope for me.

·           I might have a husband tonight.

·           I might have sons.

v13 Even then you could not wait until they were men. You could not be without husbands until then. No, my daughters. What the *LORD has done is more *bitter for me than for you. The *LORD is against me.’ v14 Then they cried aloud again. Orpah kissed her husband’s mother, but Ruth held on to Naomi.

v15 ‘Look’, said Naomi, ‘your *sister-in-law is going back to her family and to her gods. Go back with her.’

v16-17 But Ruth said:

·           ‘Do not ask me to leave you or not to follow you.

·           Where you go, I will go. And where you stay, I will stay.

·           Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.

·           Where you die I will die. And there they will bury me.

·           I want the *LORD to hurt me if anything except death makes us separate.’

v18 Then Naomi knew that Ruth wanted to go with her. So she did not argue any more. v19 The two women went to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, all the people in the town started to talk about them. The women asked, ‘Is this really Naomi?’ v20 But Naomi said to them, ‘Do not call me Naomi. Call me *Mara, because *The Almighty has made life very *bitter for me. v21 I went away full. The *LORD has brought me back empty. So do not call me Naomi. The *LORD has spoken against me. *The Almighty has done bad things to me.’

v22 So Naomi came home. Ruth, her son’s wife, came with her from the country called Moab. They reached Bethlehem at the beginning of the *barley *harvest.

Verse 1 The *judges ruled Israel before the kings. Judah was one of the 12 groups of people that made the country called Israel. Elimelech and his family travelled about 80 kilometres to reach Moab.

Verse 2 Ephrathites lived in Ephrathah. This was another name for Bethlehem.

Verse 3 Elimelech died before his sons married Ruth and Orpah.

Verse 4 Ruth 4:10 tells us that Mahlon married Ruth. So then we know that Kilion married Orpah.

Verse 5 We do not know why the 3 men in the family all died.

Verse 6 *LORD is a special name for God. We call it a covenant name. You make a covenant when you agree with someone. The *Jews made a covenant with God: they would *serve God and he would give them help.

Verse 8 ‘kind love’ in *Hebrew is hard to translate. There is no word in English that means the same. It is the special love that God has for his people. The *Jews also used the word for the love that people in a family had for each other.

Verse 9 ‘rest’ here means ‘a home where you will be safe’.

Verse 13 There is a note on *levirate marriage above. *Bitter can mean two things. It can mean that something does not taste sweet. Or it can mean that life is very difficult. Here it means the second of these.

Verse 15 The gods of Moab were false gods. The wife of your husband’s brother is called your sister-in-law.

Verses 16-17 These verses are very famous. They tell us how much God’s people can love each other. (A verse is part of a chapter.) The last part of verse 17 is strange. Perhaps people said it in those days when they were making an important promise. It seems that they did. They knew that God could hear their promise.

Verse 19 We think that ‘Is this really Naomi?’ means ‘This really IS Naomi!’

Verse 20 Naomi again says that life is *bitter (or difficult, see note on verse 13). She tells people to call her Mara, the *Hebrew word for ‘*bitter’. The *Hebrew word for ‘*The Almighty’ is ‘Shaddai’. There are about 12 ways to translate ‘Shaddai’. We have given one of them. You may hear the name ‘Shaddai’ in some Christian songs.

Verse 21 The bad things were the deaths of her husband and sons. Later in the story, good things would happen to Naomi.

Verse 22 The *barley *harvest was at the end of April in Judah. It was when they picked the *barley. They got *grain from the *barley. And they made bread from the *grain. The *wheat *harvest was a few weeks later. The word ‘Bethlehem’ can mean ‘house of bread’.

Chapter 2

v1 Elimelech had been Naomi’s husband. Boaz was a *relation of Elimelech. Boaz was an important man. v2 Ruth was from Moab. She said to Naomi, ‘Let me now go to the field where I can *glean *grain. Perhaps someone will be kind to me.’ Naomi said to her, ‘Go, my daughter.’ v3 So Ruth left and she went to the field. There she *gleaned *grain behind the *harvesters. Now she happened to come to the part of the field that *belonged to Boaz. He was a *relation of Elimelech. v4 Just then, Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the *harvesters, ‘The *LORD is with you.’ They said to Boaz, ‘We pray that the *LORD will do good things to you.’ v5 Boaz asked his servant, ‘Who is that young woman?’ The servant was the leader of the *harvesters. v6 He said, ‘The young woman is from Moab. She came back from the country called Moab with Naomi. v7 She said, “Let me *glean by the *sheaves. Let me walk behind the *harvesters.” She came at dawn and she has worked until now. Maybe she went into the house for a short time.’

