In a place called Moab there lived a nice family. Elimelech; his wife, Naomi, and their two sons had moved to Moab because there was more food in Moab. There was a famine where they used to live. After a while Elimelech died. Naomi wasn’t alone. She still had her two sons.

Her sons got married. But after ten years, they died too. Naomi still had her sons’ wives, Orpah and Ruth, to keep her company and look after her.

Naomi told her sons’ wives, “I am going to go back to where I used to live. I would like you also to go back to your family where you used to live.” She wished them each well and hugged them.

All three women cried because they were such good friends. Orpah didn’t want to leave Naomi. However, Naomi convinced her that she would be fine. So,

Orpah left to go back to her family. Naomi tried to convince Ruth that she should return home to her family. But, Ruth was adamant. She would not leave Naomi.

“Don’t ask me to leave,” she begged. “Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your friends will be my friends and your God will be my God.”

So Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem together. It was a good thing Ruth went with Naomi because Bethlehem was very far away. Naomi was no longer young. She couldn’t have traveled all that way by herself.

Ruth never complained about having to go slower or having to help Naomi. Ruth just quietly was a good friend to Naomi. Ruth expected nothing in return. She just wanted to help her friend.

When they arrived in Bethlehem, Ruth decided that she should do some kind of work. It was harvest time. So, Ruth worked in the fields following behind the harvesters and picking up any barley that the harvesters had dropped. Remember, in those days crops were planted and harvested by hand. There were no machines.

The owner of the field came by to greet the harvesters and noticed Ruth in the field. He asked one of the harvesters who she was.

“She came back from Moab with Naomi,” the harvester responded. “That’s all I know.”

Lucky for Ruth, the owner of the field was Boaz. Boaz was a kind, God-fearing man. Boaz had also been related to Naomi’s husband, Elimelech.

Boaz went to go talk to Ruth. He told her, “Don’t go to work in any other field. Stay here with the other servant girls. I will make sure you are safe. Whenever you are thirsty go and get a drink from the water jars.”

When Ruth heard this she bowed down to Boaz and asked, “Why are you being so nice to me? I’m not even from here.”

Boaz replied, “I know what you’ve done for Naomi. You left your family and moved to a place you’ve never been. Consider this my way of rewarding your kindness.”

Ruth thanked Boaz and continued with her work in the hot sun. Boaz even ordered his workers to drop extra barley so Ruth could have more for herself!

Ruth took all the barley home and shared what she had with Naomi.

Eventually, Ruth married Boaz. Naomi moved in with them and God smiled on their home.


Reprinted with permission from Bible For Kids: A Collection of Bible Stories for Children Complete (Over 60 Illustrated) (With Over 100 Fun-Filled Follow-Up Activities).

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