The Threshing Floor
1Then Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, said to her, “My daughter, maybe I should find a husband and a good home for you. That would be good for you. 2Boaz is our close relative.#3:2 close relative, protector A close relative who could marry Ruth so that she could have children. This man would care for this family, but this family and their property would not belong to him. They would belong to Ruth’s dead husband. Also in 3:9, 12; 4:1, 3, 6. You worked with his women servants. Tonight he will be working at the threshing floor. 3Go wash yourself and get dressed. Put on a nice dress, and go down to the threshing floor. But don’t let Boaz see you until he has finished eating his dinner. 4After he eats, he will lie down to rest. Watch him so that you will know where he lies down. Go there and lift the cover off his feet.#3:4 lift the cover off his feet Literally, “uncover his legs.” This showed that Ruth was asking Boaz to be her protector. Then lie down there with Boaz. He will tell you what you should do about marriage.”
5Then Ruth answered, “I will do what you say.”
6So Ruth went down to the threshing floor and did everything that her mother-in-law told her to do. 7After eating and drinking, Boaz was very satisfied. He went to lie down near the pile of grain. Then Ruth went to him very quietly and lifted the cover from his feet and lay down by his feet.
8About midnight, Boaz rolled over in his sleep and woke up. He was very surprised. There was a woman lying near his feet. 9Boaz said, “Who are you?”
She said, “I am Ruth, your servant girl. Spread your cover over me.#3:9 Spread your cover over me Or “Spread your wing over me.” This showed that Ruth was asking for help and protection. See Ruth 2:12. You are my protector.”
10Then Boaz said, “May the Lord bless you, young woman. You have been very kind to me. Your kindness to me is greater than the kindness you showed to Naomi in the beginning. You could have looked for a young man to marry, rich or poor. But you did not. 11Now, young woman, don’t be afraid. I will do what you ask. All the people in our town know that you are a very good woman. 12And it is true that I am a close relative. But there is a man who is a closer relative to you than I am. 13Stay here tonight. In the morning we will see if he will help#3:13 help Or “redeem.” This meant the close relative would care for and protect the dead man’s family and property, but that property would not be his. you. If he decides to help you, that is fine. If he refuses to help, I promise, as surely as the Lord lives, I will marry you and buy back Elimelech’s land for you.#3:13 I will marry … you Literally, “I will redeem you.” So lie here until morning.”
14So Ruth lay near Boaz’s feet until morning. She got up while it was still dark, before it was light enough for people to recognize each other.
Boaz said to her, “We will keep it a secret that you came here to me last night.” 15Then he said, “Bring me your coat. Now, hold it open.”
So Ruth held her coat open, and Boaz measured out about a bushel of barley#3:15 bushel of barley Literally, “six measures of barley.” as a gift to Naomi, her mother-in-law. Boaz then wrapped it in Ruth’s coat, and put it on her back. Then he went to the city.
16Ruth went to the home of her mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi went to the door and asked, “Who’s there?”
Ruth went in telling Naomi everything that Boaz did for her. 17She said, “Boaz gave me this barley as a gift for you. He said that I must not go home without bringing a gift for you.”
18Naomi said, “Daughter, be patient until we hear what happens. Boaz will not rest until he has finished doing what he should do. We will know what will happen before the day is ended.”