|א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר ש ת|
Widow of מַחְלוֹן , daughter-in-law of נָעֳמִי and wife of בֹּעַז . רות is born into the nation of מוֹאָב but marries מחלון , an immigrant from בית לחם . מחלון and his brother כִּלְיוֹן both die and the brothers' mother נעמי decides to return to her homeland. נעמי tries to persuade her daughters-in-law, רות and עָרְפָּה (כליון 's widow) to remain in מואב instead of accompanying her back to יהודה . Both women are initially reluctant to accede to this request, but ערפה eventually remains in מואב , while רות continues on the voyage to נעמי 's country. In the following declaration רות pledges to stay with נעמי through thick and thin:
וַתֹּאמֶר רוּת אַל תִּפְגְּעִי בִי לְעָזְבֵךְ לָשׁוּב מֵאַחֲרָיִךְ כִּי אֶל אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין עַמֵּךְ עַמִּי וֵאלֹקַיִךְ אֱלֹקָי : בַּאֲשֶׁר תָּמוּתִי אָמוּת וְשָׁם אֶקָּבֵר כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה ה ' לִי וְכֹה יֹסִיף כִּי הַמָּוֶת יַפְרִיד בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵךְ :
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).
נעמי and רות return to בית לחם and רות goes out to the fields to collect barley in accordance with the law allowing the poor to keep whatever the harvesters drop (ויקרא כג :כב ). The field she happens to visit belongs to בֹּעַז , who turns out to be a distant relative of נעמי . בעז arrives at his field and asks his workers who the new woman is. When he discovers she is רות , who has shown such kindness to his relative נעמי , he insists on giving her food as if she were one of his workers, and providing her with extra barley to take home. נעמי is delighted to hear that בעז has promised to take special care of רות , and רות spends the rest of the harvest season collecting in בעז 's field (chapter 2). נעמי sends רות to בעז 's threshing floor one night to encourage him to fulfill his responsibility as a relative, and marry her. רות goes stealthily down to the threshing floor and waits until בעז has eaten and gone to sleep. She then uncovers his feet and waits for him to notice her. בעז 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 נעמי (and hence to רות ) than he is, for he has a stronger claim to רות (chapter 3). בעז publicly charges the nearer relative, called הַגּוֹאֵל - the redeemer, with fulfilling his duty in marrying רות and buying נעמי 's land, but the man is not interested. בעז and רות marry and have a son, עוֹבֵד . The text concludes by listing the lineage from בעז 's ancestor יהודה to the couple's great-grandson דוד , Israel's second king (chapter 4). מגילת רות is read on the holiday of שבועות .