The book is named after one of its main characters, a young woman of Moab, the great-grandmother of David and an ancestress of Jesus (4:21–22; Mt 1:1,5). Evidently even while living in Moab, she had embraced Yahweh, the God of Israel. The author focuses on Ruth’s unswerving and selfless devotion to desolate Naomi (1:16–17; 2:11–12; 3:10; 4:15) and on Boaz’s kindness to these two widows (chs. Background of the book of Ruth Most conservative authorities accept Samuel as the probable author of Ruth. Bible reference: Book of Ruth 2 Inspirational Christians takes a lot of time, effort, and money to keep running. When movements in space, time and circumstance all correspond in some way, a harmony results that both satisfies the reader’s artistic sense and helps open doors to understanding. In this case, the fertile fields and civilized background echo the nobility of Boaz, and the serenity of Ruth. Click here to read the book of Ruth as it appears in the Bible. It also presents a delightful account of the remnant of true faith and piety in the period of the judges, relieving an otherwise wholly dark picture of that era. Ruth the Moabitess Ruth was a Moabitess, a member of an accursed race. Below is the proof: Ruth 1:2 reads, “In the days when the … With this in mind we ask you to consider helping us out. The book of Ruth tells the extraordinary story of God’s faithfulness to Israel in the life and work of three ordinary people, Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. The book contains the inner and spiritual background of the genealogies so prominent in Scripture. ... Two passages from the Torah give the background of the festival (emphasis added): ... Ruth Bible Study. II. Ro 13:10). At a time when we look for God to be active through a judge or king, God instead works out his will through the everyday faithfulness of his people. This means Ruth was from an Israelite tribe. In fact, it … I. Ruth’s Background – Loyal Commitment as a Converted Gentile. Third, in spite of the age-old reputation of animosity against mothers-in-law, Ruth engaged in none of the bickering and sniping so common in such relationships. The story is told in the Book of Ruth, part of the biblical canon called Ketuvim, or Writings. The author thus reminded Israel that the reign of the house of David, as the means of God’s benevolent rule in Israel, held the prospect of God’s promised peace and rest. Used with Permission. Required fields are marked *, People don't like asking for help. 1:5 – Obed then to Jesse then to David. The inner chapters show how Naomi and Ruth make a plan, followed by an encounter between Ruth and Boaz, followed by Naomi and Ruth rejoicing. That passage, or restoration, first takes place in connection with her return from Moab to the promised land and to Bethlehem (“house of food”; see note on 1:1). The opening line of each of the four episodes signals its main development (1:6, the return; 2:1, the meeting with Boaz; 3:1, finding a home for Ruth; 4:1, the decisive event at the gate), while the closing line of each episode facilitates transition to what follows (see notes on 1:22; 2:23; 3:18; 4:12). At a surface level, few saw Ruth as … When Should Action Become Part of an Active Prayer Life? 2–4). At the border Naomi urged the two women to return to their homeland and their relatives. Whether you can help a little, or a lot, we really appreciate your support! The Justice Series: The Beginning of Justice, Prison Partnership Update: “Lots of opportunity! The grouping of these five scrolls or books was for functional, liturgical reasons.” Her husband’s family had come from Bethlehem to Moab due to a famine and intermarried with the local peoples. She, a Moabitess, also was given the honor of being great grandmother to David, and an ancestor in the line of Christ. The book of Ruth is the story of Naomi and Ruth returning to Bethlehem and how Ruth married a man named Boaz and bore a son, Obed, who became the grandfather of David and the ancestor of Jesus Christ. (For groups who don’t know It is set in the time of the judges — not the best ones, if we assign it to the period of Gideon and Samson — and it attempts to define the rights of widows and aliens within a society fallen upon hard times. This probably was not when Ehud led Israel out from under the Moabite oppression (Judges 3) 2. In the end, God’s face shone upon Ruth. It then progresses with the harvest season, when the fullness of the land is gathered in. He has published a number of books including story and prayer compilations, missionary biography, Biblical character biography, devotional lit, children’s lit, and even stories of Bible translation. Like Ruth, we can commit to loyal relationships, even when it isn’t convenient, personally profitable, or publicly expected. Your email address will not be published. Boaz and Ruth give birth to Oved, who gives birth to Jesse, who gives birth to David, who is the ancestor of Moshiach. Ten years later, tragedy struck again and the two sons also died. Ruth 1:1 "Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the … God used Esther in a strategic time in the history of Israel to help preserve the nation from destruction. But