Judges 21 - Ruth 1
Israel Provides Wives for the Surviving Men of Benjamin
21 The men of Israel had taken this oath in Mizpah: “None of us will ever let our daughters marry anyone from Benjamin.”
2 The people went to Bethel and sat there in the presence of Elohim until evening. They cried very loudly, 3 “Yahweh Elohim of Israel, why has this happened among us? Why should one tribe be missing today in Israel?”
4 The next day the people got up early. They built an altar there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. 5 The people asked, “Is there any family from Israel that did not take part in the assembly in the presence of Yahweh?” They had taken a solemn oath that whoever had not come into the presence of Yahweh at Mizpah must be put to death.
6 The people of Israel felt sorry for their close relatives, the men of Benjamin. They said, “Today one tribe has been excluded from Israel. 7 What will we do to provide wives for the men who are left? We swore to Yahweh that we would not let any of our daughters marry them.” 8 Then they asked, “Is there any family from Israel that did not come into the presence of Yahweh at Mizpah?” No one from Jabesh Gilead had come to the assembly in the camp. 9 So they questioned the people, and there was no one there from Jabesh Gilead.
10 The congregation sent 12,000 soldiers. They ordered them, “Go and kill the people of Jabesh Gilead, including the women and children. 11 These are your directions: Claim every female who has gone to bed with a man, and claim every male. Claim them for the Lord by destroying them.”
12 Among the people of Jabesh Gilead they found 400 unmarried women who had never gone to bed with a man. They brought them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan.
13 Then the whole congregation sent messengers to the men of Benjamin at Rimmon Rock and offered them peace. 14 So the men of Benjamin came back at that time. These men were given the women from Jabesh Gilead who had been kept alive. However, the congregation had not found enough women for all of them.
15 The congregation felt sorry for the people of Benjamin because Yahweh had broken the unity of the tribes of Israel. 16 The leaders of the congregation asked, “What should we do to provide wives for the men who are left, since the women in Benjamin have been killed?”
17 Some said, “Benjamin’s men who survived must be allowed to have families. No tribe of Israel should be wiped out. 18 However, we can’t give them any of our daughters as wives. The people of Israel have taken an oath that whoever gives wives to the men of Benjamin is under a curse.”
19 Others said, “Every year Yahweh’s festival is held at Shiloh. Shiloh is north of Bethel, east of the highway going from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah.” 20 So they told the men of Benjamin, “Hide in the vineyards and 21 watch. When the young women of Shiloh come out to take part in the dances, come out of the vineyards. Each of you catch a woman from Shiloh to be your wife. Then go back to the territory of Benjamin. 22 When their fathers or brothers come to us to complain, we’ll tell them, ‘Have pity on them, since we didn’t provide a wife for each man in the battle. You won’t be guilty because you didn’t give them the wives yourselves.’”
23 The men of Benjamin did just that. They captured the number of wives they needed from the women who were dancing and went home. So they rebuilt their cities and lived in them.
24 At that time the people of Israel left. Each man went to his tribe and family. They all went home.
25 In those days Israel didn’t have a king. Everyone did whatever he considered right.
The Move to Moab and Tragedy
1 In the days when the judges were ruling, there was a famine in the land. A man from Bethlehem in Judah went with his wife and two sons to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of their two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were descendants of Ephrathah from Bethlehem in the territory of Judah. They went to the country of Moab and lived there.
3 Now, Naomi’s husband Elimelech died, and she was left alone with her two sons. 4 Each son married a woman from Moab. One son married a woman named Orpah, and the other son married a woman named Ruth. They lived there for about ten years. 5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion died as well. So Naomi was left alone, without her two sons or her husband.
Departure from Moab
6 Naomi and her daughters-in-law started on the way back from the country of Moab. (While they were still in Moab she heard that Yahweh had come to help his people and give them food. 7 So she left the place where she had been living, and her two daughters-in-law went with her.) They began to walk back along the road to the territory of Judah.
Naomi’s Appeal to Her Daughters-in-law
8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back! Each of you should go back to your mother’s home. May Yahweh be as kind to you as you were to me and to our loved ones who have died. 9 May Yahweh repay each of you so that you may find security in a home with a husband.”
When she kissed them goodbye, they began to cry loudly. 10 They said to her, “We are going back with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi said, “Go back, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Do I have any more sons in my womb who could be your husbands? 12 Go back, my daughters. Go, because I am too old to get married again. If I said that I still have hope. . . . And if I had a husband tonight. . . . And even if I gave birth to sons, 13 would you wait until they grew up and stay single just for them? No, my daughters. My bitterness is much worse than yours because Yahweh has sent me so much trouble.”
14 They began to cry loudly again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth held on to her tightly. 15 Naomi said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. Go back with your sister-in-law.”
16 But Ruth answered, “Don’t force me to leave you. Don’t make me turn back from following you. Wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your Elohim will be my Elohim. 17 Wherever you die, I will die, and I will be buried there with you. May Yahweh strike me down if anything but death separates you and me!”
