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Here bigynneþ þe bok of Ruþ.

Contents

Capitulum I.Edit

In þe days of oon iuge, whanne þe iugis weren before in power, þere is maad greet hungre in þe erþe; and o man of Beþlem Juda wente for to pilgrimage in þe regioun of Moabitide, wiþ his wijf and his two free children. And he was clepid Elemalech, and þe wijf of hym Noemye, and þe two ſones, þe toon Maalon, and þe toþer Chelion, Effratee of Beþlem Juda; and þei goon into þe regioun of Moabitide, dwelliden þere. And Elemalech, þe houſboond of Noemie, is deed, and ſhe lafte wiþ þe ſones; þe whiche token Moabyte wyues, of whom oon was clepid Orpha, and þe toþer Ruþ. And þei dwelliden ten ȝeer þere, and boþ been deed, Maalon þat is, and Chelyon; and þe womman laft priued two free children and houſboond. And ſhe roos for to goo into þe cuntre wiþ hir eiþer douȝter in lawe fro Moabitis regioun; forſoþe ſhe hadde herd, þat þe Lord hadde biholden hir puple, and hadde ȝouun hem metis. And ſo ſhe wente out fro þe place of hir pylgrimage wiþ eiþer douȝter in lawe; and nowe in þe weie ſet of turnynge aȝen into þe loond of Juda, ſhe ſeide to hem, Goþ in to þe hows of ȝoure moder; þe Lord do wiþ ȝou mercy, as ȝe han do wiþ þe deed, and wiþ me; ȝif he to ȝow to fynde reſt in þe howſes of þe men, þe whiche ȝe ben to take. And ſhe kiſſide hem. Þe whiche wiþ arerid vois bigunne to wepe, and ſeyn, Wiþ þee we ſhulen goo to þi puple. To whom ſhe anſwerde, Turneþ aȝen, my douȝtren, whi comen ȝe wiþ me? Y haue no mo ſonys in my wombe, þat men of me ȝe mowen hope; turneþ aȝen, my Moabitis douȝtren, and goþ; forſoþe nowe I am waaſtid bi eeld, ne able to þe boond of matrymonye; alſo if Y myȝt þis nyȝt conceyue, and bere ſones, þouȝ ȝe wolden abide to þe tyme þat þei wexen, and fulfillen þe ȝeeris of mannus age, before þat ȝe wedden ȝe ſhulen be oold wymmen; woliþ not, Y biſeche, my douȝtren, for ȝoure angwiſh greuiþ me more, and þe hoond of þe Lord is goon out aȝens me. Þanne arerid þe voice, eft þei bigunne to wepe. Orpha kiſſide her moder in lawe, and turnede aȝen, Ruþ cleuede to hir moder in lawe. To whom ſeide Noemye, Loo! þi coſyn is turned aȝen to hir puple, and to hir goddis; go þou wiþ hir. Þe which anſwerde, Ne contrarye þou me, þat Y forſake þee, and goo a wey; whidir euere þou goſt, I ſhal goo, and where þow abidiſt, and I togidre ſhal abyde; þi puple my puple, and þi God my God; what erþe þee takiþ diynge, in it I ſhal die, and þere I ſhal take place of biriynge; þes þingis God do to me, and þes þingis adde, if not oonly deþ me and þee ſeuere. Seynge þanne Noemye, þat wiþ ſtedfaſt inwit Ruþ hadde demed to goo wiþ hir, wold not contrarye, ne more mouynge þe turnynge aȝen to hyrs. And þei wenten forþ to gidre, and þei camen into Beþlem; þe whiche goon into þe cytee, ſwift loos anentis alle men wex opyn, and þe wymmen ſeiden, Þis is þe ilk Noemy. To whom ſhe ſeiþ, Ne clepe ȝe me Noemy, þat is to ſeye, fayr, but clepiþ me Mara, þat is, bittir; for wiþ bitternes mych þe Almyȝti haþ fulfillid me. Ful I wente out, and voyd þe Lord haþ brouȝt me aȝen; whi þanne clepe ȝe me Noemy, whom þe Lord haþ mekyd, and þe Almity haþ tourmentid? Þanne cam Noemy wiþ Ruþ Moabite, hir douȝter in lawe, fro þe loond of hir pilgrimage, and is turned aȝen into Beþleem, whanne firſt men repiden barly.

