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Widow of daughter-in-law of   and wife of   is born into the nation of   but marries an immigrant from   and his brother   both die and the brothers' mother   decides to return to her homeland.   tries to persuade her daughters-in-law,   and   ( 's  widow) to remain in   instead of accompanying her back to Both women are initially reluctant to accede to this request, but   eventually remains in while   continues on the voyage to 's  country. In the following declaration   pledges to stay with   through thick and thin:

: ' :

And Ruth replied, 'Do not urge me to leave you, to turn back, or to not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people will be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. Thus and more will the Lord do to me if anything but death parts me from you' (1:16-17).

  and   return to   and   goes out to the fields to collect barley in accordance with the law allowing the poor to keep whatever the harvesters drop ( : ). The field she happens to visit belongs to who turns out to be a distant relative of   arrives at his field and asks his workers who the new woman is. When he discovers she is who has shown such kindness to his relative he insists on giving her food as if she were one of his workers, and providing her with extra barley to take home.   is delighted to hear that   has promised to take special care of and   spends the rest of the harvest season collecting in 's  field (chapter 2).   sends   to 's  threshing floor one night to encourage him to fulfill his responsibility as a relative, and marry her.   goes stealthily down to the threshing floor and waits until   has eaten and gone to sleep. She then uncovers his feet and waits for him to notice her.   awakes with a start, and after determining who exactly the woman is lying at his feet, promises that he will indeed marry her. First, however, he must speak with a man who is a closer relative to   (and hence to ) than he is, for he has a stronger claim to   (chapter 3).   publicly charges the nearer relative, called the redeemer, with fulfilling his duty in marrying   and buying 's  land, but the man is not interested.   and   marry and have a son, The text concludes by listing the lineage from 's  ancestor   to the couple's great-grandson Israel's second king (chapter 4).   is read on the holiday of



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