Ruth’s Appeal to Boaz
1Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, shouldn’t I find rest for you, so that you will be taken care of? 2Now isn’t Boaz our relative?#Dt 25:5–10 Haven’t you been working with his female servants? This evening he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3Wash, put on perfumed oil, and wear your best clothes. Go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let the man know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4When he lies down, notice the place where he’s lying, go in and uncover his feet, and lie down. Then he will explain to you what you should do.”
5So Ruth said to her, “I will do everything you say.”#3:5 Alt Hb tradition reads say to me 6She went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law had charged her to do. 7After Boaz ate, drank, and was in good spirits, he went to lie down at the end of the pile of barley, and she came secretly, uncovered his feet, and lay down.
8At midnight, Boaz was startled, turned over, and there lying at his feet was a woman! 9So he asked, “Who are you?”
“I am Ruth, your servant,” she replied. “Take me under your wing,#3:9 Or “Spread the edge of your garment; lit “Spread the wing of your garment; Ru 2:12#Ezk 16:8 for you are a family redeemer.”#Ru 2:12
10Then he said, “May the Lord bless you,#Ru 2:20 my daughter. You have shown more kindness now than before,#3:10 Lit kindness at the last than at the first because you have not pursued younger men, whether rich or poor. 11Now don’t be afraid, my daughter. I will do for you whatever you say,#3:11 Some Hb mss, Orig, Syr, Tg, Vg read say to me since all the people in my town#3:11 Lit all the gate of my people know that you are a woman of noble character.#Ru 2:1; Pr 12:4; 31:10 12Yes, it is true that I am a family redeemer, but there is a redeemer closer than I am. 13Stay here tonight, and in the morning, if he wants to redeem you, that’s good.#Dt 25:5; Ru 4:5 Let him redeem you. But if he doesn’t want to redeem you, as the Lord lives,#Jdg 8:19; 1Sm 14:39,45; 19:6; 2Sm 4:9; 12:5; 2Kg 2:2,6 I will. Now lie down until morning.”
14So she lay down at his feet until morning but got up while it was still dark.#3:14 Lit up before a man could recognize his companion Then Boaz said, “Don’t let it be known that a#3:14 LXX; MT reads the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15And he told Ruth, “Bring the shawl you’re wearing and hold it out.” When she held it out, he shoveled six measures of barley into her shawl, and she#3:15 Some Hb mss, Aramaic, Syr, Vg; other Hb mss read he went into the town.
16She went to her mother-in-law, Naomi, who asked her, “What happened,#3:16 Lit “Who are you my daughter?”
Then Ruth told her everything the man had done for her. 17She said, “He gave me these six measures of barley, because he said,#3:17 Alt Hb tradition, LXX, Syr, Tg read said to me ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”
18Naomi said, “My daughter, wait until you find out how things go, for he won’t rest unless he resolves this today.”