Capitulum II.Edit

There was forſoþe a man, coſyn of Elymelech, a myȝti man and of greet rytches, Booz bi name. And Ruþ Moabite ſeide to hir moder in lawe, If þow comaunde, Y ſhal goo in to þe feeld and gedre eeris þat fleen þe hoondis of repers, where euere Y ſhal fynde grace of an houſholder mercyable in me. To whom ſhe anſwerde, Goo, my douȝter. And ſo ſhe ȝede, and gedride eeris after þe backis of reperis. It felle forſoþe, þat þilk feeld hadde a lord, Booz bi name, þat was of þe kynrede of Elymelech. And loo! he cam fro Beþlem. And he ſeide to his repers, Þe Lord wiþ ȝou. Þe whiche anſwerde to hym, Þe Lord bleſſe to þee. And Booz ſeide to þe ȝong man þat was before in rewlynge to þe repers, Whos is þis child womman? Þe which anſwerde, Þis is a Moabite, þat cam wiþ Noemy fro Moabites regioun; and ſhe preyede, þat ſhe miȝte gedre eeris leeuynge, folwewynge þe ſteppis of þe repers; and fro eerly vnto nowe ſhe ſtondiþ in þe feeld, ne forſoþe at o moment ſhe turnede aȝen to þe hows. And Booz ſeiþ to Ruþ, Here, douȝter; ne goo þou into annoþer feeld to gedre, ne goo a wey fro þis place, but be þou ioyned to my children wymmen, and where þei repen, folwe; forſoþe Y haue comaundid to my children, þat noon be heuy to þee; but if alſo þou þruſtiſt, go to þe litil coſtrils, and drynk watris, of þe whiche my children drenken. Þe which fallynge into hir face and lowtynge on erþe ſeide to hym, Whens to me þis, þat I fynde grace before þin eiȝen, þat þou deyn to knowe me a pilgryme womman? To whom he anſwerde, Alle þingis ben toold to me, þat þou didiſt to þi moder in lawe after þe deþ of þi man, and þat þou forſokiſt þi fader and þi moder, and þe loond in þe which þou ert born, and cam to þe puple, whom before þou knewe not. Þe Lord ȝelde to þee for þi werk, and fulle mede reſſeyue þou of þe Lord God of Yrael, to whom þou art comen, and vndre whos weenges þou haſt flowen. Þe which ſeiþ, Y haue founde grace before þin eyen, my lord, þe which haſt coumfortid me, and ſpoken to þe herte of þin hoond womman, þe which am not lijk of oon of þi children wymmen. And Booz ſeide to hir, Whanne our of etynge ſhal be, com hidre, and eet breed, and weet þi morſel in eyſel. And ſo ſhe ſat at þe ſide of þe repers, and made to hir potage, and ſhe eet, and is fild, and took þe relifes. And þens ſhe roos, and after þe maner ſhe gedride eeris. Forſoþe Booz comaundide to his children, ſeiynge, Alſo if wiþ ȝow ſhe wol repe, defende ȝe hir not, and of ȝoure forſoþe hoondfuls þrowiþ o purpoſe, and ſuffre ȝe to abide ſtil, þat wiþ out ſhame ſhe gedre; and gedrynge no man vndirnymme. Þan ſhe gedride in þe feeld vnto euen; and þat ſhe gedrede wiþ a ȝeerde betynge and ſhakynge out, ſhe foond of barli as þe meſure of ephi, þat is, þre buſſhels. Þe whiche berynge ſhe turnede aȝen into þe citee, and ſhewide to hir moder in lawe; alſo ſhe brouȝte forþ, and ȝaf to hir þe relif of hir meet, wiþ þe which ſhe was fild. And þe moder in lawe ſeide to hir, Where to day haſt þou gadrid, and where haſt þou doo werk? Be he bleſſid, þat hadde mercy of þee. And ſhe ſhewide to hir, anentis whom ſhe wrouȝte; and þe name of þe man ſhe ſeide, þat Booz he was clepid. To whom anſwerde Noemy, Bleſſid be he of þe Lord, for þe ſame grace þat he haþ ȝeuen to men o lyue, he haþ kept and to þe deed. And eft ſhe ſeiþ, Oure nyȝ kyn is þe man. And Ruþ, Forſoþe þis he ſeiþ and comaundide to me, þat ſo long I ſhulde be ioyned to þe repers of hym, to þe tyme þat alle þe cornys ben ropen. To whom ſeide þe moder in lawe, Betere it is, douȝter myn, þat wiþ þe childre wymmen of hym þou goo out to repe, leſt in anoþer feeld eny man wiþſtoonde to þee. And ſo ſhe is ioyned to þe childre wymmen of Booz; and as long wiþ hem ſhe repide, to þe tyme þat þe barli and þe whete weren leid in þe beerns.