this rest would continue only so long as those who participated in the kingdom—prince and people alike—reflected in their daily lives the selfless love exemplified by Ruth and Boaz. Curiously, God is hardly mentioned in the book of Ruth. However the scriptures are clear about the need to rely on each other as brothers and sisters in Christ; spiritually, physically, and even financially. The author of Ruth keeps his readers from being distracted from the central story—Naomi’s passage from emptiness to fullness through the selfless acts of Ruth and Boaz (see Theme and Theology). The book of Ruth is a consummate example of a short story, with a small number of characters and a compact and fast-paced plot in which all loose ends are tied up within four short chapters. This refers to the marriage of a man to his brother's childless widow. She was dissatisfied with the idol-worship of her own people, and when the opportunity arose, she gladly gave up the privileges of royalty in her land and accepted a life of poverty among people she admired. She moves from emptiness to fullness (1:21; 3:17; see notes on 1:1,3,5–6,12,21–22; 3:17; 4:15), from destitution (1:1–5) to security and hope (4:13–17). In God’s benevolence such lives are blessed and are made a blessing. As an episode in the ancestry of David, the book of Ruth sheds light on his role in the history of redemption. Like 1Sa 1-2, it gives a series of intimate glimpses into the private lives of the members of an Israelite family. 1820 Jet Stream Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921 • 719.488.9200Terms of Use | Privacy Policy, The Book of the Twelve or the Minor Prophets, Biblica – The International Bible Society. Yet, Ruth was different. The story of Ruth in the Bible is one of compassion, courage, boldness, and integrity. Second, Ruth married Naomi’s son, an Israeli. Bible Study: Book of Ruth Chapter 3. For each there is a corresponding character whose actions highlight, by contrast, his or her selfless acts: Ruth—Orpah, Boaz—the unnamed kinsman. Overview of Ruth – Gospel Love Story - Focuses on the Redemption of Ruth – inclusion of the Gentiles - Focuses on the Redeemer – Boaz and the Royal Line leading to King David and the ultimate Son of David, the Messiah; Matt. In the Hebrew Bible, Ruth stands with the Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther; together they make up the Megillot, five scrolls that are read at prescribed times on Jewish religious festivals. Even though she lived in humble circumstances before marrying Boaz, she believed that God was faithful to care for His people. Ruth and Esther are the only two books in the Bible named for and devoted to women in their entirety. Most striking is the contrast between two of the main characters, Ruth and Boaz: The one is a young, alien, destitute widow, while the other is a middle-aged, well-to-do Israelite securely established in his home community. I would like to make a donation in the amount of: I would like this donation to repeat each month, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress. Posted by Steve Fortosis | Jul 6, 2016 | 0 |, In order to survive a famine, a Jewish family once left Israel for prosperous Moab. Besides, after her husband died, Ruth had to know that the odds of remarriage were small, especially if she settled in a land that frowned deeply on interracial marriages. She is the great-grandmother of King David and hence an ancestor of the Messiah. At the birth of Ruth’s son, the women of Bethlehem exclaimed to Naomi, “…your daughter-in-law, who loves you, is better to you than seven sons…” And they were so right. B. Ruth does site its setting with the time of the Judges (“when the judges judged” myfpvh fpv ymyB ) (1:1), and probably occurred toward the end of the period: 1. Ruth is a book for all times, whether written in post‑exilic days or based upon very old oral traditions. The events of Ruth occurred sometime between 1160 BC and 1100 BC, during the latter period of the judges (Ruth 1:1). From the Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Ruth (/ r uː θ /; Hebrew: רוּת ‎, Modern: RÅ«t, Tiberian: Rūṯ) is the person after whom the Book of Ruth is named. Easier Said Than Done? Such love also reflects God’s love, in a marvelous joining of human and divine actions (compare2:12 with 3:9). These were dark days, full of suffering brought about by the Redemption is a key concept throughout the account; the Hebrew word in its various forms occurs 23 times. The book of Ruth reflects a time of peace between Israel and Moab (contrast Jdg 3:12–30). The narrative of Ruth’s story is rather brief. Opening the Study Spend some time allowing space to get to know each other. The priests of Moab were powerful and cruel, and they served an assortment of gods. Fifth, in an impoverished situation, it is common for individuals to look out for their own survival first. She was born and raised in paganism. Consideration of these and other literary devices (mentioned throughout the notes) will aid understanding of the book of Ruth. So the people who lived in Moab were THE ISRAELITES. The Inspirational Team. The Esther was a Hebrew woman who married a Gentile