The Bible in Its Traditions

Ruth 3:1–18

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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?

But afterwards, when she returned to her mother-in-law, Naomi said to her: “My daughter, I will seek rest for you, and I will provide so that it may be well with you.

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And now is there not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to-night in the threshing-floor.

This Boaz, whose young women you joined in the field, is our near relative, and this night he will winnow the threshing floor of barley.

And, behold, Boaz is our kinsman, with whose maidens you were; and behold, he is going to winnow barley tonight in the threshing floor.

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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.

But do thou wash, and anoint thyself, and put thy raiment upon thee, and go up to the threshing-floor: do not discover thyself to the man until he has done eating and drinking.

Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself, and put on your best garments, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not show yourself to him until he has finished eating and drinking.

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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.'

But when he goes sleep, observe the place where he sleeps. And you will approach and lift up the covering, the part which covers near his feet, and lay yourself down, and sleep there; but he will tell you what you are obliged to do.”

And she said unto her: 'All that thou sayest unto me I will do.'

She answered, “I will do everything as you have instructed.”

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And she went down unto the threshing-floor, and did according to all that her mother-in-law bade her.

So she went down to the threshing floor, and did according to all that her mother-in-law had told her.

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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.

And Booz ate and drank, and his heart was glad, and he came to lie down by the side of the heap of corn; and she came secretly, and lifted up the covering of his feet.

And when Boaz had finished eating and drinking, and he was merry, and he had gone to sleep by the pile of sheaves, she approached secretly, and, lifting the covering near his feet, she laid herself down.

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And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was startled, and turned himself; and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.

And behold, when it was the middle of the night, the man became frightened and confused, and he saw a woman lying near his feet.

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And he said: 'Who art thou?' And she answered: 'I am Ruth thine handmaid; spread therefore thy skirt over thy handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.'

And he said to her, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your handmaid. Spread your covering over your servant, for you are a near relative.”

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10  And he said: 'Blessed be thou of YHWH, my daughter; thou hast shown more kindness in the end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou didst not follow the young men, whether poor or rich.

10  And Booz said, Blessed be thou of the Lord God, my daughter, for thou hast made thy latter kindness greater than the former, in that thou followest not after young men, whether any be poor or rich.

10  And he said, “You are blessed by the Lord, daughter, and you have excelled beyond your earlier benevolence, because you have not followed young men, whether poor or rich.

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11  And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou sayest; for all the men in the gate of my people do know that thou art a virtuous woman.

11  Therefore, do not be afraid, but whatever you decide about me, I will accomplish for you. For all the people, who dwell within the gates of my city, know that you are a virtuous woman.

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12  And now it is true that I am a near kinsman; howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.

12  And now I am truly akin to thee; nevertheless there is a kinsman nearer than I.

12  Neither do I deny myself to be a near relative, but there is another nearer than I.

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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 be not willing to do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as YHWH liveth; lie down until the morning.'

13  Be at peace for this night. And when morning arrives, if he is willing to uphold the law of kinship for you, things will turn out well; but if he is not willing, then, I will take you, without any doubt, as the Lord lives. Sleep until morning.”

13  Now, tarry this night and lodge here till dawn, and it shall be in the morning, if he will perform to you the part of a kinsman, well, let him do it; but if he is unwilling to do the part of a kinsman to you, then, as the LORD lives, if he does not do the part of a next of kin to you, I will do the part of a kinsman to you; then he said to her, 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.'

14  And so she slept by his feet until the night was ending. And she arose before men could inquire of one another. And Boaz said, “Be careful, lest someone know that you came here.”

14  So she lay at his feet until dawn; and she rose up early in the morning while it was dark, before one could recognize another. And she said to him, Let it not be known that I came down to you 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.

15  And again he said, “Spread your mantle that covers you, and hold it with both hands.” As she extended it and held it, he measured six measures of barley and placed it upon her. Carrying it, she went into the city.

15  And Boaz said to her, Spread your mantle; and she spread it, and he measured six measures of barley, lifted it up, and laid it on her back; and she went into the city.

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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.

16  And she came to her mother-in-law, who said to her: “What have you been doing, daughter?” And she explained to her all that the man had accomplished for her.

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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.'

17  And she said, “Behold, he gave me six measures of barley, for he said, ‘I am not willing to have you return empty to your mother-in-law.’ ”

17  And how he had given her six measures of barley, and had said to her, Go not empty-handed to your 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.'

18  And Naomi said, “Wait, daughter, until we see how things will turn out. For the man will not rest until he has accomplished what he said.”

18  Then her mother-in-law said to her, Sit still, my daughter, until you know the outcome; for the man will not rest until he brings the case to judgment today.