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Ruth -- Chapter 1

Now it is time for a nice little love story.

[1] In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, so a man named Elimelek, along with his wife Naomi and two sons, Mahlon and Kilion, went to live for a while in Moab. Elimilek died there, leaving Naomi with her two sons, who married Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth. After another ten years the boys also died.

Now, when Naomi heard that they had food back in her homeland she decided to go back home. She said to her daughter-in-laws, "Go back to your mothers' homes. May Mr. god be kind to you and give you another husband."

But the daughter-in-laws said, "No, we want to go back with you."

She responded, "Look, I am too old to have any more sons for you. Even if I did have a son tonight would you wait for him to grow up? No, it is better if you go home."

So Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth would not leave her. When Naomi urged her to go back with Orpah she said, "Don't ask me to leav you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your god my god."

So Naomi stopped trying to get rid of the pest and let her come along, and they arrived in Bethlehem just in time for the barley harvest.

[2] Now Naomi had a relative on her husband's side named Boaz, a man of standing. And Ruth said to Naomi, "Let me go glean leftover grain behind anyone I take a liking to."

"Go ahead," Naomi responded.

So she did so, and ended up in the field of Boaz. When he saw her he said, "Who is that wench?"

"She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi," his workers responded.

Boaz said, "Oh yes, that wench. I heard about her." Then he went to speak to Ruth. "Stay here in my field and glean all you like, honey. There is plenty of water at the well. I have told the men not to bother you."

Ruth said, "Why are you being so kind to me. I'm just a foreigner."

"Well you've got that nice little tush and ... Ahh, what I mean is, I have heard of your loyalty to Naomi and how you came with her to live here with strangers. May god bless you for what you have done."

At mealtime Boaz offered her dinner. Afterwards he told his workers, "Let her glean all she wants; even leave a little extra for her to pick up."

When she returned home with lots of grain Naomi asked her, "Where were you gleaning? How did you get so much?"

"I was gleaning in Boaz's field," she reponded.

"God bless him. He is a kind man, even if he does have an eye for foreign wenches," Naomi responded. "He is also a close relative of ours. Keep gleaning in his fields. Don't go to other fields or you might be harmed. You can't trust these damned Israelites!" So Ruth continued gleaning in Boaz's field through the harvest.

[3] One day Naomi said to Ruth, "I must find you a good home where you will be well provided for. Tonight Boaz will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash yourself, put on perfume, dress up in your best clothes, and then go down to the threshing floor. Don't let him know you're there, though, until he has had plenty to eat and drink -- especially, drink! When he lies down go uncover his feet and lie down with him.

Ruth did as she was told, and in the middle of the night something startled Boaz so that he woke up, and he found a woman lying at his feet.

"Who the hell is there?" he asked.

"I am your servant, Ruth. It's been a long time since I've had a little action, if you know what I mean. Spread your skirt over me and see what fun we can have!"

"Well, well," Boaz responded. "You could have chased after these young fellows working for me, but instead you chose to go after old Boaz! I am honored. However, there is another kinsman who has first claim on you. That is our tradition. Let me check with him, and if he doesn't want to fulfill his duty, then I'm all yours, baby!"

[4] So Boaz went to the gate, waited for the kinsman to come by, and said to him, "Naomi, who came back from Moab, is selling a piece of land which belonged to our brother, Elimelech. You have first rights on it, so if you want it go buy it, but if you don't I will buy it. However, there is a little catch. If you buy the field you have to take her daughter-in-law Ruth along with it. It's a package deal; take it or leave it."

"I cannot do it," said the kinsman, who hadn't gotten a gander of that sexy wench Ruth. "As much as I would love to bang a nice fresh Moabite girl, I might endanger my own estate if I did. You can have it." Then he took off his sandal and gave it to Boaz, which was the way they confirmed legal deals in those days.

Boaz said to the elders, whom he had brought with him to witness, "Today you are witnesses. I have purchased the property of Elimelek. I have also purchased one other piece of property, Ruth. I own her now." And he quickly found a place to discard the stinking sandal.

So Boaz took Ruth as his wife, spread his skirt over her and they had some fun times. As a result she became pregnant, gave birth to a son and named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Which leads us to our final thought. We have a whole book, short as it may be, without a single person, god or otherwise, killing or smiting anybody else. Boring it is. Yes, god knows this, but don't despair! Just wait until we get to talking about David. There will be plenty of killing and smiting to keep you well tantilized. First, though, we have to talk about Samuel.