Workers For Jesus Online Bible Study Table of Contents

About this Bible Study........The King James Version of the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard for modern English readers to understand.  In this study, you will find notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses in their KJV form. 


The Book of Ruth

The Book of Ruth and the Book of Esther are the only 2 books in the Bible named for females.  The Book of Ruth tells the story about a woman, Ruth and her husband's family.  This story happens in the same time as the Book of Judges.

The book of Ruth is about what happens when a man dies before he has children. Back in the book of Deuteronomy, God gave Moses a law about this. When this happens, the dead man's brother should marry the dead man's wife. When she has a baby, the baby will have the dead man's name. The baby will inherit the dead man's land. This way the land will stay in the family. Also, this way the dead man will continue to have descendants. To read that part of the Bible again, please click here.

Bible Timeline
Here is a good timeline to see the book of Ruth in the history of the Bible


Ruth 1 - 4
Naomi and her family move to the country of Moab.
Naomi's sons marry Moabite women.
Naomi's husband and 2 sons die.
Naomi and Ruth travel back to Israel.
Ruth meets and marries Boaz.


Ruth 1

Elimelech and his wife Naomi leave Israel.

At this time in history, there was no food in Israel--they were having a famine.  There was a man named Elimelech.  He was married, and his wife's name was Naomi. He had 2 sons. The sons' names were Mahlon and Chilion.  They were from the tribe of Ephraim. They had no food, so they traveled out of the Israelites' land. They traveled to the country of Moab. They stayed there.

[1] Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
[2] And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

After they moved to Moab, Elimelech died. Naomi stayed in Moab with her 2 sons.
[3] And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

The 2 sons got married. Their wives were women from Moab.  One wife's name was Orpah.  The other wife's name was Ruth.  After about 10 years, the 2 sons died.  Naomi stayed there in Moab with her 2 daughters-in-law.
[4] And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
[5] And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah
From the LaVista Church of Christ web site

Naomi and Ruth leave Moab.

Naomi heard that the people in Israel had food again. She decided to go home to Canaan.  Orpah and Ruth were going with her.

[6] Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.
[7] Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

Naomi told her 2 daughters-in-law that they could go back home. She encouraged them to go back and live with their mothers.  She said they have always been kind to her and her family. Now she prayed for God to be kind to them. She prayed for them to find new husbands and have new homes. Then she kissed them, and they cried.
[8] And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
[9] The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

But Ruth and Orpah said no. They wanted to continue to live with Naomi. They wanted to go back to Canaan with her.
[10] And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.

Naomi talked to them again. She again encouraged them to go back to their families in Moab. She said that she is old. She will not have anymore sons.  Even if she had more baby boys, it would be a long time until they were grown up. Ruth and Orpah would wait many years for them to be their new husbands. Naomi is sad, and she says that God is against her.
[11] And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
[12] Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;
[13] Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.

Orpah and Ruth cried again. Orpah decided to go back home to Moab. She kissed Naomi, then left. But Ruth stayed with Naomi.
[14] And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.


Orpah returns to Moab. Ruth stays with Naomi.

Naomi told Ruth that she should leave, too. She reminded her that Orpah was going back to Moab. In Moab, she will worship the Moab false gods.
[15] And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.

Ruth did not want Naomi to ask her to leave.  She said she will go with Naomi to the same places Naomi goes. She said she will stay in the same places where Naomi stays. She says that Naomi's family will be her family. Ruth says that Naomi will worship God, and Ruth will worship God, too.  Ruth says that she will die in the same place that Naomi dies. Ruth will be buried in the same place that Naomi is buried.  Ruth asks God to punish her if she and Naomi are separated.
[16] And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
[17] Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

Naomi could see that Ruth didn't want to go back. So she stopped asking her to leave.
[18] When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.


Naomi and Ruth arrive back in Israel.

Ruth and Naomi continued to travel. Then they arrived in Bethlehem. Everyone in the city was excited to see them. They asked each other if this was really Naomi because Naomi had left Bethlehem many years ago.

[19] So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

Naomi asked them to call her a different name. She said they should call her Mara. The word "mara", means sour or bitter. Naomi felt that God had not been good to her. She felt that He had treated her bitterly. She said when she left Bethlehem many years ago, she was full. She had a husband and 2 sons.  Now she feels empty because her husband and her sons died.
[20] And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
[21] I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

Naomi and Ruth were home in Bethlehem now. Ruth was not an Israelite.  Ruth was a Moabitess which means she was from the country of Moab. When Ruth and Naomi got home, the farmers were beginning to harvest (cut down) their barley plants.
[22] So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.


How wheat, barley, and
other grains were used in
the Bible.

The plants grew on the farms.

The grains were small seeds
 on the plants.


The people picked the plants.
Then they threshed the plants
 (hit them to make the
 seeds fall out).

From the

Then they winnowed the
 seeds. They threw them 
in the air. The wind blew off
 the seed coats.