v8 So Boaz said to Ruth, ‘Listen to me, my daughter. Do not go to another part of this field to *glean. Do not go away from here. Stay with my women servants. v9 Look in the field where the *harvesters are. *Glean where they are. I will tell the men that they must not touch you. The men have filled jars with water. If you want a drink, use those jars.’ v10 Then Ruth fell on the ground and she hid her face. She asked him, ‘Why are you so kind to me? What do you see in me? I am a foreign woman.’ v11 Boaz replied, ‘They told me everything that you have done for your *mother-in-law. When your husband died, you came away from your mother and father and from your own country. You came to people that you did not know before. v12 I ask the *LORD to be good to you for what you have done. I pray that the *LORD, the God of Israel will pay you in full. That is because you came to him for a safe place under his *wings.’ v13 Then she said, ‘You are so kind to me, my *lord, because you are giving me help. I am only a servant girl, but you speak to me like a friend. I am not even one of your own women servants.’

v14 When it was time for a meal, Boaz said to her, ‘Come with us. Take some of our food. Put it in the *vinegar.’ So she sat by the *harvesters. Boaz gave her some of the *barley, hot from the fire. She ate as much as she wanted. But some remained. v15 Then Ruth started to *glean again. Boaz told his men, ‘Let her *glean under the *sheaves. Do not stop her. v16 You can also pull out some *barley from the *sheaves. Drop it where she can *glean it. And do not tell her that she must not do it.’

v17 So, Ruth *gleaned in the field until the evening. Then she *threshed what she had *gleaned. She had about 20 litres of *barley *grain. v18 She took the *grain and she went to the town. Her husband’s mother saw how much that Ruth had *gleaned. Then she gave her husband’s mother the food that she had not eaten at the meal time. v19 Her husband’s mother asked her, ‘Where did you *glean today? Where did you work? Good things should happen to the man who gave you help.’ So, she told her husband’s mother what she had done. She said, ‘The name of the man that I worked with today is Boaz.’ v20 Then Naomi said to her son’s wife, ‘I pray that the *LORD will do good things to him! He has not stopped showing his kind love to the living people and to the dead people.’ Naomi also said to her, ‘The man is a *relation of ours. He might *redeem us.’ v21 Then Ruth, the woman from Moab, said, ‘Boaz also told me, “Stay near my servants until the end of the *harvest”.’ v22 Naomi said to Ruth, her son’s wife, ‘It is good if you stay with his young women. Do not go to another field where someone may hurt you.’ v23 So Ruth stayed near Boaz’s young women. She *gleaned until the end of the *barley *harvest and of the *wheat *harvest. She continued to live with her husband’s mother.

Verse 1 A *relation is someone in your family, perhaps an aunt or a cousin. Perhaps Boaz was Elimelech’s brother, Ruth 4:3. But brother may be a word for someone who lived near you.

Verse 2 The field was all the land round a town. Each family had part of the field. They planted things in it to grow food. They used *grain, from *wheat or *barley, to make bread. The rules about *gleaning were:

·        when you pick food from your fields, let some remain for the poor people and for the stranger (Leviticus 23:22)

·        it will be for the stranger and the *widow (Deuteronomy 24:19)

When the poor people, or stranger, or *widow got the *grain, they called it ‘*gleaning’. Ruth was a stranger and a *widow.

Verse 3 ‘she happened’ makes it look as if nobody decided it. This is not true. God decided it.

Verse 4 ‘The *LORD is with you’ was how Boaz said ‘hello’ to his men. ‘Do good things to’ we often translate as ‘bless’.

Verse 7 The *Hebrew in this verse is not easy to understand. It may mean that Ruth did not *glean until Boaz came. The servant did not say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ until then.

Verse 8 The answer was ‘yes’. Boaz told her not to go anywhere else.

Verse 10 Ruth wanted to know why Boaz was so kind to her. Was it because Boaz loved her? Or was it because she was Mahlon’s *widow?

