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.
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
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
Map of Moab During the Time of Ruth (Click to Enlarge)
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
More About the Book of Ruth
Ruth in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
Back to the Old Testament
Back to Bible History Online