Ruth 3-4; Psalm 37; Acts 4
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, ”My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you?
Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor.
Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.
But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.”
And she replied, ”All that you say I will do.”
So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her.
And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down.
At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet!
He said, ”Who are you?” And she answered, ”I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”
And he said, ”May you be blessed by the LORD, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.
And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.
And now it is true that I am a redeemer. Yet there is a redeemer nearer than I.
Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the LORD lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”
So she lay at his feet until the morning, but arose before one could recognize another. And he said, ”Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.”
And he said, ”Bring the garment you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley and put it on her. Then she went into the city.
And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, ”How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her,
saying, ”These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said to me, ‘You must not go back empty-handed to your mother-in-law.”’
She replied, ”Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.”
Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, ”Turn aside, friend; sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down.
And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, ”Sit down here.” So they sat down.
Then he said to the redeemer, ”Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech.
So I thought I would tell you of it and say, ‘Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people.’ If you will redeem it, redeem it. But if you will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you.” And he said, ”I will redeem it.”
Then Boaz said, ”The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.”
Then the redeemer said, ”I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”
Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one drew off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was the manner of attesting in Israel.
So when the redeemer said to Boaz, ”Buy it for yourself,” he drew off his sandal.
Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, ”You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon.
Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.”
Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, ”We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem,
and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the LORD will give you by this young woman.”
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.
Then the women said to Naomi, ”Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!
He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”
Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse.
And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, ”A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron,
Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab,
Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon,
Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed,
Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.
Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.
In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.
The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him,
but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.
The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose way is upright;
their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.
The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever;
they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance.
But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish–like smoke they vanish away.
The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives;
for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.
I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.
Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever.
For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.
The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.
The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death.
The LORD will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.
Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
But he passed away, and behold, he was no more; though I sought him, he could not be found.
Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace.
But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them,
greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.
But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem,
with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family.
And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, ”By what power or by what name did you do this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ”Rulers of the people and elders,
if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed,
let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead–by him this man is standing before you well.
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition.
But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another,
saying, ”What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.”
So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John answered them, ”Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,
for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened.
For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, ”Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,
who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, ”’Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’–
for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,
while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.
And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold
and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,
sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.