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The Story of Ruth.
(From the Book of Ruth.)
Now a certain man went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife, and his two sons. And his wife's name was Naomi, and the man died there, and Naomi was left, and her two sons. And they took unto them wives of the women of Moab; and the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth : and they dwelt there about ten years. And the sons of Naomi died also, both of them.
Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return unto the land of Judah. And her daughters-in-law went forth on the way with her. But Naomi said unto them, “Go, return each to her mother's house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead and with me.” Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice and wept. And they said unto her, “Surely we will return with thee unto thy people." And they lifted up their voice and wept again.
And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Rnth clave unto her. And Naomi said, “ Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods : return thou after thy sister
in-law.” And Ruth said, “ Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried : the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.” When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her. So they went on their way together towards Bethlehem. And they came unto Bethlehem in the beginning of the barley-harvest.
And Ruth said unto Naomi, “Let me now go to the fields and glean ears of corn." And she said, “Go, my daughter.” And she went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and her hap was to light on a part of the field which belonged unto Boaz. Now Boaz was a kinsman of the husband of Naomi, and he was a mighty man of wealth. And Boaz said unto his servant that was set over the reapers, “ Whose damsel is this ?” And he answered and said, “It is the damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab. And she said unto me, 'I pray you let me glean and gather among the sheaves.' So she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.” Then said Boaz unto Ruth, “ Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens : let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them : have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto
the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.” Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, “ Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger ? ” And Boaz answered and said unto her, “ It hath fully been showed me, all that thou hast done unto thy motherin-law, since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” Then she said, “Let me find favor in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.” And Boaz said unto her, “ At meal-time come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar.” And she sat beside the reapers : and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left. And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “ Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: and let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.” So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned : and it was about an ephah of barley.
And she took it up, and went into the city : and her motherin-law saw what she had gleaned : and her mother-in-law said
unto her, “Where hast thou gleaned to-day? and where wroughtest thou ? Blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee.” And she showed her mother-in-law with whom she had wrought, and said, “The man's name with whom I wrought to-day is Boaz." And Naomi said unto her daughter-in-law, “ Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead." And Noami said unto her, “ The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.” And Ruth the Moabitess said, “ He said unto me also, “Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.” And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.” So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother-in-law.
And Ruth found favor in the eyes of Boaz, and he took her to wife, and the Lord gave unto her a son, and Naomi took the child and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And they called the child Obed ; and he was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
The Story of Little Samuel.
(From the 1st, 2d, and 3d Chapters of 1 SAMUEL.)
THERE was a woman whose name was Hannah, who went up to the temple to worship. Now Hannah had no children ; and she prayed, and said, “O Lord of Hosts, if thou wilt indeed look upon my affliction, and remember me, and not forget my affliction, but wilt give to me a son, then will I give him unto the Lord all the days of his life.”
Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. And Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple; and when he saw Hannah, and saw her lips move, but heard no voice, he thought that she had been drunken. And he said unto her, “How long wilt thou be drunken ? Put away thy wine from thee ! ”
And Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink. Yet have I poured out my soul before the Lord, and out of the abundance of my grief have I spoken.”
And Eli said, “Go in peace, and the Lord grant thee thy prayer that thou hast asked of him.”