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“The LORD be with you.” And they answered “ him, “The LORD bless thee." Then Boaz saw Ruth, and he asked his servant who was set over the reapers who she was. The servant answered, saying, “ It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab; 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."
So Boaz went to Ruth, and spoke kindly to her, saying, “ Hearest thou not, my daughter ? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens. Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them; have not I 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.” Then Ruth 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 ?”
Boaz answered, saying, “ It hath fully been showed 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 mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. 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.'
Then Ruth 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."
And Boaz said unto her, “ At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar.” So he made her share in the reapers' food, and afterwards when Ruth went back to glean, he bade the reapers to let her go where she would, and to let fall some handfuls on purpose for her. Thus Ruth went on gleaning until the evening, and then she took her barley, and went back to her motherin-law. Naomi asked where she had been, and who had so favoured her? And when Ruth answered that the man's name was Boaz, Naomi asked God's blessing on him for his kindness, and told Ruth that he was one of the nearest relations she had. Naomi also desired Ruth to keep in Boaz’ fields all through the harvest, and not to go anywhere else.
The harvest came to an end. Ruth had steadily obeyed her mother-in-law, and now Naomi spoke to Ruth, and told her that she meant to seek rest and protection for her. So Ruth went on to do all that Naomi bade ber, and went to Boaz in the threshing floor, where he was busy winnowing his barley. And Ruth told him who she was, and how he was the nearest relation of her husband's family, and so, by the Law of Moses, the right protector for his widow. Then Boaz answered, saying, “ Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter, for thou hast showed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. 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.” Boaz filled Ruth's veil with barley, and sent her home to Naomi, and she, when Ruth told her all that had happened, was well content, and bade Ruth be so too.
Now Boaz knew that there was another man still more nearly related to Elimelech's family than himself; so he called him, and told him that Naomi had some land to sell which had been Elimelech's, and asked if this relation was willing to buy it, and take Ruth the Moab. itess for his wife? But his kinsman could not do this. Therefore Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, “ Ye are witnesses this
“ day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place; ye are witnesses this day.”
Then all the people and the elders answered, « We are witnesses." And they asked God's blessing upon Boaz and Ruth. So Boaz took Ruth for his wife and their first-born son was Obed, who afterwards became the father of Jesse, and grandfather to David.
Naomi was very happy when this grandchild was given her, and rejoiced in the gladness of her loving faithful daughter-in-law ; and she took the little child into her bosom, and was its nurse.
If you look at the third chapter of S. Luke's gospel, where the parentage of our Blessed LORD is given, you will see that Joseph, His earthly father, was a direct descendant of this same “ Obed the son of Boaz,” (verse 32,) and so the lowly gentle Ruth, who left her people and country out of love to her desolate motherin-law, was given the great privilege of bearing a son from whose family the MESSIAH should come.
“ He hath exalted the humble and meek.”
THERE was a certain man living at Ramah on Mount Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah, who was faithful before God, and very devout, and so was his wife Hannah ; but Hannah had no children, and she was very sorrowful for that reason. One year Elkanah and Hannah went up as usual to Shiloh to worship, and to offer sacrifice unto the Lord. When the sacri. fice was over, Hannah remained praying, for she was in bitterness of soul, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, “O LORD of hosts, if Thou wilt indeed look upon the afflic