These are seeds after
 they have been

They grinded the seeds
between 2 very heavy rocks.

From "Topsy-Turvy Land
 Arabia Pictured for Children" Authors: Samuel M. Zwemer,
Amy E. Zwemer From
Project Gutenberg web site

This is the wheat or barley
after it is ground (crushed)
into flour.

The flour was used to
make bread and other foods.


Ruth 2

Ruth goes to work in the fields of Boaz.

Naomi's husband had a rich man in his family. The rich man's name was Boaz.
[1] And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

From the LaVista Church of Christ web site

Ruth told Naomi she wanted to go to the farms and glean some corn. Glean means to pick the leftovers.  Ruth plans to talk to the other people who are picking the corn. She will ask them if she can follow them and pick the leftovers.  Naomi told her yes.
[2] And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

Ruth went and gleaned on a farm. She followed the people who were picking the food. The rich man Boaz owned the field where she was picking corn.
[3] And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.

Boaz came out to his farm. He said hello to the people who were picking the corn. He said, "The Lord be with you", and they answered him, "The Lord bless thee (you)."

[4] And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.

Boaz talked to the man who was in charge of the people picking the corn. He asked who Ruth was. The man said that she was the Moabite woman who came home with Naomi. The man said that Ruth asked if she could follow the pickers and glean the leftovers. The man said that Ruth started working that morning. She worked for a long time. Now she is finally taking a break and is coming into the house.  
[5] Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?
[6] And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
[7] And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.

Boaz meets Ruth.
From the LaVista Church of Christ web site


Boaz talked to Ruth. He told her to stay on his farm to glean. She can stay there with his other women workers. She can follow them and look for leftover food. He told the men workers not to bother her. When she gets thirsty, she can get a drink from the water jars.
[8] Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:
[9] Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

Ruth bowed down and put her face on the ground. She asked Boaz why he was being good to her. She said he didn't know her.
[10] Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?

Boaz said that he heard she was helping Naomi. He heard she helped Naomi after her husband died. He also heard that she left her own parents and home. Now she is living in a place where she doesn't know anyone. He prays that God will give her good things because she trusts Him. She trusts that God will protect her.
[11] And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
[12] The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Ruth was thankful that Boaz was nice to her. He was nice to her even if she was not the same as one of his women workers.
[13] Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.

When it was time to eat lunch, Boaz told her to come and eat. He told her to eat some bread dipped in vinegar. Ruth sat by the other workers and ate. Boaz gave her some corn to eat.  Ruth ate all she wanted and had some left over.
[14] And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.

Ruth got up to leave and go back to work. Boaz told his men workers to let her glean in his fields. They shouldn't say anything to stop her. They should also leave some of the food on the plants on purpose so she can get it.

[15] And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:
[16] And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.

Ruth picked food in the field until evening. Then she beat the barley plants and separated the food part. She had about 25 pounds of barley.
[17] So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.

In the evening, she went home to Naomi. She took what she picked in the field. She also took her leftover food from lunch.
[18] And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.

Naomi asked Ruth where she picked the food. She asked God to bless the field's owner. Ruth said the field's owner was named Boaz.
[19] And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.

Naomi was very happy. She asked God to bless Boaz. She said that God was good to her and to her dead husband and sons. Naomi said that Boaz was a family member of her husband.
[20] And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.

Ruth said that Boaz told her to continue working in his field until all of the food is picked.
[21] And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.

Naomi said it is best for Ruth to work with Boaz's women workers. It is best for her not to go to other farms to work.
[22] And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.

Ruth stayed with Boaz's women workers. She worked until they were finished picking all of the barley and wheat. She continued to live with Naomi, her mother-in-law.
[23] So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.

Back in the book of Deuteronomy, God gave Moses a law. When a married man died and he had no children, the dead man's brother should marry the dead man's wife. When she has a baby, the baby will have the dead man's name. The baby will inherit the dead man's land. This way, the land will stay in the family. Also, the dead man will continue to have descendants. To read that part of the Bible again, please click here.

In Ruth's story, her dead husband's brother was dead, too. Boaz was a relative of Ruth's husband's family. Another name for a family member is "kinsman".  Boaz can marry Ruth, and that will save Ruth's dead husband's family. Boaz will be the family's "redeemer".


Ruth 3

Naomi tells Ruth how Boaz can save their family.

Naomi wanted to help Ruth find a new husband. She said that Boaz is a family member. He will be at the place where they beat the wheat, the threshing floor, tonight.

[1] Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
[2] And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.

Naomi told Ruth to take a bath and put on nice clothes and perfume. She should go to the threshing floor. But she should wait until Boaz finished eating and drinking.  She should watch where he goes to sleep. After he is sleeping, Ruth should take the blanket off his feet and lay down by his feet. Then Boaz will tell her what to do.
[3] Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
[4] And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.

Ruth said she will do what Naomi tells her to do.
[5] And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.

