The story or Ruth comes up only one day every three years, so it would be wrong for us to let it pass without mention.
Elimelech, a small landowner in Bethlehem, had a wife named Naomi, and sons named Mahlon and Chilion. With a drought hitting Bethlehem, Elimelech took his wife and sons across the Jordan to free land in Moab.
Over there, Mahlon married a Moabite woman named Orpah, and Chilion married one named Ruth. In hard times Elimelech and his two sons died, and Naomi decided on returning to Bethlehem to gain support from relatives. With that, she told her daughter-in-laws to find new husbands among their own kind in Moab.
Orpah left Naomi, but Ruth famously said, “Wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God shall be my God.”
Ruth and Naomi arrived at Bethlehem at the time of the barley harvest, and Ruth went out into the fields picking up kernels of grain dropped by the reapers. When she happened into the fields of Boaz, a near relative of Elimelech, he told his laborers to let more grain drop in Ruth’s path.
When Ruth told Naomi of her good fortune, Naomi advised Ruth to slip in at the feet of Boaz when he was sleeping. Upon awakening, Boaz recognized his relative Elimelech’s claim on him, so he arranged to take on Ruth as his wife. When Ruth bore a son, Naomi took the boy into her lap, and the neighbors named him Obed. In time Obed became the father of Jesse, who became the father of King David. That made Ruth an ancestor of Jesus.
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