A famine has destroyed the farm of Elimelech of Bethlehem, driving him and his wife Naomi to the land of Moab. There, with the help of their two sons, they do well for a time, and the sons marry Gentile women of the region, Orpah, and the good and beautiful Ruth. But tragedy strikes the family once again. Within a short period of time, Elimelech and his two sons die. The three women are left widowed and alone. Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem. Knowing that Gentiles would not be welcome there, she tells Orpah and Ruth to return to their families. Orpah does so, but the faithful Ruth makes a vow to Naomi to never desert her. "Whither thy guest, I will go; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God." Naomi thanks God for blessing her with a loving daughter-in-law, and asks Him to protect and bless Ruth. God listens to the prayers of Naomi. In Bethlehem, Ruth tells Naomi that she will find food for them. She goes to a field which is being harvested, and asks permission to gather the bits of grain left behind by the harvesters. The land belongs to Boaz, who welcomes her to take what she needs. The kindly Boaz instructs his men to protect Ruth from any persecution. She is to be treated well in her new home. Day after Day Ruth returns to Boaz's land, and we see the growing affection between Ruth and Boaz. Naomi tells Ruth that because Boaz is her near kinsman he is bound to marry the widowed Ruth, and urges Ruth to reveal her kinship. But Ruth wants Boaz to marry her out of love, not because of duty. On the last day of the harvest, Ruth and Boaz finally speak of their love and agree to marry. Once married, Ruth gives birth to a son, whom they name Obed. As a result of Ruth's faithfulness, God's bounty and blessing on the family are limitless. Obed is destined to be the grandfather of David, the great King who is to unite the people of Israel.
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