Ruth did what Naomi said. After Boaz ate and drank, he was in a good mood. He went to sleep by a pile of barley. Ruth came in quietly. She took the blanket off his feet. She laid down.
[6] And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.
[7] And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.

At midnight, Boaz woke up and turned over. He was surprised when he saw a woman laying by his feet.
[8] And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.

He asked the woman her name. Ruth told him her name. Ruth asked Boaz to marry her because he is her dead husband's family member.
[9] And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.

Boaz asked God to bless Ruth. He said she has been very good to her husband's family. She could have found a younger man from another family to marry. But she wanted to stay with her husband's family.
[10] 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.

He said he will marry her and take care of her. He said the people in his city know that Ruth is a good woman.
[11] 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.

Boaz said that it is true that he is a close family member of her husband. But he said there is another family member who is closer.
[12] And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.

Boaz told Ruth to stay there. He will talk to the other family member in the morning. He will see if the other family member will marry Ruth. If the other man says no, Boaz promises to God that he will marry her.
[13] 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.

Ruth slept by Boaz's feet all night. She got up to leave very early in the morning. Boaz did not want anyone else to know that a woman had come to the threshing floor.
[14] 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.

Boaz gives Ruth barley to take home to Naomi.
The Bible Revival

He told her to hold out her cape (coat). He poured some barley into her cape. He poured out about 50 pounds of barley. He helped her put it on her shoulders. Then Ruth went back to Naomi's house in the city.
[15] Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.

Naomi asked her what happened. Ruth told her everything that happened with Boaz.
[16] 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.

Ruth showed the barley to Naomi.  Boaz said that she should not go back home without taking something for Naomi.
[17] And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.

Naomi told Ruth to wait. She said that Boaz won't rest until he takes care of everything.
[18] 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.

Ruth 4

Boaz discusses Ruth and Naomi with another family member.

Boaz went to the city gate and sat down. He waited for his family member. He is the family member he told Ruth about. Then Boaz saw the man and asked him to come and sit down.
[1] 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.

Boaz asked 10 city leaders to sit down, too.
[2] And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.

Boaz told the man that Naomi was back home now. She wanted to sell some land that belonged to her husband, Elimelech.
[3] 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:

Boaz said that the man is the closest family member. He has the first chance to buy Elimelech's land. The city elders are witnesses. Boaz is the next closest family member. The man said he would buy the land.
[4] 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 Boaz told the man that if he buys the land, he also buys Ruth. Ruth was married to Elimelech's son.  Ruth would have children. The children would have Ruth's 1st husband's name. The children would inherit Elimelech's land.
[5] Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.

The family member said he cannot buy both the land and Ruth. It would cause problems for his children who will inherit his land.  He told Boaz to buy the land and marry Ruth.
[6] 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.

In Israel at that time in history, people used their shoes when they sold something.  The person selling the land gave his shoe to the person buying the land. The family member took off his shoe and gave it to Boaz.
[7] 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.
[8] Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.

Boaz talked to the city leaders and to everyone who was there. They were witnesses. They saw that he was buying the land of Elimelech and his sons, Chilion and Mahlon. He was also buying Ruth. He will marry Ruth so that she can have more children.  Then Elimelech and his sons' names will continue.
[9] 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.
[10] 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.

The city elders and the other people there at the gate agreed. They were witnesses that Boaz bought the land and bought Ruth. They asked God to help Boaz and Ruth have many children like Rachel and Leah had (Jacob's wives).  Rachel and Leah's 12 sons and their descendants are the 12 tribes of Israel. The asked God to make Boaz important in his tribe of Ephraim and famous in his area of Bethlehem. They asked God to make Boaz's descendants to be like Pharez' descendants. Pharez's mother was Tamar, and his father was Judah. Boaz was one of Pharez' descendants.
[11] 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 Bethlehem:
[12] 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.


Ruth and Boaz get married, and Ruth has a son.

Boaz married Ruth. Then Ruth had a baby boy. The other women told Naomi that she was blessed. Naomi still had family and the baby's name would someday be famous in Israel.  The baby will give back her life and take care of her when she's old.  Ruth treated Naomi better than if Naomi had 7 sons.
[13] So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.
[14] And 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.
[15] And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.

Naomi held the baby.  She helped take care of him.
[16] And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.


This book of the Bible was written many years after it really happened. By the time it was written, David was the king of Israel. David was the king in the years of 1011-971 B.C..

The women said that the baby's name was Obed. The women said Naomi had a new son. (Later, after Obed grew up, he had a son named Jesse, then a grandson named David).
[17] 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.

This is the family tree of Boaz. 

Jacob's son was Judah.
Judah's son was Pharez.
Pharez's son was Hezron.
Hezron's son was Ram.
Ram's son was Amminadab.
Amminadab's son was Nahshon.
Nahshon's son was Salmon.
Salmon's son was Boaz.
Boaz's son was Obed.
Obed's son was Jesse.
Jesse's son was David.

[18] Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,
[19] And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,
[20] And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,
[21] And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,
[22] And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.


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