king. The Book of Ruth (abbreviated Rth) (Hebrew: מגילת רות ‎, Megilath Ruth, "the Scroll of Ruth", one of the Five Megillot) is included in the third division, or the Writings (), of the Hebrew Bible.In most Christian canons it is treated as a history book and placed between Judges and 1 Samuel.. The family life of David's ancestors is sketched to show how they walked in single hearted piety toward God, and justice and love, modesty and purity towards man. Ruth, a childless widow at the beginning of the story, became the great-grandmother of Israel’s great king, David. The Moabites typically worshiped Chemosh, to whom human sacrifices were even offered. The story is told in the Book of Ruth, part of the biblical canon called Ketuvim, or Writings. Among historical narratives in Scripture it is unexcelled in its compactness, vividness, warmth, beauty and dramatic effectiveness—an exquisitely wrought jewel of Hebrew narrative art. Through the years he has enjoyed teaching on the college and seminary levels and writing professionally. Contrast is also used to good effect: pleasant (the meaning of “Naomi”) and bitter (1:20), full and empty (1:21), and the living and the dead (2:20). A. Ruth uncovering Boaz's feet certainly seems to be one of the odder incidents in the Bible, but in the case of Ruth and Boaz, this was a uniquely appropriate gesture. The book of Ruth reflects a time of peace between Israel and Moab (contrast Jdg 3:12–30). If you've enjoyed reading an article, why not leave us a 'tip'? Ruth, biblical character, a woman who after being widowed remains with her husband’s mother. Ruth was probably a housewife as most were at the time and the death of her husband forced her to go out in the fields and glean for a living. by I Gordon 'Anyone can sing in the day. The book of Ruth is a Hebrew short story, told with consummate skill. You as the Bible study leader may find yourself filling in more “gaps” for the students with information you have gathered. Ruth’s story is celebrated during the Jewish festival of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, 50 days after Passover. The name Naomi means “sweet, pleasant,” which … The book is primarily a story of Naomi’s transformation from despair to happiness through the selfless, God-blessed acts of Ruth and Boaz. Would you consider partnering with us? Place in history: Ruth is known as one of the most godly women in the Bible. There is no such thing as an unimportant person in God’s eyes. He gave her a second, wonderfully gentle and loving Jewish husband named Boaz. Finally, the story of Naomi’s family … Her place in the ancestry of David signifies that all nations will be represented in the kingdom of David’s greater Son. Charles Savelle Center Point Bible Institute 2 The dating of the writing of the book is tied to the issue of authorship but more significantly to the genealogy which closes the book. Although Ruth came from a pagan background in Moab, once she met the God of Israel, she became a living testimonial to Him by faith. Similarly, Israel was transformed from national desperation at the death of Eli (1Sa 4:18) to peace and prosperity in the early days of Solomon (1Ki 4:20–34; 5:4) through the selfless devotion of David, a true descendant of Ruth and Boaz. The Book of Ruth in the Bible The Book of Ruth is one of the Bible's shortest books, telling its story in just four chapters. The story of Ruth is a story of unparalleled loyalty. In our society, even friends, spouses, and relatives sometimes betray one another, seemingly without remorse. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. The Book of Ruth offers no direct identification concerning its date. Doing the Right Thing Often Takes Great Sacrifice. Events in this book occur during the time of the judges in Israel (Ruth 1:1), probably in the 12th century B.C., perhaps 50 to 100 years before the birth of David. He presents striking examples of lives that embody in their daily affairs the self-giving love that fulfills God’s law (Lev 19:18; cf. Ruth and Boaz Meet in the Harvest Fields (, Naomi Sends Ruth to Boaz’s Threshing Floor (, Boaz Buys Naomi’s Property and Announces His Marriage to Ruth (. First, Ruth was a Moabite—a foreigner. Ruth is the festal scroll for Shavuot, the Feast of … In Moab the husband died and the two sons ended up marrying Moabite women. Introduction from the NIV Study Bible | Go to Ruth. Presently he resides in Florida with his wife, Debra, where he teaches part-time and writes on a free-lance basis. What was the relationship between Ruth and Naomi. an interaction with the background of the book of Ruth. If you regularly enjoy our content, would you consider partnering with us? She strikingly exemplifies the truth that participation in the coming kingdom of God is decided, not by blood and birth, but by the conformity of one’s life to the will of God through the “obedience that comes from faith” (Ro 1:5). Yet her complete loyalty to the Israelite family into which she has been received by marriage and her total devotion to her desolate mother-in-law mark her as a true daughter of Israel and a worthy ancestress of David. Marvelously symmetrical throughout (see Outline), the