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Book of Ruth

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Author: --- Background & Theme --- dated at:
Unknown, but thought to be Samuel, the prophet. The story of Ruth, tells of her faithfulness to her mother-in-law that leads into the love story and marriage between Ruth and Boaz, Boaz acting as the kinsman redeemer. The story is analogous to Christ being our Kinsman Redeemer.
four chapters
Around the reign of King David, between 1020-950 BC.

Verse by verse, explanation of the book of Ruth.

Ruth: chapter 1

1In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in Bethlehem. And a certain family, a husband, wife and two sons went to the country of Moab to dwell. 2The name of the man was Elimelech, his wife's name was Naomi and his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. 3Soon afterwards Elimelech, the husband died and Naomi was left with her two sons. 4The two sons took wives, Orpah and Ruth and they dwelt in the land for about ten years, 5After which the sons also died. Leaving Naomi having survived, her two sons and her husband.

6Then Naomi set out to return to her home land, for she heard that the LORD had given bread to His people in Bethlehem. 7However her two daughter-in-laws began to follow Naomi to the land of Bethlehem. 8Naomi told her two daughters-in-laws to each return to their mother's house. And that the LORD would deal kindly with them, for they had dealt kindly with the dead and with me. 9May He grant you rest in the house of your husbands. She then kissed them and they both wept. 10Saying to her, we will return with you to your people. 11-13But Naomi told them to turn back, asking them why they wished to go with her, saying that she could not provide husbands for them. For even if she did have two sons by a husband tonight, would they wait for them until they were grown? Refraining themselves from having husbands now. And that it grieved her for their sakes, that the hand of the LORD has gone out against her, now, please turn back my daughters. 14Again they wept, then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and turned back, but Ruth clung to her.

15Naomi again told Ruth to leave her, saying your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods, follow her! 16But Ruth replied, do not ask me to leave you, wherever you go -- I shall go. Your people shall be my people and your God my God. 17Not even death shall part us, May the LORD do such to me if anything but death does separate us. 18When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.

19When the two of them came into Bethlehem the entire city was excited and the women of the city asked if this was Naomi? 20However Naomi was bitter and replied, do not call me Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dwelt bitterly with me. The name Mara means (bitter). 21I went out full and the LORD has brought me back empty, He has dealt with me harshly. Therefore, Don't call me Naomi, for the LORD has afflicted me and testified against me. 22So both Naomi and Ruth, (the Moabitess), stayed in Bethlehem and it was the beginning of the barley harvest.

Ruth: chapter 2

1In the city, was a relative of Naomi's husband, a man of great wealth of the family of Elimelech, named Boaz. 2Ruth then asked Naomi if she could go into the surrounding barley fields and glean grain behind the reapers, that she might find favor in some ones sight and Naomi said, to her go my daughter. 3So Ruth went, gleaning barley and she happened to come into part of the field that belonged to Boaz, of the family of Elimelech.

4When Boaz returned to his fields, from doing business, he greeted his reapers in the field and said; "The LORD be with you" and the reapers replied; "The LORD bless you". 5Then he inquired of his head servant, "Whose young woman is this?" 6And he was told, it is the young woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7She asked if she could glean and gather after the reapers and she has been working all day with only a little break.

8Boaz than told Ruth, not to glean in any other field but to stay close to his young women. 9That her eyes could remain on her work and the field where she was reaping, for he had instructed the young men not to touch her and when she should get thirsty, to go to the vessels and drink. 10Ruth then bowed down and asked, why she had found such great favor with him, since she is a foreigner? 11Boaz explained that it was reported to him, of all she has done for her mother-in-law since the death of her husband. How she left her father and mother and the land of her birth, to come to a people whom she did not know. 12Boaz then said to her; May the LORD repay your work and give you a full reward, whose wings you have come under to take refuge. 13Ruth then asked if she might find favor in Boaz's sight, for you have comforted this foreigner, who is not like one of your maidservants.

14At meal time Boaz invited her to eat bread with them, so Ruth sat beside the reapers and ate roasted grain and was satisfied. 15When she rose up to go back to gleaning. Boaz instructed his field help to let her glean even among the sheaves and not to reproach her for doing so. 16Even to let some of the heads of grain fall in her path that she may pick them up, without rebuking her for doing so. 17Ruth gleaned in the field until evening and she had gleaned about five gallons of barley.

