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First Reading: Ruth Chapter 2 and 3 and 4
2:1 Ruth Meets Boaz
There was a relative of Naomi's husband, a man of great wealth, of the family
of Elimelech. His name was Boaz. 2 So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Please
let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I
may find favor."
And she said to her, "Go, my daughter."
3 Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.
4 Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers,"The LORD be with you!"
And they answered him, "The LORD bless you!"
5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, "Whose young woman is this?"
6 So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, "It is the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7 And she said, 'Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.' So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house."
8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, "You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. 9 Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn."
10 So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, "Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?"
11 And Boaz answered and said to her, "It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 12 The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."
13 Then she said,"Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants."
14 Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, "Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar." So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back. 15 And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16 Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her."
17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 Then she took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. So she brought out and gave to her what she had kept back after she had been satisfied.
19 And her mother-in-law said to her, "Where have you gleaned today? And where did you work? Blessed be the one who took notice of you."
So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, "The man's name with whom I worked today is Boaz."
20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law,"Blessed be he of the LORD, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!" And Naomi said to her, "This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives."
21 Ruth the Moabitess said, "He also said to me, 'You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.'"
22 And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, "It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field." 23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.
3:1 Ruth's Redemption Assured
Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, shall I not seek
security for you, that it may be well with you? 2 Now Boaz, whose young women
you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight
at the threshing floor. 3 Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on
your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself
known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 Then it shall
be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you
shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should
5 And she said to her, "All that you say to me I will do."
6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. 7 And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down.
8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. 9 And he said, "Who are you?"
So she answered, "I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative."
10 Then he said,"Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman. 12 Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. 13 Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the LORD lives! Lie down until morning."
14 So she lay at his feet until morning, and she arose before one could recognize another. Then he said,"Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor." 15 Also he said, "Bring the shawl that is on you and hold it." And when she held it, he measured six ephahs of barley, and laid it on her. Then she went into the city.
16 When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, "Is that you, my daughter?"
Then she told her all that the man had done for her. 17 And she said, "These six ephahs of barley he gave me; for he said to me, 'Do not go empty-handed to your mother-in-law.'"
18 Then she said,"Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day."
4:1 Boaz Redeems Ruth
Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative
of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, "Come aside, friend, sit
down here." So he came aside and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the
elders of the city, and said, "Sit down here." So they sat down. 3
Then he said to the close relative, "Naomi, who has come back from the
country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech.
4 And I thought to inform you, saying,'Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants
and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will
not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but you to
redeem it, and I am next after you.'"
And he said, "I will redeem it."
5 Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance."
6 And the close relative said, "I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it."
7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a confirmation in Israel.
8 Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, "Buy it for yourself." So he took off his sandal. 9 And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, from the hand of Naomi. 10 Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day."
11 And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, "We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the LORD will give you from this young woman."
13 Descendants of Boaz and Ruth
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! 15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him." 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. 17 Also the neighbor women gave him 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 this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; 19 Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; 20 Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon; 21 Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; 22 Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.
1:1 Dedication to Theophilus
Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things
which have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were
eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good
to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first,
to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may
know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
5 John's Birth Announced to Zacharias
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias,
of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name
was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the
commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child,
because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
18 And Zacharias said to the angel,"How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years."
19 And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. 20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time."
21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.
23 So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. 24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 "Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people."
26 Christ's Birth Announced to Mary
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee
named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of
the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel
said to her,"Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed
are you among women!"
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"
35 And the angel answered and said to her,"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible."
38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
39 Mary Visits Elizabeth
Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to
a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe
leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she
spoke out with a loud voice and said,"Blessed are you among women, and
blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the
mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of
your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed
is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were
told her from the Lord."
46 The Song of Mary
And Mary said:
"My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. 49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,And holy is His name. 50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with His arm;He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,And exalted the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things,And the rich He has sent away empty. 54 He has helped His servant Israel,In remembrance of His mercy, 55 As He spoke to our fathers,To Abraham and to his seed forever."
56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
57 Birth of John the Baptist
Now Elizabeth's full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth
a son. 58 When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great
mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.
59 Circumcision of John the Baptist
So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they
would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. 60 His mother answered
and said,"No; he shall be called John."
61 But they said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name." 62 So 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." So they all marveled. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God. 65 Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66 And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, "What kind of child will this be?" And the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 Zacharias' Prophecy
Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
68 "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,For He has visited and redeemed His people, 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, 70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,Who have been since the world began, 71 That we should be saved from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us, 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, 73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: 74 To grant us that we,Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,Might serve Him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
76 "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, 77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God,With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,To guide our feet into the way of peace."
80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to 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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