Verse 11 Boaz said that it was because Ruth had been kind to Naomi. Ruth was now part of a family that had Naomi and Boaz in it.

Verse 13 The word that we translated ‘kind’ in verses 2, 10 and 13 we can also translate ‘gracious’. It does not mean the same as ‘kind love’ in Ruth 1:8 and 2:20. ‘Gracious’ in the Bible means that you are ‘kind when you do not have to be kind’.

Verse 14 Drinks like *wine and beer have alcohol in them. If we leave them open to the air the alcohol becomes something else called acid. The acid is not sweet. We call it vinegar. It makes some food taste better.

Verse 15 The men cut the *barley and they tied it into *sheaves. This made it easier to carry.

Verse 20 ‘the dead people’ means Elimelech and his 2 sons. We are not sure who ‘he’ is in ‘he has not stopped’. It may be Boaz; it may be the *LORD.

Chapter 3

v1 Naomi, Ruth’s husband’s mother, said to her, ‘My daughter, I am looking for a home where you can rest. So then you can be happy. v2 Now Boaz is a *relation of ours. You have been with his young women. Tonight he will *winnow *barley at the *threshing floor. v3 Now, have a bath and make yourself smell nice. Then dress in your best clothes. Go down to the *threshing floor. Remain hidden until he finishes eating and drinking. v4 Notice carefully the place where he lies down to sleep. Then go there and uncover his feet. And lie by his feet. He will tell you what to do.’ v5 ‘I will do everything that you have told me’, Ruth said to Naomi.

v6 So Ruth went to the *threshing floor. There she did everything that her husband’s mother had said. v7 Boaz ate and drank. He began to feel very happy. He went to sleep by the side of all the *grain. Ruth came in secret. She uncovered his feet and she lay down by his feet. v8 At midnight, something made the man feel afraid. He turned. And he discovered a woman who was lying by his feet. v9 ‘Who are you?’ he asked. ‘I am Ruth, your servant’, she replied. ‘You are a *redeemer. So cover me with the coat that is covering your feet.’ v10 ‘My daughter, I pray that the *LORD will be good to you’, said Boaz. ‘You are more kind now than you were earlier. You have not run after young men, poor or rich. v11 Now, my daughter, do not be afraid. I will do everything that you have suggested. Everyone in the town knows that you are a good woman. v12 It is true that I am a *redeemer. But there is a *redeemer closer to you than I am. v13 Stay here for the night. It may happen in the morning that he will *redeem you. If so, that will be good. He will *redeem you. But if he does not want to *redeem you, then I will *redeem you. I promise this, as the *LORD lives! Lie down until the morning.’

v14 So, Ruth lay by his feet until the morning. She got up before anyone might recognise the person next to him. Boaz said, ‘Do not let anyone know that a woman came to the *threshing floor.’ v15 He also said, ‘Bring me your *shawl. Hold it in front of me.’ When she did, he poured a lot of *barley into it. He gave her help to pick it up, and then he went back to town. v16 Ruth came back to her husband’s mother. Naomi said to Ruth, ‘What happened, my daughter?’ Ruth told her all that had happened with Boaz. v17 She also said, ‘He gave me all this *barley. He told me not to come back to my husband’s mother with empty hands.’ v18 Naomi replied, ‘Wait, my daughter. And see what happens. The man will make sure that he finishes everything today.’

Verse 1 ‘A home where you can rest’ means a husband to be kind to Ruth.

Verse 2 The *threshing floor was in the open air. First, they *threshed the *barley or *wheat. Then they threw it in the air. The wind would blow away the chaff. The chaff was the part of the plant that was round the *grain. The *grain would fall to the floor. This was ‘to *winnow’ the *barley or the *wheat. They used the chaff to burn on their fires.

Verse 3 Naomi told Ruth to make herself beautiful. Perhaps Ruth knew what Naomi wanted to happen! Verse 10 suggests that she did.

Verse 4 We think that this was how a woman asked a man to marry her.

Verse 7 Boaz may have had a bit too much to drink. He was happy when he went to sleep.

Verse 8 But he was frightened when he woke up. We do not know what woke him.

Verse 9 Ruth told Boaz that he was a *redeemer. Here, this meant that he was one of her husband’s family. He was one of the men that ought to give help to her.

We think that Ruth wanted this help to include marriage. What Ruth did suggested that.

