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Ruth chapter 3

New International Version

1 One day Ruth's mother-in-law Naomi said to her, 'My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don't let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.'
5 I will do whatever you say,' Ruth answered. 6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.
7 When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned--and there was a woman lying at his feet!
9 Who are you?' he asked. 'I am your servant Ruth,' she said. 'Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.'
10 The LORD bless you, my daughter,' he replied. 'This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 And now, my daughter, don't be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. 12 Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. 13 Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the LORD lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.'
14 So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, 'No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.'
15 He also said, 'Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.' When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he went back to town.
16 When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, 'How did it go, my daughter?' Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her 17 and added, 'He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, 'Don't go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.''
18 Then Naomi said, 'Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.'
English Standard Version

1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? 2 Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.” 5 And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”
6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded 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. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! 9 He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” 10 And he said, “May you be blessed by the LORD, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman. 12 And now it is true that I am a redeemer. Yet there is a redeemer nearer than I. 13 Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the LORD lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”
14 So she lay at his feet until the morning, but arose before one could recognize another. And he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 And he said, “Bring the garment you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley and put it on her. Then she went into the city. 16 And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her, 17 saying, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said to me, ‘You must not go back empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’” 18 She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.”
King James Version

1 Then 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 of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor. 3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the 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 unto me I will do.
6 And she went down unto the 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 corn: 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 thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. 10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed 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 requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. 12 And now it is true that I am thy 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 the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.
14 And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor. 15 Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she 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 to me, 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 be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.
New American Standard Bible

1 Then her mother-in-law Naomi said to her, 'My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may go well for you? 2 Now then, is Boaz not our relative, with whose young women you were? Behold, he is winnowing barley at the threshing floor tonight. 3 Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not reveal yourself to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 And it shall be when he lies down, that you shall take notice of the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you should do.' 5 And she said to her, 'All that you say I will do.'
6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her. 7 When 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 secretly, and uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 And it happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and behold, a woman was lying at his feet. 9 So he said, 'Who are you?' And she answered, 'I am Ruth your slave. Now spread your garment over your slave, for you are a redeemer.' 10 Then he said, 'May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first, by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 So now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you say, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence. 12 But now, although it is true that I am a redeemer, yet there is also a redeemer more closely related than I. 13 Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the LORD lives. Lie down until morning.'
14 So she lay at his feet until morning, and got up before one person could recognize another; and he said, 'Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.' 15 Again he said, 'Give me the shawl that is on you and hold it.' So she held it, and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her. Then she went into the city. 16 When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, 'How did it go, my daughter?' And she told her all that the man had done for her. 17 She also said, 'These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said, ‘Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’?' 18 Then she said, 'Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today.'
New Living Translation

1 One day Naomi said to Ruth, 'My daughter, it's time that I found a permanent home for you, so that you will be provided for. 2 Boaz is a close relative of ours, and he's been very kind by letting you gather grain with his young women. Tonight he will be winnowing barley at the threshing floor. 3 Now do as I tell you--take a bath and put on perfume and dress in your nicest clothes. Then go to the threshing floor, but don't let Boaz see you until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 Be sure to notice where he lies down; then go and uncover his feet and lie down there. He will tell you what to do.'
5 'I will do everything you say,' Ruth replied. 6 So she went down to the threshing floor that night and followed the instructions of her mother-in-law.
7 After Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he lay down at the far end of the pile of grain and went to sleep. Then Ruth came quietly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8 Around midnight Boaz suddenly woke up and turned over. He was surprised to find a woman lying at his feet!
9 'Who are you?' he asked. 'I am your servant Ruth,' she replied. 'Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.'
10 'The LORD bless you, my daughter!' Boaz exclaimed. 'You are showing even more family loyalty now than you did before, for you have not gone after a younger man, whether rich or poor. 11 Now don't worry about a thing, my daughter. I will do what is necessary, for everyone in town knows you are a virtuous woman. 12 But while it's true that I am one of your family redeemers, there is another man who is more closely related to you than I am. 13 Stay here tonight, and in the morning I will talk to him. If he is willing to redeem you, very well. Let him marry you. But if he is not willing, then as surely as the LORD lives, I will redeem you myself! Now lie down here until morning.'
14 So Ruth lay at Boaz's feet until the morning, but she got up before it was light enough for people to recognize each other. For Boaz had said, 'No one must know that a woman was here at the threshing floor.' 15 Then Boaz said to her, 'Bring your cloak and spread it out.' He measured six scoops of barley into the cloak and placed it on her back. Then he returned to the town.
16 When Ruth went back to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, 'What happened, my daughter?' Ruth told Naomi everything Boaz had done for her, 17 and she added, 'He gave me these six scoops of barley and said, 'Don't go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.''
18 Then Naomi said to her, 'Just be patient, my daughter, until we hear what happens. The man won't rest until he has settled things today.'
Christian Standard Bible

