Ruth 3

Ruth and Boaz

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 women workers, and he is our relative. Tonight he will be at the threshing floor where he prepares the barley seeds. 3 So wash yourself carefully. Put some perfume on yourself. Put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor. Do not let Boaz know that you are there. Wait quietly until he has finished his food and drink. 4 After that, he will lie down to sleep. Then you will see where he is lying. Go and lift the cloth from over his feet. Lie down there. Then he will tell you what you should do.’

3:2Boaz has brought all his barley from his fields to a place called the threshing floor. The grains of barley have two parts called the seed and the chaff. People use the seeds to make food. So they must make the seed separate from the chaff. Boaz will take all the good seed from the barley. Then he will keep it safe to eat later that year.

5 Ruth said, ‘I will do what you have said to me.’ 6 So she went down to the threshing floor. She did everything that Naomi had told her to do.

3:6This was a way that a woman could ask a man to marry her. Naomi had told Ruth to do this because she wanted Boaz to agree to marry Ruth.

7 Boaz felt very happy when he had finished his food and drink. He lay down next to the heap of barley seeds. Ruth went to him very quietly. She lifted the cloth that covered his feet. Then she lay down there. 8 In the middle of the night, something caused Boaz to wake up suddenly. When he turned over, he saw a woman who was lying there at his feet!

9 He asked, ‘Who are you?’ Ruth replied, ‘I am your servant Ruth. Cover me with the corner of your cloth. You are our family-redeemer, so please marry me.’

10 Boaz replied, ‘Young woman, I pray that the Lord will bless you. You have already been very kind to Naomi. Now you have been even more kind to me. You have not tried to marry a man who is younger than me, whether he is rich or poor. 11 So 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 have asked me to do. 12 It is true that I am a family-redeemer for your family. But there is another relative who is nearer to your family than I am. 13 Stay here for this night. In the morning, we will see what to do. If this relative wants to take care of you, let him do it. If he does not agree, then I will do it. As surely as the Lord lives, I will do it. So just lie here until the morning.’

14 So Ruth lay beside Boaz's feet until morning arrived. Then she got up before anyone could see her. Boaz said to her, ‘Nobody must know that a woman came here to the threshing floor.’

15 He said to Ruth, ‘Bring me the coat that you are wearing.’ She brought the coat to him. Then Boaz poured six bowls of barley seeds on to it. He tied it together and put it on her shoulder. Later, he returned to the town.

16 When Ruth returned home to Naomi, Naomi asked her, ‘My daughter, what happened last night?’ Then Ruth told her everything that Boaz had done for her. 17 She said to Naomi, ‘He also gave me all this barley. He said, “Do not return to Naomi with nothing to give to her.” ’

18 Naomi said, ‘My daughter, you must be patient. We must wait to see what will happen. Boaz will surely do what he needs to do today.’