Three Funerals and a Wedding, Part 1

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#360: “Three Funerals and a Wedding, Part 1”
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Ruth
==Chapter 1==1In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.2The man's name was Elimelech, his wife's name Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.3Now Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died, and she was left with her two sons.4They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years,5both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.6When she heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there.7With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.8Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the LORD show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me.9May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband." Then she kissed them and they wept aloud10and said to her, "We will go back with you to your people."11But Naomi said, "Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands?12Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me--even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons--13would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord's hand has gone out against me!"14At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.15"Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."16But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.17Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."18When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.19So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, "Can this be Naomi?"20"Don't call me Naomi, " she told them. "Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.21I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me."22So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.==Chapter 2==1Now Naomi had a relative on her husband's side, from the clan of Elimelech, a man of standing, whose name was Boaz.2And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor." Naomi said to her, "Go ahead, my daughter."3So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech.4Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, "The LORD be with you!" "The LORD bless you!" they called back.5Boaz asked the foreman of his harvesters, "Whose young woman is that?"6The foreman replied, "She is the Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi.7She said, 'Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.' She went into the field and has worked steadily from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter."8So Boaz said to Ruth, "My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls.9Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled."10At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me--a foreigner?"11Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband--how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before.12May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."13"May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord," she said. "You have given me comfort and have spoken kindly to your servant--though I do not have the standing of one of your servant girls."14At mealtime Boaz said to her, "Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar." When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over.15As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, "Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don't embarrass her.16Rather, pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her."17So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.18She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.19Her mother-in-law asked her, "Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!" Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. "The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz," she said.20"The LORD bless him!" Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. "He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead." She added, "That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers."21Then Ruth the Moabitess said, "He even said to me, 'Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.'"22Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, "It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with his girls, because in someone else's field you might be harmed."23So Ruth stayed close to the servant girls of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.==Chapter 3==1One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for?2Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor.3Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don't let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking.4When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do."5"I will do whatever you say," Ruth answered.6So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.7When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down.8In the middle of the night something startled the man, and he turned and discovered a woman lying at his feet.9"Who are you?" he asked. "I am your servant Ruth," she said. "Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer."10"The LORD bless you, my daughter," he replied. "This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.11And now, my daughter, don't be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character.12Although it is true that I am near of kin, there is a kinsman-redeemer nearer than I.13Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to redeem, good; let him redeem. But if he is not willing, as surely as the LORD lives I will do it. Lie here until morning."14So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, "Don't let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor."15He also said, "Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out." When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and put it on her. Then he went back to town.16When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, "How did it go, my daughter?" Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her17and added, "He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, 'Don't go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.'"18Then Naomi said, "Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today."==Chapter 4==1Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat there. When the kinsman-redeemer he had mentioned came along, Boaz said, "Come over here, my friend, and sit down." So he went over and sat down.2Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, "Sit here," and they did so.3Then he said to the kinsman-redeemer, "Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our brother Elimelech.4I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line." "I will redeem it," he said.5Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the land from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabitess, you acquire the dead man's widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property."6At this, the kinsman-redeemer said, "Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it."7(Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)8So the kinsman-redeemer said to Boaz, "Buy it yourself." And he removed his sandal.9Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, "Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon.10I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon's widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today you are witnesses!"11Then the elders and all those at the gate said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.12Through the offspring the LORD gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah."13So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.14The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!15He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth."16Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him.17The women living there said, "Naomi has a son." And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.18This, then, is the family line of Perez: Perez was the father of Hezron,19Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab,20Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,21Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed,22Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.

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Three Funerals and a Wedding, Part 1
“Three Funerals and a Wedding, Part 1” is episode #360 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on October 5, 1996.

Summary

Connie tells the romantic story of Ruth, who risks all to stay committed to her family.

Plot

Courtney and Jenny haven't been attending Connie's Bible study lately, and Connie wants to know why. The girls tell her that the Bible seems to be full of exciting, action-filled adventures about men, but hardly anything about women. So Connie narrates one of the greatest and most romantic stories ever written: She tells the Biblical story of a young maiden named Ruth, and how her loyalty to her mother-in-law and her love for the Lord God made her the great-grandmother of King David and a part of the lineage of the King of Kings, Jesus.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Elimelech feel like he had to move?
  2. Why did some people think it was so bad for Elimelech to move to Moab?
    • Why was Elimelech sorry he moved there?
  3. Elimelech didn't want to allow Oren to take care of his land.
    • Why not?

Cast

Role Voice Actor
Boaz Corey Burton
Chilion Amick Byram
Connie Kendall Katie Leigh
Courtney Vincent Sara Buskirk
Elimelech Walker Edmiston
Jenny Roberts Natalie Babbitt
Mahlon Matt Hurwitz
Naomi Natalie O'Hare
Nidal Pete Reneday
Oren Pete Reneday
Orpah Diane Michelle
Ruth Pamela Hayden


Notes

Trivia
  • One of the places the writer took some creative license with the story of this episode was Elimelech's death. It's implied in the episode that he died because he joined with the Moabites, even though in Ruth chapter 1 no cause — physical or otherwise — is given for his death.
Allusions

Quotes

Courtney Vincent: Aren't there any stories about love?
Connie Kendall: They're all about love. The whole Bible is about it: God's love for us!
Jenny Roberts: Not love, Connie. Love.
Connie Kendall: Oh, love. You mean romance.

Chilion: I am small in stature, it's true, but... big in heart.

Ruth: I will not leave you. Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Where you live, I will live. Your people shall be my people and your, God my God. I will die where you die and be buried by your side.

Connie Kendall: Oh, time! Sorry, but I gotta get back to work.
Jenny Roberts: Work? But you can't just leave us hanging.
Courtney Vincent: Yeah, you have to tell us the rest of it.
Connie Kendall: Oh, I will.
Courtney and Jenny: When?
Connie Kendall: Tuesday night, at our Bible study!