(Ruth Chapters 1-4)
“That one is mine- I saw it first!”
With that shout, Michal pushed her
aside, picked the corn hub and threw
it in her basket. She wanted to protest,
but she restrained herself- afterall,
she’s a foreigner and a widow: these
other women would always want to
intimidate and harass her.
She moved on, trying to fill her basket
with other corn hubs that litter the
If they were all civil and orderly, everyone
would go home with enough for her family.
Unfortunately, poverty and hunger do
not understand civility and orderliness…
She managed to get enough corn to feed
her mother in-law, Naomi and herself for
She would have loved to glean more for
an extra day or two, so she would not have
to go back to the farm the next day.
She got home exhausted and tried to sleep.
Her mind wandered to her wedding day a
few years back.
She was the happiest woman in the world
as she took her vows, looking straight into
her husband, Chilion’s eyes.
She had memorised the vow because she
wanted to enjoy the moment, looking into
Unfortunately, her husband died a decade
It was a very devastating blow, but she had
a very loving mother in-law in Naomi who
comforted her through the pain.
She also lost her son, but Naomi seemed to
be more committed to comforting her than
seeking comfort herself for the loss of her
son. “I’m a widow, I know how you feel,”
she had told her.
The two women bonded so much that
when the mother in-law decided to return
to her country, she chose to go with her.
Naomi tried to persuade her to stay in her
country to no avail.
So she followed her back to her country.
They returned to practically nothing, and
she decided it was her responsibility to
take care of Naomi.
“I’m the younger one”, she reasoned.
“Naomi shouldn’t be hustling for a living
at her age”. So, out she went to look for
She saw a few women gleaning in a field
'and she joined them. No sooner she did
that they realised she was a foreigner.
And the antagonism started.
She would be pushed and shoved,
kicked and slapped.
They did everything to discourage her
from gleaning with them, but she stayed
She knew she had to endure every treatment
she was given to survive in this country.
She could not afford to be upset and lose
her cool, knowing that her mother in-law
has to eat.
“Seriously, why are we allowing this
foreigner to come glean corn here?
Go back to your country!”
“I hear she’s a widow.
She probably killed her husband, thinking
he’s wealthy so as to inherit his wealth!”
“Yeah, I heard that too. She made sure she
had no children for him, after ten years
Honestly, she should be stoned!
The corn is barely enough for us, why should
we share with this witch?”
The women were discussing her to her
She was very disturbed and wondered
if they could one day become violent
As she was pondering on these things,
a tall handsome man appeared and all
the women bowed down in unison to
She quickly bowed down too.
Apparently, this man must be a very
As she looked up, she realised his eyes
were fixed on her. She trembled.
Without taking his eyes off her, he asked
the other women, “who is this woman?
I don’t think she’s from these parts-
I haven’t seen her here before…”
“She’s a foreigner, alright,”
“I understand she just came to town from
her country with her mother in-law, Mrs Naomi”
“Ah! I have heard so much about you!
Naomi happens to be my late distant
I heard how you and Naomi are very close,
how you left your parents to follow her
You are indeed a very virtuous woman.
My name is Boaz.
What is yours?” She blushed.
“My name is Ruth sir,” she replied.
“Ruth. Please, come and have dinner with
us tonight- we are family, you know!”
Merab, Michal and the other women
looked at each other, dazed.
What is going on here? Mr Boaz had never
taken an interest in any of the women
gleaning his field. All they ever get from
him was a nod or a wave.
To think he actually stopped today to
talk- to this silly foreigner! She could be
an illegal immigrant, for all we know.
He even invited her to his house for dinner!
There is God ooo, Mr Boaz! This isn’t fair…
She got home that evening and Naomi
“You’re very late tonight, why?
I called you several times; your line
wasn’t going through”.
“Mum, you won’t believe what happened
I met the man, the owner of the field I
He happened to be a distant cousin
to your late husband. He invited me to his
house for dinner, that’s why I’m back home
Naomi hugged her daughter in-law.
“He invited you to his house for dinner,
you say? I think he likes you, Ruth.
He’s a good man. In this country, men do not
invite women over for dinner if they are not
interested in them. I think he’ll make you a
Naomi winked at her.
Ruth laughed, “Come off it, mother!
Your mind is working overtime- he was just
being nice to a foreigner and a widow.”
Naomi smiled, “well, let’s see how it goes-
you’re so naïve!
As the saying goes, what the old see,
sitting down, the young can never see,
standing on tip toes…”
Both women burst into a happy laughter.
As the days went by, Boaz spent more
time with Ruth.
After a few weeks, the women gleaning
at the field suddenly realised she was not
gleaning with them anymore…
“Hey, Dinah, do you notice that foreigner
is no more gleaning with us?
I hope she’s been deported.
Good riddance to bad rubbish!”
Michal laughed at her own joke.
Dinah hissed, “Shut up! Are you a learner?
You have no idea what is going on?
Haven’t you heard?” Michal realised everyone
was wearing a long face. “Heard what???”
“She’s getting married to Boaz! Do you know
what that means?”
“I guess it means she won’t be disturbing
us again, yeah?”
“You moron! It means she’s going to own
this field- then she can decide to stop us
from gleaning on it again”