Shavuot Play




















































































































Please feel free to copy and use the play and songs.  I only ask that you let me know that you are and that you include the personal information at the top of the play.  I'd love to see some photos from your performance - so please email me a few.


The Story of Ruth


Story by

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 there.

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.

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 part ways.

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 with her.

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 beginning.


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 harvesters.

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 to Ruth…

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, a foreigner?

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 refuge.

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.

NAOMI:  Yahweh 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 “kinsman-redeemers”.

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.

NARRATOR:  The “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 Threshing Floor

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 you?

RUTH:  I am your servant, Ruth.  Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a “kinsman-redeemer” to me.

BOAZ:  May 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 out.

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 daughter?

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 “kinsman-redeemer”...

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 sandal.

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 Moshe. 

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), Curtis (Director), Bruce (Kinsman), Kirk (Boaz's Foreman)

"Ruth's Song"

Music & Lyrics by Steve McConnell


The famine 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.