1 Ruth's mother-in-law Naomi said to her, "My daughter, shouldn't I find rest for you, so that you will be taken care of? 2 Now isn't Boaz our relative? Haven't you been working with his female servants? This evening he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash, put on perfumed oil, and wear your best clothes. Go down to the threshing floor, but don't let the man know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, notice the place where he's lying, go in and uncover his feet, and lie down. Then he will explain to you what you should do."
5 So Ruth said to her, "I will do everything you say." 6 She went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law had charged her to do. 7 After Boaz ate, drank, and was in good spirits, he went to lie down at the end of the pile of barley, and she came secretly, uncovered his feet, and lay down.
8 At midnight, Boaz was startled, turned over, and there lying at his feet was a woman!
9 So he asked, "Who are you? ""I am Ruth, your servant," she replied. "Take me under your wing, for you are a family redeemer."
10 Then he said, "May the Lord bless you, my daughter. You have shown more kindness now than before, because you have not pursued younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 Now don't be afraid, my daughter. I will do for you whatever you say, since all the people in my town know that you are a woman of noble character. 12 Yes, it is true that I am a family redeemer, but there is a redeemer closer than I am. 13 Stay here tonight, and in the morning, if he wants to redeem you, that's good. Let him redeem you. But if he doesn't want to redeem you, as the Lord lives, I will. Now lie down until morning."
14 So she lay down at his feet until morning but got up while it was still dark. Then Boaz said, "Don't let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor." 15 And he told Ruth, "Bring the shawl you're wearing and hold it out." When she held it out, he shoveled six measures of barley into her shawl, and she went into the town.
16 She went to her mother-in-law, Naomi, who asked her, "What happened, my daughter? "Then Ruth told her everything the man had done for her. 17 She said, "He gave me these six measures of barley, because he said, 'Don't go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.' "
18 Naomi said, "My daughter, wait until you find out how things go, for he won't rest unless he resolves this today."

What does Ruth chapter 3 mean?

Naomi and Ruth have lived in Bethlehem for the two months of the barley and wheat harvests. During that time, a wealthy, well-respected landowner, Boaz, made extraordinary considerations to ensure Ruth was able to glean enough grain for the women to live on for a year. Naomi's goal for Ruth, however, was always that she find a good husband to give her "rest" (Ruth 1:9). Now, Naomi makes her move. The format of Ruth 3 is like chapter 2: the women plan what they're going to do, Ruth interacts with Boaz, and the women live in peace confident that Boaz will continue working on their behalf.

The first section can be titled "Naomi's Plan." As the harvest ends, Naomi decides that Boaz would make a good husband for Ruth. She gives bold instructions to her daughter-in-law: Ruth is to go to the threshing floor and wait until Boaz has celebrated the harvest and fallen asleep. When he awakens, he will be in a good mood, and they will have chaste privacy amidst the other threshers who sleep nearby to protect the grain. Ruth will then challenge Boaz to act. Ruth agrees to the plan (Ruth 3:1–6).

The next section is "Ruth's Plan." Ruth does as Naomi says but adds her own spin. Naomi briefly mentioned that Boaz is a "redeemer" of her husband's (Ruth 2:20). He can buy Naomi's husband's land as a kinsman-redeemer, thus giving Naomi an inheritance to live from and keeping the land in the clan. Ruth presents her marriage proposal in that context. Boaz knows what she's really asking for (Ruth 3:6–9).

Finally, "Boaz's Plan." Boaz recognizes that Ruth is willing to marry him for Naomi's sake, not her own. That doesn't just mean buying Naomi's husband's land, it also means providing her with an heir to re-inherit the land when the boy comes of age. Boaz is overwhelmed by Ruth's selflessness and agrees to her plan. There's only one problem: Naomi's husband has a closer relative with a stronger claim (Ruth 3:10–13).

Early in the morning, before anyone else awakens, Boaz sends Ruth back to Naomi. He does not send her empty-handed; he provides twelve gallons of barley, as a sort of bride price or as a last gesture of his respect should she marry the other man. Ruth returns to her mother-in-law and gives her a report. Naomi is pleased and assures Ruth that Boaz will resolve the issue with the closer heir quickly (Ruth 3:14–18).

Naomi is right. Later that day, Boaz tells the nearer relative that Naomi has a field to redeem. The man agrees. Then Boaz tells him he will also marry Ruth and provide Naomi an heir. The man knows Boaz is asking him to buy the field and then give it away to a son he will have in another man's name. He politely refuses, and Boaz marries Ruth. The townspeople praise Boaz for his honorable choice, then praise God when Ruth gives birth to a son and lays him in Naomi's lap. The book ends with the revelation that Ruth and Boaz's son will be the grandfather of King David (Ruth 4).