Verse 10 We think that ‘You are more kind now’ means this:

·        Ruth was young and pretty and she could marry anyone.

·        She agreed to obey the rule and to marry someone in the family.

To Boaz this was ‘more kind’ if he loved her!

Verse 12 But there was a nearer *relation to Elimelech than Boaz was. Really, the other man should *redeem Ruth. It was Elimelech’s part of the field that he should *redeem. But Boaz said that it also included Ruth.

Verse 13 Boaz said that he would talk to the other man in the morning. If that man said ‘No!’ then Boaz would buy the field. And Boaz would marry Ruth. ‘As the *LORD lives’ is a way to say ‘I really mean what I am saying.’

Verse 14 The *Jews did not agree with sex before marriage. So, Ruth went home early. It was still dark. Nobody would recognise her. Nobody would say that Boaz and Ruth had sex. We believe that they did not.

Verse 15 A *shawl covers a woman’s shoulders. It goes over her dress. Boaz filled the *shawl with *barley. He lifted it on to her back. She carried it to Bethlehem. There Naomi was waiting for her.

Verse 18 Naomi believed that Boaz would *keep his promise.

Chapter 4

v1 Boaz went to the gate of the town and he sat down there. Then the other *redeemer came past him, the one that Boaz had talked about. Boaz said, ‘Come here, sir, and sit down.’ So the man went over and he sat down. v2 Boaz had found 10 important men from the town. He said to them, ‘Sit down here’ and they sat down. v3 Boaz said to the other *redeemer, ‘Our brother Elimelech had part of the field. Naomi, who has returned from Moab, wants to sell it. v4 I thought that I ought to tell you about it. I suggest that you buy it. Buy it in front of all the people who are sitting here and in front of our people’s leaders. If you will *redeem it, then *redeem it. But if you will not *redeem it then tell me. Then I will know. There is nobody else to *redeem it except you first and me second.’ ‘Yes, I will *redeem it’, the other *redeemer said. v5 Boaz said, ‘On the day that you buy the field from Naomi you also buy it from Ruth. She is the woman from Moab, the *widow of the dead man. You must take her also to continue the dead man’s name on his land.’ v6 The other *redeemer replied, ‘I cannot *redeem it. If I did, I might put my own land in danger. You *redeem it in my place. I cannot do it.’

v7 Now they finished selling or *redeeming anything long ago in Israel like this: A man took off his shoe and he gave it to the other man. This was the proper way in Israel. v8 He said to Boaz, ‘You buy it.’ And he took off his shoe. v9 Then Boaz said to the important men and all the people, ‘Today you saw what I did. I bought from Naomi all that Elimelech, Mahlon and Kilion had. v10 Ruth, the woman from Moab, was the wife of Mahlon. She also is now mine. This means that everyone will remember him. And they will remember where his land was. His family will not forget him, and the people from his village will not forget him. You have all seen this today.’ v11 The most important people and everyone else said, ‘We have seen it. This woman is coming into your home. And we pray that she will be like Rachel and like Leah. Those two women built up the house of Israel. We want you to be important in Ephrathah and famous in Bethlehem. v12 We pray that your family will be like the family of Perez, the son of Tamar and Judah. We pray that this will happen because of your child. We pray that the *LORD will give you a child by this young woman.’

v13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. He loved her. Then she was going to have a baby. The *LORD gave her a baby son. v14 The women said to Naomi, ‘The *LORD is good. Today he has given you a *redeemer. We pray that his name will be famous in all Israel! v15 He will give you a new life. He will give you help when you become old. Your son’s wife loves you. She is better to you than 7 sons. She is boy’s mother.’

v16 Naomi held the boy in her arms. She fed him and she kept him safe. v17 The women that lived there said, ‘Naomi has a son.’ They called him Obed. He was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David.

v18-22 This is the *family tree of Perez:

·           Perez was the father of Hezron.

·           Hezron was the father of Ram.

·           Ram was the father of Amminadab.

·           Amminadab was the father of Nahshon.

·           Nahshon was the father of Salmon.

·           Salmon was the father of Boaz.

·           Boaz was the father of Obed.

·           Obed was the father of Jesse.

·           Jesse was the father of David.

Verse 1 Old towns had walls round them. You went in through a gate. This gate was an important place. The leaders would meet there to decide what the town should do. The words ‘my friend’ in *Hebrew are ‘Oh, Mr So-and-So!’

