Elimelech had a kinsman called Booz, a man of great influence and wealth.
And now Ruth, the Moabitess, asked leave of her mother-in-law to go out and glean after the reapers, by some rich man’s favour. Go then, daughter, said she;
and it so chanced that the field in which Ruth went to glean after the reapers belonged to no other than Booz, Elimelech’s kinsman.
After a while, he himself came out from Bethlehem, and when he had greeted the reapers, The Lord be with you, and they had wished him God’s blessing in return,
he asked the man in charge of them, a servant of his own, whose daughter this maid might be?
It is Ruth, said he, the Moabitess, that came here from Moab with Noemi;
she asked leave to glean after the reapers, and here she has been, ever since morning, without once going home to rest.
Listen, my daughter, Booz said to Ruth; do not look for any other field to glean in; stay here and keep my maidens company,
following ever where they reap. My servants have orders not to interfere with thee; if thou art thirsty, go to the buckets yonder and share the water they drink.
At this, Ruth bowed low, face to ground; How have I deserved any favour of thine? she asked. Why wouldst thou take notice of an alien woman such as I am?
I have had word, he answered, of thy goodness to thy mother-in-law since thy husband’s death; how thou didst leave kindred and country, to dwell among strangers.
May the Lord reward thee for what thou hast done; may the Lord God of Israel, in whose shelter thou hast learned to trust, make thee full return for it!
Then she said, This is great kindness in thee, my lord, so to comfort and encourage me, thy poor servant that cannot compare with these handmaids of thine.
He bade her come back when it was time for a meal, to eat bread there and dip her crust in the vinegar. So there she sat with the reapers, and still at her side the heap of parched corn grew, till she had eaten her fill, and had more to carry away.✻
By the time she had risen up to go on with her gleaning, Booz had given orders to his servants that they were to put no hindrance in her way, though she were to go reaping in their company;
and of set purpose they were to drop some of the handfuls they gathered, and leave them there for her to glean, never shaming her by a rebuke.
So it was that when she had worked till evening, and took her rod to beat out what she had gathered, she found it was a whole ephi, that is a bushel.
Such were the earnings she brought back with her to the city, and shewed to her mother-in-law; offering her besides some of the food that was left over when she had finished her meal.
Why, said Noemi, where hast thou been gleaning to-day? Where didst thou find so much work to do? Blessed be the man that has so befriended thee! And Ruth told her whose field it was she had worked in, It was a man called Booz, she said.
May the Lord bless him, answered Noemi; here is a man that is generous to his own, living as well as dead. And she told Ruth that Booz was their near kinsman.
This too, said Ruth, was his bidding, that I should keep close to his men till all the reaping is done.
That is best, daughter, said her mother-in-law, that thou shouldst go out to glean with those maidens of his; in some other field they might say thee nay.
And with the maid-servants of Booz she still kept company, till barley and wheat were both carried.
The Holy Bible