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The Story of Ruth
Curtis & Carolyn
1 Naomi & Ruth
NARRATOR: Tonight as we
gather to celebrate the Feast of Shavuot, we also take a look at
the life of Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David. The
characters in our story tonight are…
Naomi, the wife of Elimelech the Jew,
Her daughters-in-law, Ruth, and Orpah,
Boaz, a kinsman of Elimelech, living in Bethlehem, Judah,
A Kinsman of Boaz, also living in Bethlehem,
The Foreman of Boaz’s servants,
As well as a woman from the city, and also and Elder living
Long ago, when the Judges ruled
Israel, the land of Canaan suffered a terrible famine.
Elimelech, a prominent Jew from Bethlehem, took his wife, Naomi,
and his two sons Mahlon and Kilion, to the land of Moab to
escape the famine. The family settled there and the sons
married Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth. Then, tragedy
struck. First Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died, and then both
of her sons. Naomi was suddenly a widow. All she had left were
her two bereaved daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth.
READER 1: In Moab, Naomi
heard how the LORD had come to the aid of his people in Israel
by providing food for them. With her two daughters-in-law, she
left the place where she had been living in Moab and set out on
the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. Then
Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law…
NAOMI: Go back to your mother's home, and May the LORD
show kindness to you, as you have shown it to your late husbands
and to me. May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest
in the home of another husband.
ORPAH: We would rather go back with you to your people,
NAOMI: No, Return to your
homes, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to
have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return
home, my daughters. I am too old to have another husband. Even
if I thought there was still hope for me - even if I had a
husband tonight and then gave birth to sons - would you wait
until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my
daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, but we must
READER 1: At this they
wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but
Ruth clung to her.
NAOMI: Look, your
sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back
RUTH: Don't urge me to
leave 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. Where
you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD
deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death
separates you and me.
READER 1: When Naomi
realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped
urging her. The two women went on until they came to Bethlehem.
The whole town was excited when they saw Naomi and Ruth.
WOMAN: Can this be Naomi?
NARRATOR: So Naomi
returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth, the Moabitess, her
daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was
2 Ruth Meets Boaz
NARRATOR: Now Naomi had a
relative on her husband's side, from the clan of Elimelech, a
man of prominent standing, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the
Moabitess said to Naomi…
RUTH: Let me go to the
fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose
eyes I find favor.
NAOMI: Go ahead, my daughter.
READER 2: So she went out
and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it
turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to
Boaz. Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the
BOAZ: Shalom! The LORD be with you!
FOREMAN: Shalom Alechem!
The LORD bless you!
BOAZ: Who is that young woman?
FOREMAN: She is the
Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi. She asked me to
let her glean and gather among the sheaves behind the
harvesters. She went into the field and has worked steadily from
morning until now.
READER 2: Then Boaz said
BOAZ: Don't go
and glean in another field. Stay here with my servant girls.
Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along
after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you. And
whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars
the men have filled.
NARRATOR: At this, she
bowed down with her face to the ground and exclaimed…
RUTH: Why have I found
such favor in your eyes that you notice me – a woman from Moab,
BOAZ: I've been
told all about what you have done for Naomi since the death of
your husband—how you left your father and mother and your
homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before.
May the LORD repay you for the kindness you have
shown to your mother-in-law. May you be richly rewarded by the
LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take
RUTH: May I
continue to find favor in your eyes, too, my lord. You have
given me comfort and have spoken kindly to me - though I do not
even have the standing of one of your lowest servant girls.
READER 2: At mealtime Boaz said to her…
BOAZ: Come over here. Have
some bread and dip it in the wine.
READER 2: When she sat
down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She
ate all she wanted and had some left over. As she got up to
glean, Boaz gave orders to his men…
BOAZ: Even if she gathers
among the sheaves, don't embarrass her. Rather, pull out some
stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick
up, and don't rebuke her.
READER 2: So Ruth gleaned
in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had
gathered, and it amounted to an ephah, about 3/5 of a bushel.
She carried it back to town, where Naomi saw how much she had
gathered. Ruth also gave her what she had left over from the
meal she had eaten with Boaz that day.
NAOMI: Where did
you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took
notice of you!
