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The Book of Ruth


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The 1st Chapter

      In the time when the judges judged, there fell a *dearth in the land. Wherefore a certain man of Bethlehem Juda went for to sojourn in the country of Moab with his wife and two sons. The name of the man was Elimelec, and his wife Noemi, and the names of his two sons were Mahalon and Chilion and they were Ephraites, out of Bethlehem Juda. And when they came into the land of Moab, they continued there. And Elimelec Noemis husband died, and she remained with her two sons which took them wives of the nations of the Moabites: the ones name Orphah and the others Ruth.
      And when they had dwelled there about a ten year, Mahalon and Chilion died also even both two of them, so that the wife was left desolate of her two sons and of her husband thereto. Then she stood up with her daughters in law and returned from the country of Moab: for she had heard say, being in the country of Moab: how that the Lord hath visited his people and given them food. Wherefore she departed out of the place where she was and her two daughters with her. And as they went by the way returning unto the land of Juda, Noemi said unto her two daughters in law: go and return each of you unto your mothers house: the Lord deal as kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead and with me. And the Lord give you that you may find rest either of you in the house of her husband: and so she kissed them.
      Then they cried and wept and said unto her we will go with thee unto thy folk. But Noemi said, turn again my daughters: for what cause would you go with me? think you that there be any more children in my bowels, to be your husbands? Turn again my daughters and go: for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, also if I took a man this night: yea, and though I had already borne sons? would ye tarry after them, till they were of age? or would ye for them so long refrain from taking of husbands? Not so my daughters: for it grieveth me much for your sakes, that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.
      Therewith they cried and wept again: how be it Orphah kissed her mother in law but Ruth abode still by her, then she said: see, thy sister in law is gone back again unto her people and unto her God: return thou after her. But Ruth said: entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from after thee, for whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou dwellest, there I will dwell: thy people are my people, and thy God is my God. Where thou diest, I will die, and there will be buried. The Lord do so and so to me, except that death only depart thee and me asunder.
       When she saw that she would needs go with her, she left speaking unto her. And so they went both together until they came to Bethlehem. And when they were come to Bethlehem, it was noised through all the city and the women said: is not this Noemi?
      But she said unto them, call me not Noemi: call me Mara, for the Almighty hath made me very bitter. I went out full: but the Lord hath brought me home empty. Why should ye then call me Noemi: seeing the Lord hath humbled me, and the Almighty hath brought me unto adversity?
      And the time when Noemi with Ruth the Moabitess her daughter in law returned out of the country of Moab and came to Bethlehem, was in the beginning of barley harvest.


*dearth (famine)




The 2nd Chapter

      And Noemi had a kinsman of her husbands, a man of might, of the kindred of Elimelec, named Booz. And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Noemi, let me go to the field and lease and gather ears, after whomsoever I find grace in his sight.
      And she said unto her: go my daughter. And she went and came and gathered after the harvest men, and her chance was that part of the field pertained unto Booz which was of the kindred of Elimelec. And behold, Booz came from Bethlehem and said unto the harvest men, the Lord be with you. And they answered him, the Lord bless thee. Then said Booz unto the young man that had the oversight of the harvest men. Whose damsel is this? And the young man that was set to oversee the harvest men answered and said: it is the Moabitish damsel that came with Noemi out of the country of Moab, and she said, let me I pray thee, lease and gather after the harvest men, the ears that remain. And so she came, and hath continued even from the morning unto now, and tarried not long in the house.
      Then said Booz unto Ruth: hearest thou my daughter: go to no other field to gather, neither go from hence: but abide by my maidens. Thine eyes are on a field that shall be reaped: go after the maidens therefore, for I have charged the young men, that they touch thee not. Moreover when thou art a thirst, go unto the vessels and drink of that which the lads have drawn. Then she fell on her face and bowed herself to the ground and said unto him: how is that I have found grace in thine eyes, to know me, seeing I am an alien?
      And Booz answered and said unto her: all is told me that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband, how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land where thou wast born, and art come unto a nation which thou knewest not in time past. The Lord quit thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel unto whom thou art come, to trust under his wings. Then she said unto him, let me find favour in thy sight my Lord, for thou hast comforted me and hast spoken heartily unto thy maid, which yet cannot be like unto one of thy maids. And Booz when the time of *recession was come, said unto her: come hither and eat of the bread, and dip thy sop in the vinegar. And she sat down by the reapers, and he *raught her parched corn. And so she did eat and was sufficed and left part. And when she was risen up to gather, Booz said to the young men saying: let her gather the ears that remain and do her no despite. And thereto pull out of the sheaves for her and let it lie, that she may gather it up, and rebuke her not. And so she gathered until evening and then threshed that she had gathered, and it was upon an Epha of barley. And she took it up and went to the city, and showed her mother in law what she had gathered. And thereto she plucked out and gave to her that she had reserved when she had eaten enough. Then said her mother in law unto her, where gatheredst thou today? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that knew thee. And she showed her mother in law with whom she had wrought and said: the mans name with whom I wrought today is Booz. Then said Noemi unto her daughter in law: blessed be he for he ceaseth not to do the same goodness to the dead, that he did to the living. And Noemi said unto her: the man is nigh unto us, even of our next kin. And Ruth the Moabite said: he bade me also, that I should continue with his young men, until they had ended all that harvest he hath. Then said Noemi unto Ruth her daughter in law, it is best my daughter that thou go out with his maidens, and that no man meet thee in any other field. And so she kept her by the maidens of Booz, to gather unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest also: and dwelt with her mother in law.


