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And she answered :-“I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman."

And he said :-“Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I. Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman,' well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the Lord liveth: lie down until the morning.”

And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said: _“Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor." Also he said :-“Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it.” And when she held it, he

10. It must be understood that the property of Elimalech and Naomi, which their sons would have inherited, had been sold. Under the Mosaic law, land was never sold without reserving a right of redemption on an equitable basis. In case the seller and all his sons died without redeeming the property, the right of redemption passed to the nearest kinsman. A widow had to be reckoned with, however. She could retain the right of redemption for life, as part of her inheritance, unless the kinsman who wished to redeem was willing to marry her (polygamy was allowed), and so continue the family of the original owner of the land.

measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.

And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said: -"Who art thou, my daughter?"

And she told her all that the man had done to her. And she said: “These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother-in-law."

Then said she :—“Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day."

Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said :-"Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here.” And he turned aside, and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said "Sit ye down here." And they sat down. And he said unto the kinsman:-“Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's: and I thought to advertise" thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee.”

And he said :-“I will redeem it."

Then said Boaz:“What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth

11. Inform.

the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead unto his inheritance."

And the kinsman said :—“I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.”

(Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel. Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz: "Buy it for thee.” So he drew off his shoe.")

And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people :-“Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.” And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said:We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Beth-lehem: and let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman.”

12. Notice the peculiar custom connected with the transfer of property.

So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife; and when she bare a son, the women said unto Naomi :"Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age; for thy daughterin-law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath borne him.” And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying :-“There is a son born to Naomi ;” and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, and Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, and Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, and Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

XX

THE CALLING OF SAMUEL

(I Samuel iii) Introductory Note.—The judgeship, after a time, became combined with the high-priesthood in the person of Eli who dwelt at Shiloh, about twenty miles north of Jerusalem, and who had in charge the “Ark of the Covenant” which the Israelites regarded as the earthly abiding place of their God. At this sanctuary, the child Samuel, the son of a wealthy man of the tribe of Ephraim, had been consecrated to the service of the God of Israel, in fulfillment of a vow made by his mother before his birth.

And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no open vision.

And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; and ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; that the Lord called Samuel: and he answered :—“Here am I.” And he ran unto Eli, and said :—“Here am I; for thou calledst me.” And he said :-“I called not; lie down again.” And he went and lay down. And the Lord

1. Explain.

2. The little Samuel seems to have slept within the Holiest Place, and his special duty was to put out, as it would seem, the sacred candlestick and to open the doors at sun

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