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Ruth chapter 2

New International Version

1 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband's side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz.
2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, 'Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.' Naomi said to her, 'Go ahead, my daughter.' 3 So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.
4 Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, 'The LORD be with you!' 'The LORD bless you!' they answered.
5 Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, 'Who does that young woman belong to?'
6 The overseer replied, 'She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. 7 She said, 'Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.' She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.'
8 So Boaz said to Ruth, 'My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. 9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.'
10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, 'Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me--a foreigner?'
11 Boaz replied, 'I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband--how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.'
13 May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,' she said. 'You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant--though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.'
14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, 'Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.' When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, 'Let her gather among the sheaves and don't reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her.'
17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.
19 Her mother-in-law asked her, 'Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!' Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. 'The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,' she said.
20 The LORD bless him!' Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. 'He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.' She added, 'That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.'
21 Then Ruth the Moabite said, 'He even said to me, 'Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.''
22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, 'It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else's field you might be harmed.'
23 So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
English Standard Version

1 Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3 So she set out 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 clan of Elimelech. 4 And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you!” And they answered, “The LORD bless you.” 5 Then Boaz said to his young man who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” 6 And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7 She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.”
8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. 9 Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn.” 10 Then she fell on her face, bowing 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 But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12 The LORD repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” 13 Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.”
14 And at mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. 15 When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16 And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”
17 So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 And she took it up and went into the city. Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also brought out and gave her what food she had left over after being satisfied. 19 And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man 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 And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the LORD, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.” 21 And Ruth the Moabite said, “Besides, he said to me, ‘You shall keep 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, lest in another field you be assaulted.” 23 So she kept close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
King James Version

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 ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. 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 a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.
4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD 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, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, 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 go 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 grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger? 11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. 12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. 13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens. 14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left. 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 let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.
17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that 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 she had reserved after she was sufficed. 19 And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? 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 the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. 21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, 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, 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 dwelt with her mother in law.
New American Standard Bible

1 Now Naomi had a relative of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, 'Please let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain following one in whose eyes I may find favor.' And she said to her, 'Go, my daughter.' 3 So she left and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion 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, 'May the LORD be with you.' And they said to him, 'May the LORD bless you.' 5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, 'Whose young woman is this?' 6 And the servant in charge of the reapers replied, 'She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the land of Moab. 7 And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came and has remained from the morning until now; she has been sitting in the house for a little while.'
8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, 'Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but join my young women here. 9 Keep your eyes on the field which they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have ordered the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw.' 10 Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, 'Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?' 11 Boaz replied to her, 'All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know. 12 May the LORD reward your work, and may your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.' 13 Then she said, 'I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not like one of your female servants.'
14 And at mealtime Boaz said to her, 'Come here, that you may eat of the bread and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.' So she sat beside the reapers; and he served her roasted grain, and she ate and was satisfied and had some left. 15 When she got up to glean, Boaz commanded his servants, saying, 'Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not insult her. 16 Also you are to purposely slip out for her some grain from the bundles and leave it so that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.'
17 So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 And she picked it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also took some out and gave Naomi what she had left after she was satisfied. 19 Her mother-in-law then said to her, 'Where did you glean today and where did you work? May he who took notice of you be blessed.' So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, 'The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.' 20 Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, 'May he be blessed of the LORD who has not withdrawn His kindness from the living and from the dead.' Again Naomi said to her, 'The man is our relative; he is one of our redeemers.' 21 Then Ruth the Moabitess said, 'Furthermore, he said to me, ‘You are to stay close to my servants until they have finished all my harvest.’?' 22 And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law Ruth, 'It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, so that others do not assault you in another field.' 23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz in order to glean until the end of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
New Living Translation

