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Ruth 1

1 - In the days when the judges judged, there was a famine in the land. A certain man of BethlehemJudah went to live in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

2 - The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. They came into the country of Moab, and lived there.

3 - Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left with her two sons.

4 - They took for themselves wives of the women of Moab. The name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other was Ruth. They lived there about ten years.

5 - Mahlon and Chilion both died, and the woman was bereaved of her two children and of her husband.

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 The LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.

7 - She went out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her. They went on the way to return to the land of Judah.

8 - Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead, and with me.

9 - May the LORD grant you that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband."Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices, and wept.

10 - They said to her, "No, but we will return with you to your people."

11 - Naomi said, "Go back, my daughters. Why do you want to go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

12 - Go back, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, 'I have hope,' if I should even have a husband tonight, and should also bear sons;

13 - would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from having husbands? No, my daughters, for it grieves me seriously for your sakes, for The LORD's hand has gone out against me."

14 - They lifted up their voices, and wept again; then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth joined with her.

15 - She said, "Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people, and to her god. Follow your sister-in-law."

16 - Ruth said, "Don't urge me to leave you, and to return from following you, for where you go, I will go; and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God.

17 - Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me."

18 - When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

19 - So they both went until they came to Bethlehem. When they had come to Bethlehem, all the city was excited about them, and they asked, "Is this Naomi?"

20 - She said to them, "Don't call me Naomi. Call me Mara; for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

21 - I went out full, and the LORD has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?"

22 - So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, who returned out of the country of Moab. They came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

Ruth Images and Notes

The Book of Ruth

Ruth 2:12 - 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.

ARCHAEOLOGY

Women Gleaning at Harvest

Women Gleaning from Tomb of Ramose

This colorful painting from the tomb of Ramose at the site of ancient Thebes reveals women gleaning at harvest time. In biblical times when barley fields or wheatfields were ready for harvest the reapers were hired to cut down the large stocks of grain and make bundles. According to the customs of the Israelites if a loose stock should fall to the ground they were to be left alone for the gleaners. The gleaning was performed by the poorest and most helpless of the land, the widows who were going to die of starvation. During harvest time in the ancient world you would clearly see a poor woman like Ruth walking through the fields and gleaning behind men picking up any loose stalks that might've fallen. Ruth was a widow and she was gleaning any field when she met Boaz the owner of the field.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Ruth
Hebrew Name - Ruut "friend"
Greek Name - Oiktos (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Samuel (According to Tradition)
Date - From 1322 BC Approximately
Theme - The beginning of the lineage of Christ seen in this faithful woman who was a Moabite
Types and Shadows - In Ruth Jesus is the kinsman redeemer (Heb. Goel)

Quick Reference Map
Moab and the Book of Ruth
Map of Moab During the Time of Ruth (Click to Enlarge)

Summary of The Book of Ruth

This beautiful book is like a calmness in the middle of a turbulent storm, when reminiscing on all the violence and enemy invasions recorded in the books of  Joshua and Judges. The book of Ruth deals more with real life in ancient Israel and not necessarily the warfare in the previous book, although the events actually took place during the period of the Judges (Ruth 1:1). The date that the book was written is not given, and there is no mention as to who the author is, but it is most likely Samuel, who is the traditionally accepted author. The book of Ruth traces the messianic line of King David back to Ruth, who was a Moabitess, and the book gives us a beautiful understanding of how God rewards faithfulness and devotion.

The events in Ruth's life may be summarized as follows :

Outline of the Book of Ruth

1) Due to a severe famine in the land of Judah, Elimelech, a native of Bethlehem, emigrated to Moab with his wife and two sons, who married two Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah.

2) At the end of ten years, all three of the women were left widows and Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. Despite Naomi's protests, Ruth determined to return to Bethlehem with her. Ruth's dedication to Naomi and to the religion of the God of Israel is stated in Ruth 1:16-17: "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: 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."

3) They arrived in Bethlehem at the time of the barley harvest. Ruth went out to glean in the fields of Boaz, a wealthy man whose relationship with his servants eloquently attests to his character (Ruth 2:4). According to Hebrew law, Ruth had a right to demand that a near kinsman of her late husband take her for his wife. Boaz had been related to Ruth's husband and was willing to marry her, but since there was another man of closer kinship, it was necessary to go through certain customary and legal measures before he could rightfully claim her.

4) This being done, the two were married with the blessings of their neighbors and eventually became the parents of Obed, the grandfather of David.

Quick Reference Maps - Ruth

The Twelve Tribes and the Judges

Hazor

Jezreel

The First Day. Light.

Ruth Resources

The Judges

More About the Book of Ruth
Ruth in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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