On Monday, we read chapter 1 of the Book of Ruth. The story follows the meeting of Ruth and Boaz, the great-grandparents of king David of Israel and the ancestors of Jesus Christ. In chapter 1 we read about how Ruth came to the Land of Israel while in chapter 2 we witnessed the meeting of Boaz and Ruth. The love story continues in chapter 3 as we read John Bunyan’s versification of the story of these star-crossed lovers (these terms I use quite loosely).
RUTH – CHAP. III.
Then Naomi said, Shall I not, my daughter,
Seek rest for thee, that thou do well hereafter?
And is not Boaz, with whose maids thou wast,
One of the nearest kinsmen that thou hast?
Behold, this night he in his threshing floor
Is winnowing Barley, wash thyself therefore,
Anoint thee, put thy clothes on, and get down
Unto the floor; but make not thyself known,
Till he hath eat and drank, and shall prepare
To lie him down; then take good notice where
He goes about to take his night’s repose,
And go thou in there, and lift up the clothes
From off his feet, and likewise lay thee down,
And what thou hast to do he will make known.
And she made answer, Whatsoever thou
Hast me commanded, will I gladly do.
And down unto the floor she hasted, and
Forthwith fulfilled her mother-in-law’s command.
So now when Boaz had his heart refresh’d,
With meat and drink, he laid him down to rest,
Near to the heap of corn; she softly came,
Uncover’d’s feet, and lay down by the same.
And, lo! at midnight, as he turn’d him round,
He was afraid, for at his feet he found
A woman lay. Who art thou? then said he.
I am thine handmaid Ruth, replied she,
Over thine handmaid therefore spread thy skirt,
I pray, because thou a near kinsman art.
Blessed be thou, said he, because thou hast
Made manifest more kindness at the last,
Than at the first, in that thou did’st, my daughter,
No young men, whether poor or rich, go after.
And now, my daughter, be not thou afraid,
I will do to thee all that thou hast said:
For all the city of my people knows,
Thou art a woman truly virtuous;
And now though I am kin and undoubtedly,
Yet there is one that’s nearer kin than I.
Tarry this night, and when ’tis morning light,
If he will like a kinsman, do thee right,
We’ll let him, but if not, I myself will,
As the Lord lives; till morning lie thou still.
And till the morning at his feet she lay,
And then arose about the break of day;
And he gave her a charge, not to declare
That there had any womankind been there.
He also said, bring here thy veil, and hold
To me; she did, and thereinto he told
Six measures full of barley, and did lay
It on her, and she hasted thence away.
And when unto her mother-in-law she came,
Art thou, said she, my daughter come again?
Then what the man had done she told, and said,
He these six measures full of barley laid
Upon me, for said he, This I bestow,
Lest to thy mother thou should’st empty go.
Then, said she, sit still daughter, till thou see
What the event of this intrigue will be;
For till the man this day hath made an end,
No satisfaction will on him attend.