1 Now there was a wealthy and influential man in Bethlehem named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi's husband, Elimelech.
2 One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, 'Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.' Naomi replied, 'All right, my daughter, go ahead.' 3 So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech.
4 While she was there, Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters. 'The LORD be with you!' he said. 'The LORD bless you!' the harvesters replied.
5 Then Boaz asked his foreman, 'Who is that young woman over there? Who does she belong to?'
6 And the foreman replied, 'She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. 7 She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes' rest in the shelter.'
8 Boaz went over and said to Ruth, 'Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don't go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field. 9 See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them. I have warned the young men not to treat you roughly. And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well.'
10 Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. 'What have I done to deserve such kindness?' she asked. 'I am only a foreigner.'
11 'Yes, I know,' Boaz replied. 'But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. 12 May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.'
13 'I hope I continue to please you, sir,' she replied. 'You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.'
14 At mealtime Boaz called to her, 'Come over here, and help yourself to some food. You can dip your bread in the sour wine.' So she sat with his harvesters, and Boaz gave her some roasted grain to eat. She ate all she wanted and still had some left over.
15 When Ruth went back to work again, Boaz ordered his young men, 'Let her gather grain right among the sheaves without stopping her. 16 And pull out some heads of barley from the bundles and drop them on purpose for her. Let her pick them up, and don't give her a hard time!'
17 So Ruth gathered barley there all day, and when she beat out the grain that evening, it filled an entire basket. 18 She carried it back into town and showed it to her mother-in-law. Ruth also gave her the roasted grain that was left over from her meal.
19 'Where did you gather all this grain today?' Naomi asked. 'Where did you work? May the LORD bless the one who helped you!' So Ruth told her mother-in-law about the man in whose field she had worked. She said, 'The man I worked with today is named Boaz.'
20 'May the LORD bless him!' Naomi told her daughter-in-law. 'He is showing his kindness to us as well as to your dead husband. That man is one of our closest relatives, one of our family redeemers.'
21 Then Ruth said, 'What's more, Boaz even told me to come back and stay with his harvesters until the entire harvest is completed.'
22 'Good!' Naomi exclaimed. 'Do as he said, my daughter. Stay with his young women right through the whole harvest. You might be harassed in other fields, but you'll be safe with him.'
23 So Ruth worked alongside the women in Boaz's fields and gathered grain with them until the end of the barley harvest. Then she continued working with them through the wheat harvest in early summer. And all the while she lived with her mother-in-law.
Christian Standard Bible

1 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband's side. He was a prominent man of noble character from Elimelech's family. His name was Boaz.
2 Ruth the Moabitess asked Naomi, "Will you let me go into the fields and gather fallen grain behind someone with whom I find favor? "Naomi answered her, "Go ahead, my daughter." 3 So Ruth left and entered the field to gather grain behind the harvesters. She happened to be in the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was from Elimelech's family.
4 Later, when Boaz arrived from Bethlehem, he said to the harvesters, "The Lord be with you.""The Lord bless you," they replied.
5 Boaz asked his servant who was in charge of the harvesters, "Whose young woman is this? "
6 The servant answered, "She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the territory of Moab. 7 She asked, 'Will you let me gather fallen grain among the bundles behind the harvesters? ' She came and has been on her feet since early morning, except that she rested a little in the shelter."
8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, "Listen, my daughter. Don't go and gather grain in another field, and don't leave this one, but stay here close to my female servants. 9 See which field they are harvesting, and follow them. Haven't I ordered the young men not to touch you? When you are thirsty, go and drink from the jars the young men have filled."
10 She fell facedown, bowed to the ground, and said to him, "Why have I found favor with you, so that you notice me, although I am a foreigner? "
11 Boaz answered her, "Everything you have done for your mother-in-law since your husband's death has been fully reported to me: how you left your father and mother and your native land, and how you came to a people you didn't previously know. 12 May the Lord reward you for what you have done, and may you receive a full reward from the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."
13 "My lord," she said, "I have found favor with you, for you have comforted and encouraged your servant, although I am not like one of your female servants."
14 At mealtime Boaz told her, "Come over here and have some bread and dip it in the vinegar sauce." So she sat beside the harvesters, and he offered her roasted grain. She ate and was satisfied and had some left over.
15 When she got up to gather grain, Boaz ordered his young men, "Let her even gather grain among the bundles, and don't humiliate her. 16 Pull out some stalks from the bundles for her and leave them for her to gather. Don't rebuke her." 17 So Ruth gathered grain in the field until evening. She beat out what she had gathered, and it was about twenty-six quarts of barley. 18 She picked up the grain and went into the town, where her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She brought out what she had left over from her meal and gave it to her.
19 Her mother-in-law said to her, "Where did you gather barley today, and where did you work? May the Lord bless the man who noticed you."Ruth told her mother-in-law whom she had worked with and said, "The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz."
20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "May the Lord bless him because he has not abandoned his kindness to the living or the dead." Naomi continued, "The man is a close relative. He is one of our family redeemers."
21 Ruth the Moabitess said, "He also told me, 'Stay with my young men until they have finished all of my harvest.' "
22 So Naomi said to her daughter-in-law Ruth, "My daughter, it is good for you to work with his female servants, so that nothing will happen to you in another field." 23 Ruth stayed close to Boaz's female servants and gathered grain until the barley and the wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