*recession exactly as it appears yet another reads reflection. *raught (worked)




The 3rd Chapter

      Then Noemi her mother in law said unto her: my daughter I will seek rest for thee, that thou mayst be in better case. For now this Booz our kinsman with whose maidens thou wast, winnoweth his barley tonight in the threshing floor: wash thyself therefore and anoint thee and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee to the threshing floor. But let not the man be ware of thee, until he have left eating and drinking. And when he goeth to sleep, mark the place where he layeth him down, and then go and lift up the clothes that are on his feet, and lay thee down and so he shall tell thee what thou shalt do. And she answered her: all that thou biddest me I will do.
      And so she went unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her. And when Booz had eaten and drunken and made him merry, he went and lay down by the side of the heap. And she came softly, and lift up the clothes of his feet, and laid her down. And at midnight the man was afraid and groped. And behold: a woman lay at his feet. Then he said what art thou and she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid, spread thy mantle over thine handmaid, for thou art the next of the kin. And then he said blessed be thou in the Lord my daughter, for thou hast showed more goodness in the latter end, than at the beginning, in as much as thou followed not young men, whether they were poor or rich. And now my daughter fear not, I will do to thee all that thou require, for all the gates of my people know that thou art a woman of virtue. And it is true that I am of thy next kin: how be it, there is one nigher than I. Tarry all night. And when morning is come if he will marry thee it is good, so let him do. But if he will not have thee, as sure as the Lord liveth I will have thee, lie still until the morning. And so she lay at his feet until the morning. And she arose up before one could know another. And he said: let no man be ware, that there came any woman unto the threshing floor. And he said: bring thy mantle that thou hadst upon thee and hold it up. And she held it up. And he *mette in six measures of barley and laid it on her. And she gat her into the city: and she came in to her mother in law which said: what tidings my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her. And said thereto, these six measures of barley gave he me and said: thou shalt not go empty unto thy mother in law. Then said she: my daughter sit still, until thou know how the matter will chance. For the man will not be in rest until he have finished the matter this same day.


*mette (measured)




The 4th Chapter

      Then went Booz unto the gate and sat him down there: and behold, the kinsman of which Booz spake came by. Unto whom he said come and sit down here, and called him by his name. And he turned in and sat down. Then he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, sit ye down here. And they sat down. Then he said unto the kinsman: Noemi that is come again out of the country of Moab, will sell a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelecs. And I thought to do thee to *wete and bid thee buy it before the inhabiters and elders of my people, if thou be disposed to challenge it: but and if thou wilt not purchase it, then tell me that I may *wete it. For there is none to challenge it save thou, and I next thee. And the other answered I will purchase it.
      Then said Booz, what day thou buyest the field of the hand of Noemi, thou must take also Ruth the Moabite the wife of the dead, to stir up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. Then said the kinsman, I cannot purchase it for marrying of mine own inheritance: take thou my right to thee, for I cannot purchase it. Now this was the manner of old time in Israel concerning purchase and changing, for to establish all things: that a man must pluck off his shoe and give it his neighbor, and this was a witness in Israel.
      And the kinsman said to Booz, buy it thou: and so drew off his shoe. Then said Booz unto the elders and unto all the people ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelecs, and all that was Chilions and Mahalons, of the hand of Noemi. And moreover Ruth the Moabite the wife of Mahalon, do I take unto me to wife to stir up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that his name be not put out from among his brethren, and from the gate of his city: ye are witnesses this day.
      And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders said we are witnesses: the Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rahel and Lea, which twain did build the house of Israel: that she may do virtuously in Ephrathah, and be famous in Bethlehem, and that thine house be like the house of pharez, whom Thamar bare unto Juda, even of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman.
      And so Booz took Ruth, and she was his wife. And he went in unto her, and the Lord gave that she conceived and bare a son. And the women said unto Noemi: blessed be the Lord the which hath not left thee without an heir this day that shall have a name in Israel, and that shall bring thy life again and cherish thine old age. For thy daughter in law which loveth thee hath borne him that is better to thee than seven sons. And Noemi took the child and laid it in her lap, and became nurse unto it. And her neighbors gave it a name saying: there is a child borne to Noemi, and called it Obed: he is the father of Isai, the father of David. This is the generation of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron: Hezron begat Ram, Ram begat Aminadab, Aminadab begat Nahason, Nahason begat Salmon, Salmon begat Booz, Booz begat Obed, Obed begat Isai, Isai begat David.


Thus endeth the book of Ruth


*wete: to know of it; sharply , make public


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