18When returning back to her mother-in-law and when she had shown Naomi all that she had gleaned. 19Naomi asked Ruth where she had been gleaning and whose field was it? Then saying; Blessed be the one who took notice of you. Ruth answered her and said, the man in whose field I work is named, Boaz. 20Naomi then said; Blessed of the LORD is he who has shown kindness to us, this man is a close relation to us. 21And Ruth told Naomi that Boaz had told her to stay close to my field help until they have finished my harvest. 22Naomi then said to Ruth; It will be good that you stay by his young women and not to go into any other field. 23Therefore, Ruth stayed close to his young women, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests, while staying with her mother-in-law Naomi.

Ruth: chapter 3

1When the time of the harvest was nearing an end. Naomi said to Ruth; I shall seek security for you, that it may be well with you. 2Boaz, who is our relative is threshing his barley tonight. 3Now go and wash, anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4When he lies down for the night, go in and uncover his feet and lie down. He shall then tell you what you should do.

5So Ruth told her mother-in-law, she would do exactly as you have told me. 6And she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. 7After Boaz had eaten and drank and his heart was merry, he lied down at the end of the heap of grain and Ruth came softly, uncovered his feet and laid down. 8During the night, around midnight. Boaz awoke and there was a woman lying at his feet. 9And he asked who she was? And she replied; I am Ruth your maidservant, take me under your wing, for you are a close relative. (By Ruth doing this, she was proposing marriage to Boaz). 10Then he said; Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! You have shown kindness in that you did not go after younger men. 11Now, do not fear, for I will do all that you request, for everyone within the town knows that you are a virtuous woman. 12It is true that I am a close relative, however, there is a relative closer than I. 13Stay this night and in the morning I will settle the matter with him. If he chooses to perform the duty of a close relative for you that is good, but if he does not I give you my oath that I will.

14She lay at his feet and they rose early in the morning before the others knew she had been there and Boaz told her not to let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor. 15Before she left, Boaz gave her six measures of barley. 16When Ruth returned to the city to her mother-in-law. 17She told her what the man had said and showed her the six measures of barley he had given her, for he did not want her to return empty handed to my mother-in-law. 18Naomi then told Ruth to be calm, my daughter, until you know how this mater will be settled, assuring her that Boaz would not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.

Ruth: chapter 4

1Boaz then went up to the gate of the city and sat down waiting for the close relative he had spoken of to come by. When he did, Boaz said; Friend, come and sit. 2Boaz then called ten elders of the city, to also sit with them, (to act as witnesses). 3And he said to the close relative; Naomi, has come back from the land of Moab and has sold her piece of land that has belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4I thought to inform you, that you being the closest relative can buy it back. But, if you do not redeem it, then I being next of kin will redeem it. The close relative answered; "I will redeem it". 5Boaz then said; When you buy the field from Naomi you must also buy it from the widow Ruth, (the Moabitess), and perpetuate her dead husbands name through your inheritance. 6The close relative then quickly said; "I cannot redeem it, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself".

7As was the custom in Israel at that time concerning things redeemed, one man would take off his sandal and give it to the other and this was the confirmation. 8And the close relative did so, thus confirming the agreement. 9Boaz then said to the elders of the city; You have witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech's and all that was his two son's, from the hand of Naomi. 10Moreover, Ruth the Moabite, I have bought to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead through his inheritance, so that the name will not cease from among his brothers. You have all witnessed this today. 11And the elders, said, We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who has come into your house like (Rachel and Leah, Jacob's two wives, of the twelve tribes), for these two built the house of Israel. And may you be blessed in the land and become famous in Bethlehem. 12May your house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give you for this young woman.

13So Boaz took Ruth as his wife. And the LORD had her conceive a son. 14And the women of the town said to Naomi; Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you without a redeemer, so that his name may be famous in Israel. 15He shall be to you as a restorer of life and one who cheers you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law who loves you has bore him, she is better to you than seven sons. 16So Naomi laid the child in her bosom and became his nurse. 17Then the women of the town, gave the child a name, saying; There's a son born to Naomi, so they called his name Obed, (the name Obed means worshiper).

18-22These are the generations of Pharez. Pharez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse and Jesse fathered king David.

(This genealogy can be seen in both Matthew's and Luke's record of the line of Christ).