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BOOK : Ruth

Description : historical book telling of how a Moabite woman came to be part of the Messianic family tree

Author: Unknown

Date written : Unknown but sometime late in the time of the judges with later end addition

Chapters : 4


Brief Synopsis:


•  Gets its name from the Moabite woman, Ruth
•  Naomi's family flee to Moab in a famine
•  Her two sons marry two Moabite women
•  Her husband and two sons both die there.
•  Naomi determines to return home and Ruth accompanies her
•  To get work and food Ruth goes to work in the harvest
•  There she meets Boaz who turns out to be a relation of Naomi
•  The law says he could ‘redeem' Ruth.
•  She offers herself to him and he accepts
•  They marry and become part of the Messianic family tree.


Outline :


Ch.1 Naomi loses everything but gains Ruth

Ch.2 Ruth meets Boaz at the harvest

Ch.3 A unique ‘courting'

Ch.4 Boaz arranges to marry Ruth. Epilogue of genealogy


Key Verses:

1:1,2 a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man's name was Elimelech, his wife's name Naomi
1:3,4 Now 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
1:16,17 But 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."
1:22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning
2:2 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 favour."
2:8,9 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. Watch 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.
2:20 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."
3:10,11 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. And now, my daughter, don't be afraid. I will do for you all you ask.
4:13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife.
4:22,23 Boaz the father of Obed, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David


Concluding Comments

•  Ruth is the story of human failure (fleeing God's provision), tragedy (loss of husband and sons), loyalty (Ruth's commitment to Naomi), ‘chance' circumstances (harvest and relative owner), gentle grace (both Ruth's and Boaz's actions) and cultural tradition (the redeemer laws).

•  To us today the ‘redeemer' laws may seem strange but they ensured a widow would be looked after and had a new future.

•  So much hinged on Ruth's commitment to Naomi and although God is not mentioned, it seems His hidden hand of providence is at work as a number of ‘coincidences' occur to bring about the union of Boaz (a gentle older man) and Ruth (a widow from another country).

•  The story is of how a Moabite (not normally known as friends of Israel ) becomes part of the community of God's people. God accepts all-comers.

•  Matthew's family tree honours Ruth: Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse and Jesse the father of King David.” (Mt 1:5,6) With Rahab being a Canaanite, it seems as if God is doubly making the point: God receives people of faith regardless of their background.

•  The book of Ruth is all about 'redemption'.



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