Capitulum III.Edit

Aftyr forſoþe þat ſhe was turned aȝen to hir moder in lawe, ſhe herde of hir, Dowȝter myn, Y ſhal ſeche to þee reſt, and Y ſhal puruey þat it wel be to þee. Þis Booz, to whos wymmen children þou art ioyned in þe feeld, is oure nyȝ kyn, and in þis nyȝt he wynnewiþ þe flore of his barli. Be waſſhen þanne, and anoynt, and cloþid wiþ þe more worſhipful cloþis, and go doun into þe flore; ſe þee no man, to þe tyme þat etynge and drynkynge he haue eendid. Forſoþe whanne he goþ to ſleepe, mark þe place in þe which he ſleepiþ; and þou ſhalt com and diſcouere þe mantil, wiþ whych he is couerd, fro þe parti of þe feet, and þou ſhalt þrowe þee doun, and þere ligge. Forſoþe he ſhal ſeye to þee, what þou owiſt to doo. Þe which anſwerde, What euere þing þou ſhalt comaunde, I ſhal doo. And ſhe wente doun into þe floor, and dide alle þingis þat þe moder in lawe comaundide to hir. And whanne Booz hadde eten and dronken, and was maad gladder cheryd, and was goon to ſleepe biſide þe heep of handfullis, ſhe cam, and hidde hir; and diſcouerd þe mantil fro his feet, ſhe þrewe hir ſelf doun. And loo! nowe at mydnyȝt dradde þe man, and is diſturblid; and he ſawȝ a womman liggynge at his feet, and ſeiþ to hir, What art þou? She anſwerde, I am Ruþ, þin hoond womman; ſpreed þi mantil vpon þi ſeruaunt, for þou art nyȝ. And he, Bleſſid, he ſeiþ, þou art of þe Lord, douȝtre, and þe raþer mercy bi þe aftirmore þou haſt ouerpaſſid; for þou haſt not folwid ȝonge pore men oþer riche. Wol þou not þanne drede, but what euere þing þou ſeiſt to me, I ſhal doo to þee; forſoþe al þe puple woot, þat dwelliþ wiþ ynne þe ȝatis of my cytee, þee to be a womman of vertue. Ne I denye me to be nyȝ, but þere is anoþer nerre þan Y; reſt þis nyȝt, and morwetide doon, if he wole take þee bi riȝt of affynyte, þe þing is wel doo; forſoþe if he wol not, I wiþ out eny dowt ſhal take þee, þe Lord lyueþ; ſleep vnto þe morwetide. And ſo ſhe ſlept at his feet vnto þe goynge a wey of þe niȝt, and ſo ſhe roos before þat men knewen hem ſelf to gidre. And Booz ſeide, Bewar, leſt eny man knowe, þat hidir þou art comen. And eft, Spreed, he ſeiþ, þi mantil, wiþ which þou art couerd, and hold wiþ eþir hoond. Þe which ſpredynge and holdynge he meſuride ſixe buſhels of barli, and put vpon hir; þe which berynge wente into þe cyte, and cam to hir moder in lawe. Þe which ſeide to hir, What haſt þow doon, douȝter? And ſhe toolde to hyr alle þingis, þat þe man dide to hir; and ſeiþ, Loo! ſexe buſhels of barly he haþ ȝeuen to me; and ſeiþ, Y wol not þee to turne aȝen void to þi moder in lawe. And Noemy ſeide, Abide, douȝter, to þe tyme þat we ſeen what yſſu þe þing wol han; forſoþe ne þe man ſhal ceeſe, but he fulfille þat he haþ ſpoken.