RUTH: The name of the man
I worked with today is Boaz.
bless him! He has not stopped showing his kindness to the
living or the dead. Boaz is a close relative; he is one of our
RUTH: He even
invited me to stay with his workers until they finish harvesting
all his grain.
NAOMI: It will
be good for you, my daughter, to go with his girls, because in
someone else's field you might be harmed.
“kinsman-redeemer” was the nearest of kin. He had the
responsibility of redeeming his kinsman's lost opportunities. If
a person was forced into slavery, his redeemer purchased his
freedom. When debt threatened to overwhelm him, the kinsman
stepped in to redeem his homestead and let the family live. If a
family member died without an heir, the kinsman married the
widow and reared a son to hand down his name.
NARRATOR: Ruth stayed
close to the servant girls of Boaz and gleaned until the barley
and wheat harvests were finished. She continued to live with
her mother-in-law, Naomi.
3 Ruth & Boaz at the
READER 3: One day Naomi
said to her…
NAOMI: My daughter,
shouldn’t I try to find a home for you? One where you will be
well provided for? Is not Boaz a kinsman of ours? Tonight he
will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash and
perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to
the threshing floor, but don't let him know you are there until
he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the
place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie
down. He will tell you what to do next.
RUTH: Yes, Naomi. I will do as you say.
READER 3: So she went down
to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told
her to do. When Boaz had finished eating and drinking, and was
in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the
grain pile. Ruth quietly approached him, uncovered his feet and
lay down. In the middle of the night something startled him. As
he turned, he discovered her lying at his feet.
BOAZ: Who are
RUTH: I am your servant,
Ruth. Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are
a “kinsman-redeemer” to me.
Ha’Shem, blessed be His name, bless you, my daughter. This is a
great kindness that you have shown me. Don’t be afraid. I will
do all that you’ve ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are
a woman of noble character. Although I am near of kin, there is
a “kinsman-redeemer” nearer than I, who is entitled to marry
you. Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to
redeem you, then good; let him redeem. But if he is not willing,
as surely as the LORD lives I will redeem you and take you as my
wife. Lie here until morning.
READER 3: So she lay at his feet until morning.
BOAZ: Don't let it be known that you came to the
threshing floor. Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it
READER 3: When she did so,
he poured into it six measures of barley and gave it back to
her. Then he went to town. When Ruth came to her mother-in-law,
Naomi asked her…
NAOMI: How did it go, my
RUTH: He told me I had
shown him great kindness. He also said there was a
“kinsman-redeemer” nearer than he who might be willing to marry
me, and if not, then he would. He gave me these six measures of
barley, and told me not to come back to you empty-handed.
NAOMI: Be patient, my daughter. Boaz
will not rest until the matter is settled today.
4 Boaz Marries Ruth
READER 4: Boaz went up to the town gate and sat there. He
waited until the “kinsman-redeemer” he had mentioned came along.
BOAZ: Come over here, my friend, and sit down.
READER 4: So the man came
over and sat down. Boaz had also asked a minion, ten of the
elders of the town, to sit with him. Then he said to the
BOAZ: Naomi, who has come
back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to
our brother Elimelech. I thought I should bring the matter to
your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of
these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my
people. If you will redeem it, then do so. But if you will not,
tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it
except you, but I am next in line.
KINSMAN: I will redeem it.
BOAZ: On the
day you buy the land from Naomi, and from Ruth the Moabitess,
you acquire the dead man's widow, in order to maintain his name
with his property.
KINSMAN: Then I cannot
redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it
yourself. I cannot do it.
READER 4: For
the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one
party had to take off his sandal and gave it to the other. This
was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.
KINDMAN: Buy it yourself. I remove my
BOAZ: Today you
are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of
Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired
Ruth, the Moabitess, Mahlon's widow, as my wife, in order to
maintain his name with his property. His name will not
disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today
you are witnesses!
ELDER: We are your
witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your
home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of
Israel. May you have standing in the land and be famous in
Bethlehem. Through the offspring the LORD gives you by this
young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar
bore to Judah.
The Genealogy of David
NARRATOR: So Boaz took
Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD
enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.
