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First Reading: Ruth Chapter 2 and 3 and 4
1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz.
2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.
3 And she went, and came and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on the portion of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.
4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, Jehovah be with you. And they answered him, Jehovah bless thee.
5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?
6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
7 And she said, Let me glean, I pray you, and gather after the reapers among the sheaves. So she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, save that she tarried a little in the house.
8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither pass from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens.
9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found favor in thy sight, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a foreigner?
11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been showed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother-in-law since the death of thy husband; and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people that thou knewest not heretofore.
12 Jehovah recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of Jehovah, the God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to take refuge.
13 Then she said, Let me find favor in thy sight, my lord, for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken kindly unto thy handmaid, though I be not as one of thy handmaidens.
14 And at meal-time Boaz said unto her, Come hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers, and they reached her parched grain, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left thereof.
15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not.
16 And also pull out some for her from the bundles, and leave it, and let her glean, and rebuke her not.
17 So she gleaned in the field until even; and she beat out that which she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.
18 And she took it up, and went into the city; and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth and gave to her that which she had left after she was sufficed.
19 And her mother-in-law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to-day? and where hast thou wrought? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she showed her mother-in-law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to-day is Boaz.
20 And Naomi said unto her daughter-in-law, Blessed be he of Jehovah, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is nigh of kin unto us, one of our near kinsmen.
21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, Yea, he said unto me, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.
22 And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter-in-law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, and that they meet thee not in any other field.
23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz, to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.
1 And Naomi her mother-in-law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
2 And now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to-night in the threshing-floor.
3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the threshing-floor, but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
5 And she said unto her, All that thou sayest I will do.
6 And she went down unto the threshing-floor, and did according to all that her mother-in-law bade her.
7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.
8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself; and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thy handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thy handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
10 And he said, Blessed be thou of Jehovah, my daughter: thou hast showed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou sayest; for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a worthy woman.
12 And now it is true that I am a near kinsman; howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.
13 Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as Jehovah liveth: lie down until the morning.
14 And she lay at his feet until the morning. And she rose up before one could discern another. For he said, Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing-floor.
15 And he said, Bring the mantle that is upon thee, and hold it; and she held it; and he measured six `measures' of barley, and laid it on her: and he went into the city.
16 And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.
17 And she said, These six `measures' of barley gave he me; for he said, Go not empty unto thy mother-in-law.
18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall; for the man will not rest, until he have finished the thing this day.
1 Now Boaz went up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the near kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
3 And he said unto the near kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth the parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
4 And I thought to disclose it unto thee, saying, Buy it before them that sit here, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is none to redeem it besides thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
6 And the near kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: take thou my right of redemption on thee; for I cannot redeem it.
7 Now this was `the custom' in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning exchanging, to confirm all things: a man drew off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor; and this was the `manner of' attestation in Israel.
8 So the near kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thyself. And he drew off his shoe.
9 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.
10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.
11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. Jehovah make the woman that is come into thy house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephrathah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
12 and let thy house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which Jehovah shall give thee of this young woman.
13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in unto her, and Jehovah gave her conception, and she bare a son.
14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be Jehovah, who hath not left thee this day without a near kinsman; and let his name be famous in Israel.
15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of life, and a nourisher of thine old age, for thy daughter-in-law, who loveth thee, who is better to thee than seven sons, hath borne him.
16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.
17 And the women her neighbors gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
18 Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez begat Hezron,
19 and Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,
20 and Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,
21 and Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,
22 and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
Second Reading: Luke Chapter 1
1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters which have been fulfilled among us,
2 even as they delivered them unto us, who from the beginning wer eyewitnesses and ministers of the word,
3 it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus;
4 that thou mightest know the certainty concerning the things wherein thou wast instructed.
5 There was in the days of Herod, king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah: and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were `now' well stricken in years.
8 Now it came to pass, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,
9 according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to enter into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the hour of incense.
11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of altar of incense.
12 And Zacharias was troubled when he saw `him', and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: because thy supplication is heard, and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall be turn unto the Lord their God.
17 And he shall go before his face in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient `to walk' in the wisdom of the just; to make ready for the Lord a people prepared `for him'.
18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak unto thee, and to bring thee these good tidings.
20 And behold, thou shalt be silent and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall come to pass, because thou believedst not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
21 And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marvelled while he tarried in the temple.
22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: and he continued making signs unto them, and remained dumb.
23 And it came to pass, when the days of his ministration were fulfilled, he departed unto his house.
24 And after these days Elisabeth his wife conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying,
25 Thus hath the Lord done unto me in the days wherein he looked upon `me', to take away my reproach among men.
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord `is' with thee.
29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this might be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.
31 And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God.
36 And behold, Elisabeth thy kinswoman, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that was called barren.
37 For no word from God shall be void of power.
38 And Mary said, Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39 And Mary arose in these days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah;
40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth.
41 And it came to pass, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit;
42 and she lifted up her voice with a loud cry, and said, Blessed `art' thou among women, and blessed `is' the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come unto me?
44 For behold, when the voice of thy salutation came into mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45 And blessed `is' she that believed; for there shall be a fulfilment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord.
46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For he hath looked upon the low estate of his handmaid: For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; And holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is unto generations and generations On them that fear him.
51 He hath showed strength with his arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart.
52 He hath put down princes from `their' thrones, And hath exalted them of low degree.
53 The hungry he hath filled with good things; And the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath given help to Israel his servant, That he might remember mercy
55 (As he spake unto our fathers) Toward Abraham and his seed for ever.
56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned unto her house.
57 Now Elisabeth's time was fulfilled that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58 And her neighbors and her kinsfolk heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy towards her; and they rejoiced with her.
59 And it came to pass on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him Zacharias, after the name of the father.
60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
62 And they made signs to his father, what he would have him called.
63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue `loosed', and he spake, blessing God.
65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.
66 And all that heard them laid them up in their heart, saying, What then shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68 Blessed `be' the Lord, the God of Israel; For he hath visited and wrought redemption for his people,
69 And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of his servant David
70 (As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets that have been from of old),
71 Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72 To show mercy towards, our fathers, And to remember his holy covenant;
73 The oath which he spake unto Abraham our father,
74 To grant unto us that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies Should serve him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 Yea and thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Most High: For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to make ready his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people In the remission of their sins,
78 Because of the tender mercy of our God, Whereby the dayspring from on high shall visit us,
79 To shine upon them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death; To guide our feet into the way of peace.
80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel.
SUPER HEROS OF THE BIBLE
Ruth was not an Israelite. She was a Moabitess. She became part of the story of the Bible and an ancestor of the Messiah because she left behind the idols of Moab and embraced the God of Israel. When the family of Elimelech and Naomi left Israel during a period of famine, they went to Moab. While they lived there, Ruth was married to one of their sons. He died leaving her a widow. Instead of staying in Moab when her mother-in-law decided to return to Israel, Ruth went with her:
Ruth 1:16 "But Ruth replied, 'Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God."
Even though Naomi and Ruth returned to Israel impoverished, God provided for them. Boaz became Ruth's husband and she had a son named Obed who was the father of Jesse who was the father of David the king.
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