Chapter 1: Ruth was a Moabite. Bethlehem was once a rich city and a famine struck and Naomi and her husband went to live among the pagans to survive. Naomi’s 2 sons marries Moab women. Everyone dies in the family except Noami and Ruth (and Orpah).
- The setting is the beginning of the harvest, April probably).
- Mara means bitter.
- The Husband comment (about marrying again(was called the Levirate marriage (Deut 25)
- Ruth becomes a follower of the Lord,
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.
Chapter 2 Boaz: Who is Boaz? Boaz is a descendant of Rehab. Remember her? When the spies went in to look over Jericho, she hid them on the roof. She was a “Heidi Fleiss” if you know what I mean. God spared her life, just as promised and look who we have now. Boaz saying “The Lord be with you” (and was raised to say….”and also with you”).
- Gleaning: Go back to Leviticus. When God was setting down all the Various Laws they had a reason. Look at this one:
” ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.
Chapter 3 Kinsman:Ga’al in Hebrew, to redeem, act as kinsman-redeemer, avenge, revenge, ransom, do the part of a kinsman. Redemption is the key and theme to the book of Ruth. A Redeemer is responsible for protecting us in a time of need. Keep the parallel in mind when reading this story. Their are 3 characters here.
- Naomi (Jew),
- Ruth (Gentile),
- Boaz (Redeemer).
We today are never left without a Redeemer. This story is a portrait of Christ.
Chapter 4 Clearly you know that I could write forever on this book. It is packed with history, cross reference, meaning, application….etc. But we must move on. I do want to point out the importance of the Genealogy. God uses these oppressed times, with this unusual circumstance, through these unbelievable genealogies. Ruth, a Moabite, Boaz a descendant of a prostitute, Naomi, a bitter Jew, to bring to life the beginning of the line of David. Why David? The Messiah must be a King from the line of David. This book will be a huge part of the book of Matthew’s beginning. Each of the Gospels’ serve a purpose to fulfill prophecy. Matthew is written for the Jew, the Messiah comes from the line for David. Mark is written to depict Jesus as a Servant, written for the Romans, Luke will set forth Jesus as a Man, going all the way back to Adam, written to the Greeks. John will portray Jesus as the son of God and his divine relationship for all believers. Jesus is our Redeemer in all 4 Books. He is Promised, Powerful, Perfect and Personal!
This book follows Judges in the Bible, however you have to picture it during the time. Just like Job was during Genesis, the story of Ruth happens “In the days when the judges ruled”(v1).
Many of you have read Ruth and have always thought about the love story, or the Kinsman Redeemer, the genealogy…for me this is about more of a History book now. I skimmed over the first 3 paragraphs and this time was realizing actually WHO these people are and how that is actually a bigger deal than I thought. (The first time I read it I didn’t have any idea who the Moabs were).
So let me just place the story without giving anything away for those who have never read it. Moab? Who are they? Do you remember back in Genesis, the two daughters of Lot, got him drunk and slept with him. Well, one of the daughters names her son Moab. The Moabite people started with an unwed, drunk, incestuous night. Might explain alot!
Back to Ruth: So this man and his family leave Bethlehem because of a famine (remember these were oppressing times for the Israelites in the time of the Judges) and choose to live among the Moabites. Moab was ridiculously paganistic who followed other gods and strongly believed in child sacrifice and prostitution as a worship and religious practice. So Elimelech moves his family into this land. Wow.
So follow the story closely and this time right down any questions you have. Let’s read this story like we have never read it before (for some never have). Also, if this is a book you have maybe read or studied, try a different version.