IN THE Bible you will find a book called Ruth. It is a story about a family that lived during the time when Israel had judges. Ruth is a young woman from the land of Moʹab; she does not belong to God’s nation of Israel. But when Ruth learns about the true God Jehovah, she comes to love him very much. Naʹo·mi is an older woman who helped Ruth to learn about Jehovah.
Naʹo·mi is an Israelite woman. She and her husband and two sons moved to the land of Moʹab at a time when there was little food to eat in Israel. Then one day Naʹo·mi’s husband died. Later Naʹo·mi’s sons married two Moʹab·ite girls named Ruth and Orʹpah. But after about 10 years, Naʹo·mi’s two sons died. How sad Naʹo·mi and the two girls were! What would Naʹo·mi do now?
One day Naʹo·mi decides to make the long trip back home to her own people. Ruth and Orʹpah want to stay with her, and so they go along too. But after they have traveled awhile on the road, Naʹo·mi turns to the girls and says: ‘Go back home and stay with your mothers.’
Naʹo·mi kisses the girls good-bye. At that they start to cry, because they love Naʹo·mi very much. They say: ‘No! We will go with you to your people.’ But Naʹo·mi answers: ‘You must go back, my daughters. It will be better for you at home.’ So Orʹpah starts on her way home. But Ruth does not go.
Naʹo·mi turns to her and says: ‘Orʹpah has left. You too go home with her.’ But Ruth answers: ‘Don’t try to make me leave you! Let me go with you. Where you go I will go, and where you live I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Where you die I will die, and that is where I will be buried.’ When Ruth says this, Naʹo·mi doesn’t try anymore to make her go home.
Finally the two women get to Israel. Here they settle down to live. Ruth right away begins working in the fields, because it is the time for gathering the barley. A man named Boʹaz lets her gather barley in his fields. Do you know who the mother of Boʹaz was? She was Raʹhab of the city of Jerʹi·cho.
One day Boʹaz tells Ruth: ‘I have heard all about you, and how kind you have been to Naʹo·mi. I know how you left your father and mother and your own country and how you came to live among a people you had never known before. May Jehovah be good to you!’
Ruth answers: ‘You are very kind to me, sir. You have made me feel better by the nice way that you have spoken to me.’ Boʹaz likes Ruth very much, and it is not very long before they get married. How happy this makes Naʹo·mi! But Naʹo·mi is even happier when Ruth and Boʹaz have their first son, named Oʹbed. Later Oʹbed becomes the grandfather of David, about whom we will learn a lot later on.