Ruth was a Moabite woman who married an Israelite man named Mahlon, whose parents, Elimelek and Naomi, had moved to Moab from Judah because of a famine. Naomi’s and Ruth’s husbands both died. When the famine was over, Naomi moved back to Judah, and Ruth chose to go with her, rather than looking for a new husband in Moab. In Judah, Ruth met a man named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s dead husband. Boaz had heard that Ruth was good to Naomi, so he was good to Ruth.
Naomi wanted Ruth to remarry, so she told Ruth to go sneak up on Boaz and lie down with him while he was sleeping. That night, Boaz woke up and found Ruth lying there with him. This was a pleasant surprise, because he was so old. But he said there was another man Ruth should marry rather than him, because that man was more closely related to her first husband. Boaz told Ruth to stay with him for the rest of the night, and then hurry home before anyone saw them together.
The next day, Boaz asked that other man if he wanted to buy some land from Naomi that had belonged to her husband and their sons. The man wanted to buy it, but when he heard that that meant he would have to marry Mahlon’s Moabite widow, he decided Boaz should buy it instead. So Boaz bought the land and married Ruth, and they had a son named Obed, who became the father of Jesse, who became the father of David, who became a king of Israel.
The moral of the story
To make sure someone will want to marry you, sleep with them first.