Ruth Gleans in the Fields of Boaz, a Near Relative of Naomi—He Treats Ruth Kindly

Ruth 2:1–3, 5–9, 11, 14–18

1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech. . . .5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:7 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.8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not 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. . . .11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed 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 thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. . . .14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.

Arta M. Hale wrote:

“Naomi and Ruth reached Naomi’s old home in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. Ruth, according to custom, gleaned the barley left by the reapers so she and Naomi might have food to eat.

“The field where Ruth was gleaning belonged to Boaz, a kinsman of Naomi’s husband. When Boaz came to the barley field, he noticed Ruth and asked the reapers who she was. They told him that she was the Moabite, Naomi’s daughter-in-law, and that she had worked diligently.

“Boaz told Ruth to glean in no other fields but his. She would not be molested in any way, and she was to eat the food and drink the water provided for his reapers.

Ruth bowed herself before Boaz and asked why he was so kind to her, a stranger. Boaz answered her, ‘It hath fully been shewed me . . . how thou hast left thy father and thy 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’ (Ruth 2:11–12).”

(“Lessons in Womanhood: Insights for Latter-day Saint Women from the Lives of Vashti, Miriam, Ruth, Hannah, Jezebel, and Esther,” Ensign, Oct. 1973, 72.)

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