WOMAN: Praise be to the
LORD, Naomi. Ha Shem has not left even you without a
“kinsman-redeemer”. May the child become famous throughout
Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old
age. For your daughter-in-law, Ruth, who loves you and who is
better to you than seven sons, has given birth to a son.
READER 4: Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap
and cared for him.
WOMAN: Naomi has a grandson through Ruth and Boaz.
His name is Obed.
READER 4: Boaz was the father of Obed, Obed was the
father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of David, who became
King over all of Israel.
NARRATOR: Seven weeks
after the second day of Pesach is the festival of Shavuot, also
called The Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost. Shavuot is the Hebrew
word for “weeks” and Pentecost is the Greek word which literally
means “fiftieth day.” In Old Testament times, farmers brought
their first-fruits offerings of barley to the Temple at Pesach.
On that day the counting of the weeks began. They would count 7
weeks, or 49 days, and on the 50th day would be the
feast of Shavuot. Shavuot celebrates the offering of the
first-fruits of the wheat harvest seven weeks later.
The Book of Ruth is read on
Shavuot. The story tells of her marriage and conversion which
took place during the harvest season, from the beginning of the
barley harvest to the conclusion of the wheat harvest. Through
her marriage to Boaz, Ruth, a gentile, became the
great-grandmother of King David, who was born and died on
Shavuot. She became the mother of the royal lineage of David.
It was also from this lineage that our “Kinsman-Redeemer” came
-Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, Yeshua the Messiah.
Shavuot is also a time of
remembering the giving of the Torah. The first Shavuot took
place 50 days after the Israelites left Egypt…50 days after the
angel of death had “passed-over” their homes in Egypt when he
saw the blood of the lamb on the lintel and doorposts…50 days
after the first Pesach. They had arrived at Mt. Sinai, and
Moshe had gone upon the mountain top to meet with YHWH. It was
there on that first Shavuot that the Lord gave the Torah to
And YHWH said to Moshe, “Ye have
seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on
eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now, if you will
obey (sh’ma – hear) my voice, and keep (sha’mar –
guard) my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure
unto me above all people. You shall be unto me a kingdom of
priests, and a holy nation.”
Fifty days after Messiah Yeshua’s
death, burial & resurrection at Pesach, Shavuot was also
fulfilled though Messiah by the giving of the Ruach Ha’Kodesh –
the Holy Spirit. Yeshua had told his disciples, “Do not leave
Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised. In a few
days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. You will
receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be
my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to
the ends of the earth.”
Just as surely as Yeshua
fulfilled the Spring Feasts, He will also fulfill the Fall
Festivals. Just as surely as He left, He will also return.
Maranatha…Come quickly Lord!
2006 "The Story of Ruth" Play Cast
|(L to R) Leslie (Naomi), Myrl
(Ruth), Andy (Boaz), Doug (Elder), Lynda (Woman in the City),
(Director), Bruce (Kinsman), Kirk (Boaz's
Music & Lyrics by Steve
drove them from the land,
And so Naomi's husband moved his family to Moab,
Naomi's husband had passed on,
And her two sons married women from this foreign land.
But later on her sons had died as well,
Leaving Naomi with her daughters-in-law.
And she said, "Girls, you must go home,
It's not too late for you to find new husbands,
Start your families."
But Ruth just would not let her go,
She fell on her face and she cried out to Naomi.
Where you go, I'll go, Where you live, I'll live,
Your people are my people now,
And your God is my God, too.
Where you die, I'll die, and I'll be buried there,
May God deal with me as harsh as need be,
If ever I leave your side.
The seasons change but not the story,
A stranger joins with people,
That they did not know before.
Like Ruth would never leave Naomi,
Though she could have gone her way,
She blessed her to the core.
A people scattered to the winds,
Crying out for God to bring them home again,
Another people grafted in,
Adopted sons and daughters of the God of Yisrael.
After two thousand years our veils are removed,
As Jew and Gentile are united in the Truth.
We celebrate the law of God,
Revealed within it is the coming of Messiah,
And by the Spirit of the Lord,
All who are joined with Israel sing to her this promise...
Oh, Israel, I'll never leave your side.