18 When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she ended the conversation.
Naomi Arrives in Bethlehem
19 So both of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they entered Bethlehem, the whole town was excited about them. “This can’t be Naomi, can it?” the women asked.
20 She answered them, “Don’t call me Naomi [Sweet]. Call me Mara [Bitter] because Shadday has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but Yahweh has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi when Yahweh has tormented me and Shadday has done evil to me?”
22 When Naomi came back from the country of Moab, Ruth, her Moabite daughter-in-law, came along with her. They happened to enter Bethlehem just when the barley harvest began.
4 Yeshua had to go through Samaria. 5 He arrived at a city in Samaria called Sychar. Sychar was near the piece of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s Well was there. Yeshua sat down by the well because he was tired from traveling. The time was about six o’clock in the evening.
7 A Samaritan woman went to get some water. Yeshua said to her, “Give me a drink of water.” 8 (His disciples had gone into the city to buy some food.)
9 The Samaritan woman asked him, “How can a Jewish man like you ask a Samaritan woman like me for a drink of water?” (Jews, of course, don’t associate with Samaritans.)
10 Yeshua replied to her, “If you only knew what God’s gift is and who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked him for a drink. He would have given you living water.”
11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you don’t have anything to use to get water, and the well is deep. So where are you going to get this living water? 12 You’re not more important than our ancestor Jacob, are you? He gave us this well. He and his sons and his animals drank water from it.”
13 Yeshua answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water that I will give them will never become thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give them will become in them a spring that gushes up to eternal life.”
15 The woman told Yeshua, “Sir, give me this water! Then I won’t get thirsty or have to come here to get water.”
16 Yeshua told her, “Go to your husband, and bring him here.”
17 The woman replied, “I don’t have a husband.”
Yeshua told her, “You’re right when you say that you don’t have a husband. 18 You’ve had five husbands, and the man you have now isn’t your husband. You’ve told the truth.”
19 The woman said to Yeshua, “I see that you’re a prophet! 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain. But you Jews say that people must worship in Jerusalem.”
21 Yeshua told her, “Believe me. A time is coming when you Samaritans won’t be worshiping the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You don’t know what you’re worshiping. We Jews know what we’re worshiping, because salvation comes from the Jews. 23 Indeed, the time is coming, and it is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. The Father is looking for people like that to worship him. 24 God is a spirit. Those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
25 The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will tell us everything.” (Messiah is the one called Christ.)
26 Yeshua told her, “I am he, and I am speaking to you now.”
27 At that time his disciples returned. They were surprised that he was talking to a woman. But none of them asked him, “What do you want from her?” or “Why are you talking to her?”
28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back into the city. She told the people, 29 “Come with me, and meet a man who told me everything I’ve ever done. Could he be the Messiah?” 30 The people left the city and went to meet Yeshua.
31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, have something to eat.”
32 Yeshua told them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”
33 The disciples asked each other, “Did someone bring him something to eat?”
34 Yeshua told them, “My food is to do what the one who sent me wants me to do and to finish the work he has given me.
35 “Don’t you say, ‘In four more months the harvest will be here’? I’m telling you to look and see that the fields are ready to be harvested. 36 The person who harvests the crop is already getting paid. He is gathering grain for eternal life. So the person who plants the grain and the person who harvests it are happy together. 37 In this respect the saying is true: ‘One person plants, and another person harvests.’ 38 I have sent you to harvest a crop you have not worked for. Other people have done the hard work, and you have followed them in their work.”
39 Many Samaritans in that city believed in Yeshua because of the woman who said, “He told me everything I’ve ever done.” 40 So when the Samaritans went to Yeshua, they asked him to stay with them. He stayed in Samaria for two days. 41 Many more Samaritans believed because of what Yeshua said. 42 They told the woman, “Our faith is no longer based on what you’ve said. We have heard him ourselves, and we know that he really is the savior of the world.”
1 Give thanks to Yahweh.
Call on him.
Make known among the nations what he has done.
2 Sing to him.
Make music to praise him.
Meditate on all the miracles he has performed.
3 Brag about his holy name.
Let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.
4 Search for Yahweh and his strength.
Always seek his presence.
5 Remember the miracles he performed,
the amazing things he did, and the judgments he pronounced,
6 you descendants of his servant Abraham,
you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.
7 He is Yahweh our Elohim.
His judgments are pronounced throughout the earth.
8 He always remembers his promise,[a]
the word that he commanded for a thousand generations,
9 the promise that he made to Abraham,
and his sworn oath to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it as a law for Jacob,
as an everlasting promise to Israel,
11 by saying, “I will give you the land of Canaan.
It is your share of the inheritance.”
12 While the people of Israel were few in number,
a small group of foreigners living in that land,
13 they wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.
14 He didn’t permit anyone to oppress them.
He warned kings about them:
15 “Do not touch my anointed ones
or harm my prophets.”
- Psalm 105:8 Or “covenant.”
25 An honest witness saves lives,
but one who tells lies is dangerous.