Verse 2 We think that the 10 important men were the leaders in the town. Boaz wanted them to know that he was doing the right thing.

Verse 4 Later the people would remember what Boaz said and did. There might be a problem. But then they could say what had happened. We call them ‘*witnesses’.

Verse 5 ‘To continue the dead man’s name’ means that Elimelech and Mahlon would have *descendants.

Verse 6 The other *redeemer would have to give the land to Ruth’s son when the son grew up. He did not want to do this.

Verse 7 This was an old custom in Israel. A custom is something that people always do. Boaz and the other man did it in front of the *witnesses of verse 3.

Verse 10 This is another strange part of the story. When Obed was born, they did not call him the son of Mahlon. This tells us that there was no *levirate marriage between Boaz and Ruth.

Verse 11 Rachel and Leah had many children and they became famous. Everyone wanted this to happen to Ruth.

Verse 12 Bethlehem was in that part of the country where the family of Judah lived.

The family became so big that we call it a tribe.

Verses 13–17 Ruth had the baby, but the women in Bethlehem said, ‘Naomi has a son.’ That was because, in the Bible, ‘son’ often means ‘grandson’.

Verses 18–22 A ‘family tree’ is a list of the people in your family. It includes the ones before you (ancestors) and after you (*descendants). Because Jesus was a descendant of King David, Jesus was also a descendant of Ruth. Both these famous *Jews were *descendants of a person who came from Moab. Some *Jews believe that Ruth was a *princess in Moab. They believe that her father was Eglon, King of Moab.

Word List

barley ~ a plant; you make bread from its seeds.

belong to ~ what someone has; people’s things belong to them.

bitter ~ opposite of sweet; or a very difficult life.

church ~ a group of Christians who meet together. A church is not only the building that they meet in. It can also mean all the Christians in the world.

covenant ~ when people agree something together; when God and a person or people agree to a special thing.

descendants ~ children and their children and so on.

Ephrathites ~ people that lived in Bethlehem.

family tree ~ a list of your parents, grandparents and *descendants.

famine ~ time when food plants do not grow.

glean ~ get what other people leave.

grain ~ the seeds of *barley and *wheat.

harvest ~ the time when people pick plants and fruits.

harvesters ~ the people that pick the plants and fruits.

Hebrew ~ the language that the *Jews spoke.

Jew ~ someone that was born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything that *belongs to a *Jew.

judges ~ the leaders of Judah after Moses and before Saul.

keep a promise ~ do what you promised to do.

law ~ the rules of a country.

levirate ~ a *law about marrying. See the notes at the beginning.

lord ~ someone who rules or is a master; someone with authority.

LORD ~ a special name for God that his people use. It is the *covenant name of God.

Mara ~ a *Hebrew word that means ‘*bitter’.

mother-in-law ~ the mother of your husband or wife.

Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible, which the writers wrote before the life of Jesus.

princess ~ the daughter of a king.

redeem ~ buy back again.

redeemer ~ a name for God. It means that he pays the price of our *sin. This happened when Jesus died on the cross.

relation ~ someone in your family, like an aunt or a cousin.

serve ~ work for another person.

shawl ~ a square of cloth; women wear it over their shoulders.

sheaf/sheaves ~ some plants of *wheat or *barley tied together.

sin ~ when we do not obey God’s rules.

sister-in-law ~ the wife of your husband’s brother is called your sister-in-law.

The Almighty ~ a translation of the *Hebrew word ‘Shaddai’. Bible students are not sure what Shaddai means. Some think that it means The Almighty; that is someone more powerful than anybody else is.

thresh ~ hit *wheat or *barley plants until the *grain falls out.

threshing floor ~ a place without a roof where you *thresh *barley.

uncle ~ your father’s brother or your mother’s brother.

vinegar ~ what *wine becomes if we leave it open to the air.

wheat ~ a plant like *barley that gives *grain when *threshed.

widow ~ woman when husband has died.

wine ~ a drink with alcohol in it. People make it from fruit called grapes.

wings ~ a bird uses its wings to fly.

winnow ~ after you *thresh plants, you winnow to make the *grain separate from the rest of the plant.

witness ~ someone who sees what happens.


© 1997-2007, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words)

February 2007

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