action moves from a briefly sketched account of distress (1:1–5; 71 words in Hebrew) through four episodes to a concluding account of relief and hope that is drawn with equal brevity (4:13–17; 71 words in Hebrew). The narrative of Ruth’s story is rather brief. The Fragrance of Godly Christian Character, The Wonder and the Mystery of ‘The Incarnate Deity’. The only other Biblical book bearing the name of a woman is Esther. Do Not Be Anxious About Anything. Without your support, this invaluable archive may one day cease to be. God honored her decision to leave her own country and she is one of the most prominent women in David’s and Jesus’ genealogy. Ruth is one of just two women in the Hebrew Bible (with Esther) to have a book named after her. However, several things about the story remarkably defy expectations. Ruth is included in the Megilloth scrolls. it's part of the human condition to think we can do it all on our own. Through the early events of the book Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, ventures to return to the land of her husband in Judah. The Story of Ruth in the Bible Ruth, as you may recall from Sunday school, is a woman who, after being widowed, remains with her mother-in-law. Jewish tradition points to Samuel, but it is unlikely that he is the author because the mention of David (4:17,22) implies a later date. The Moabites typically worshiped Chemosh, to whom human sacrifices were even offered. According to the biblical Book of Ruth, Ruth was a Moabite woman who married into an Israelite family and eventually converted to Judaism. Ruth Chapter 3: Rewards through Refining . In Jesus, the great “son of David” (Mt 1:1), and his redemptive work, the promised blessings of the kingdom of God find their fulfillment. It may seem surprising that one who reflects God’s love so clearly is a Moabitess (see map, p. 486). ... historical background to the Book of Ruth see the discussion in the argument on Judges. Steve Fortosis served for six years as youth minister in several parishes. The Bible records historical proof that the Amorites and Moabites were pushed out of the land of Moab. Ruth Converts to Judaism Background The story is set in the time of the judges, a time characterized in the book of Judges as a period of religious and moral degeneracy, national disunity and frequent foreign oppression. God is truly at work!”. The crucial turning point occurs exactly midway (see note on 2:20). Meanwhile he was also working toward his masters, then his doctorate in religious education. © Zondervan. Nevertheless, leaving her homeland, Ruth remained faithfully with Naomi. The Story of Ruth Ruth was a Moabite princess of very fine character, who became the great-grandmother of King David. Ruth was born of a Moab ethnic background. © 2011-2020 Biblica. The author is unknown. The workers in the field are busy and all, Koch seems to say, is as it should be. Like 1Sa 1–2, it gives a series of intimate glimpses into the private lives of the members of an Israelite family. The book of Ruth reflects a time of peace between Israel and Moab (contrast Jdg 3:12-30). Further, the literary style of Hebrew used in Ruth suggests that it was written during the period of the monarchy. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. One daughter-in-law turned back, but Ruth, the other one, refused, declaring that she’d die before she would leave her mother-in-law. Also, Ruth is an example to us of hard work and faithfulness. The story is set in the time of the judges, a time characterized in the book of Judges as a period of religious and moral degeneracy, national disunity and frequent foreign oppression. It's with this last point that we speak to you today. Uncompromising loyalty is rare and should be greatly treasured. Its main character is a Moabite woman named Ruth, the daughter-in-law of a Jewish widow named Naomi. It's an intimate family tale of misfortune, crafty use of kinship ties, and ultimately, loyalty. Your email address will not be published. Click here if you want to read the whole story of Ruth with some midrashic background (as I have related it above). These scrolls “were part of the third division of the Hebrew Bible, the Ketubim or Writings. The importance of faithful love in human relationships among God’s kingdom people is powerfully underscored. There is a concept in Jewish law called yibum. However, several things about the story remarkably defy expectations. Instead, she displayed undying love for a mother-in-law who truly deserved it. The grief-stricken mother, Naomi, then left Moab for Israel with h. er two daughters in law. Ruth, however, humbly combed sweltering, harvested fields for bits of grain she could take home to Naomi each evening. Fourth, the natural longing of a person is to remain in their homeland, among relatives, friends, and accustomed surroundings. Leaders such as Moses had warned Israel resoundingly against marrying foreigners, yet here was a rare exception which had the seal of God’s approval. All aspects of the story keep the reader’s attention focused on the central issue. What part does Ruth play in Jesus’ genealogy? 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