Capitulum IIII.Edit

Booz þanne wente vp to þe ȝate, and ſat þere; and whanne he hadde ſeen þe nyȝ kyn paſſe biſide, of þe which before word is had, he ſeide to hym, Bowe aſide a litil, and ſit here, clepynge hym bi his name. Þe which turnede a ſide, and ſat. Forſoþe Booz takynge ten men of þe eldre of þe citee ſeide to hem, Sittiþ here. Þe which ſittynge, he ſpak to þe nyȝ kyn, Noemy ſoolde a parti of þe feeld of oure broþer Elymalech, þe which is turnyd aȝen fro Moabitis regyon, þe which þing Y wold þee to here, and to þee ſeyn before al men ſittynge and þe more men þurȝ birþ of my puple. If þou wolt weeld þe feeld bi ryȝt of niȝ kynrede, bye and weeld; forſoþe if it to þee diſpleſe, þat ſame þing ſhewe to me, þat I wite what I owe to do; forſoþe no man is nyȝ kyn, out taak þee þat art formere, and me þat am ſecounde. And he anſwerde, I þe feelde ſhal bye. To whom ſeide Booz, Whanne þow bieſt þe feeld of þe hoond of þe womman, forſoþe Ruþ Moabite, þat was þe wijf of þe deed, þou owiſt to take, þat þow rere þe name of þi nyȝ kyn in his erytage. Þe which anſwerde, I leeue þe riȝt of my nyȝ kynrede; forſoþe ne Y owe to doon aweie þe after comynge of my meyne; þou my priuelege vſe, þe which Y knowleche me gladly to want. Forſoþe þis was þe manere in oold tyme in Yrael bitwixe nyȝ kyn, þat if eny tyme oon to anoþere lafte his riȝt, þat þe grauntynge were ſtable, þe man looſide his ſho, and ȝaf to his nyȝ kyn; þat was witneſſynge of þe leuynge in Yrael. Þanne ſeide Booz to his nyȝ kyn, Tak þi ſho to me; þe which anoon he looſide fro his foot. And he to þe more þurȝ birþ and to al þe puple, Witneſſis ȝe ben, he ſeiþ, to day, þat Y owe to weelde alle þat weren of Elymalech, and Chelyon, and Maalon, ȝyuynge Noemy; and Y ſhulde take Ruþ Moabite, þe wijf of Maalon, into weddynge, þat I rere þe name of þe deed in his erytage; leſt þe name of hym fro his meynee and breþeren and puple be doon a wey. Forſoþe ȝe of þis þing ben witneſſis. Al þe puple anſwerde, þat was in þe ȝate, and þe more þurȝ birþ, We ben witneſſis; þe Lord make þis womman, þat goþ into þin hows, as Rachel and Lya, þat edifiden þe hows of Yrael, þat ſhe be exſaumple of vertu in Effrata, and ſhe haue a ſolempne name in Beþlem; and þin hous be maad as þe hous of Phares, whom Thamar beere to Juda, of þe ſeed þat þe Lord ſhal ȝeue to þee of þis child womman. And ſo Booz took Ruþ, and took hir to wijf; and he wente yn to her, and þe Lord ȝaf to hir, and ſhe conſeyuede, and beer a child. And wymmen ſeide to Noemy, Bliſſid þe Lord, which haþ not ſuffrid, þat þe ſucceſſour of þi meyne ſhulde fail, and his name ſhulde be clepid in Irael; and þou haue þat coumfort þi lijf, and noriſhe þin eeld. Forſoþe of þi douȝter in lawe is born, þat ſhal loue þee, and mych betere is to þee, þan þouȝ þou haddiſt ſeuen ſones. And Noemy putte þe takun child in hir boſum; and vſide þe office of norſhe, and of berer. Forſoþe þe wymmen neiȝbours to gidre þankynge to hir, and ſeiynge, Þe ſone of Noemy is born, clepeden his name Obeþ. Þis is þe fader of Yſay, fader of Dauyd. Þes ben þe generaciouns of Phares; Phares gat Eſrom; Eſrom gat Aram; Aram gat Amynadab; Amynadab gat Naaſon; Naaſon gat Salmon; Salmon gat Booz; Booz gat Obeþ; Obeþ gat Yſay; Yſay gat Dauyd þe kyng.

Here eendiþ Ruþ.