What does Ruth chapter 2 mean?

Ten years prior, an Israelite family fled a famine in Judah and settled in Moab. The father died, and the mother, Naomi, found local wives for her sons. Not long later, the sons died. When Naomi heard that the famine had ended, she resolved to return to Bethlehem. Her daughters-in-law insisted on accompanying her. When Naomi explained how much easier their lives would be if they stayed, Orpah agreed. Ruth didn't. Naomi's friends were glad to see her again, but her bitterness dragged her into despair (Ruth 1). In this chapter, Naomi finds hope again.

Ruth 2 begins with an introduction that sets the stage. The narrator reveals the presence of a man named Boaz who is of the same clan as Naomi's husband. Back at home, Ruth requests Naomi's permission to glean barley behind the harvesters. As Ruth seeks an owner who will show her favor in her work, she happens upon a field owned by Boaz (Ruth 2:1–3).

Sometime during the day, Boaz appears to check on the harvest. He sees Ruth and asks his foreman who she is. Word has gotten around the small town, and when the servant mentions that Ruth came with Naomi, Boaz realizes she is the Moabite woman who abandoned her country, people, and gods for an Israelite widow (Ruth 2:4–7).

Boaz determines that such a sacrifice deserves a response. He insists that Ruth glean only from his fields, so she will be safe. He orders his harvesters to intentionally leave out stalks from the bundles so she can gather more. And he invites her to lunch as if she were one of his servants. Ruth is overwhelmed by his kindness (Ruth 2:8–16).

At day's end, Ruth has harvested and threshed nearly six gallons—about twenty-four liters—of barley grain. Naomi is shocked at the amount and realizes Ruth must have had a benefactor. When Ruth mentions the man's name, Naomi reveals that Boaz is one of her husband's kinsman-redeemers. Beyond the provision of food, Naomi is even more grateful that Boaz has taken precautions to protect Ruth. Foreign widows working in the field face more dangers than just starvation (Ruth 2:17–22).

The last verse provides a summary statement of the following weeks. Ruth not only gleans for barley, but she also stays for the wheat harvest, as well. At night, she returns to Naomi in Bethlehem. Meanwhile, her continued lovingkindness toward Naomi is not going unnoticed (Ruth 2:23).

By the end of the harvest, the women likely have enough to live on for a year. Even so, they realize that Boaz can provide more than grain, if he's willing. Naomi is thinking about Ruth's future. She suggests that Ruth go to Boaz in a way that essentially asks him to care for her (Ruth 3:1–5). Naomi has also told Ruth that Boaz is a kinsman-redeemer. That means he can buy Naomi's husband's land and give Naomi the money to live for the rest of her life. He could also provide a son to carry on her husband's name. Ruth asks Boaz to fulfill this role (Ruth 3:9).

Commentors such as those at The Bible Project point out that chapters 2 and 3 have the same organization. They start with Ruth and Naomi planning, progress to an interaction with Ruth and Boaz, and finish with Ruth and Naomi waiting to see what will happen next. Chapter 2 sets the stage. In chapter 3, Ruth will invite Boaz to provide more than just grain. In chapter 4, Boaz will accept his role as the vessel through which God has chosen to bless the women. In the process, he becomes the great-grandfather of King David.