Ruth finds a husband
1 One day, Naomi said to Ruth, ‘My daughter, I must find a home for you. There you will have everything that you need. 2 You have worked with Boaz's servant girls. Boaz is in our family. Tonight he will winnow barley on the threshing floor.’
3:2Boaz has grown barley in his fields. He has brought all his barley from his fields to a special place called the threshing floor. The barley has two parts called the seed and the chaff. The chaff is the light part round the seed. The farmer will use the seed of the barley to make food. He must make the seed separate from the chaff. He throws the barley up, and the wind blows away the chaff. This is what the word ‘winnow’ means. Boaz will take all the good seed from the barley. And he will keep it safe in the buildings on his farm.
3 Naomi said, ‘Wash yourself. Put oil that has a beautiful smell on yourself. Put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor. Do not let him know that you are there. Wait until he has finished his food and drink. 4 After that, he will lie down. Then you will see where he is lying. Go and lift the cloth from his feet. Lie down. Then he will say what you should do.’
5 Ruth said, ‘I will do whatever you say.’ 6 So she went down to the threshing floor. And she did everything that Naomi had told her to do.
3:6At that time, a woman could do this. Ruth was asking Boaz to marry her. Naomi wanted Boaz to marry Ruth.
7 Boaz was happy when he had finished his food and drink. He had put the barley seeds together in one place. Boaz lay down next to the seeds. Ruth was very quiet and she went to him. She lifted the cloth that covered his feet. Then she lay down. 8 In the middle of the night, something caused Boaz to feel afraid. He moved. Then he saw a woman who was lying at his feet.
9 ‘Who are you?’ he asked. ‘I am your servant Ruth,’ she said. ‘Put the corner of the cloth that covers your feet over me. You are a kinsman-redeemer.’
10 ‘Young woman, I pray that God will do good things for you,’ he replied. ‘You were kind to Naomi earlier. Now you have been more kind to me. You have seen young men who are rich. And you have seen young men who are poor. You have not tried to marry any of these. 11 And now, young woman, do not be afraid. All the people in this town know that you are a good woman. So I will do everything for you that you ask. 12 It is true that I am in your family. But there is another kinsman-redeemer who is nearer to you. 13 Stay here for the night. In the morning, if he wants to help you, let him do it. If he will not do it, I will do it. As God is alive, I will do it. Lie here until the morning.’
14 So she lay at his feet until morning. But she got up before anyone could see her. Boaz said to her, ‘Nobody must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.’
15 He also said, ‘Bring me your small coat that you are wearing.’ She brought the coat to him and Boaz poured barley on to it. Then he put the coat on her. After that, he returned to the town.
3:15We think that Boaz put barley on to Ruth's small coat. Then he tied the corners of the coat together and he put it on her head. Then she could carry it to her home.
16 When Ruth returned, Naomi asked, ‘Ruth, what happened in the night?’ Then Ruth told her everything that Boaz had done for her. 17 Then she said, ‘He also gave me all this barley and he said, “Do not return to Naomi with empty hands.” ’
18 Naomi said, ‘Ruth, you must be patient. We must wait to see what will happen. Boaz will be sure to decide what he must do today.’