Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
The book of Ruth is the Narrative of a love story, yet also has some important Genealogy. The timeline of this book is intertwined during the period of the Judges. The author was anonymous but some believe it was perhaps written by Samuel the prophet; however, it is unlikely that he was alive when this book was written. It was written about 1046-1035 B.C. Key personalities include Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz.
Its purpose was to demonstrate the kind of love, and faithfulness that God desires for us. It shows the difference between what happens when a nation does not follow in obedience to the covenant of God (Judges), and when God’s people follow in faithfulness within the covenant (Ruth).
• In chapter 1, Ruth remains loyal to her mother-in-law Naomi after the death of her husband and in-laws. Naomi decides to return to her home land of Bethlehem alone, however, Ruth insists on staying with her and adopting Naomi’s God as her own. “But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (1:16).
• Chapter 2 we see Ruth gleaning in the fields of Naomi’s relative Boaz. Boaz out of compassion and obedience to the law allows Ruth to glean but also leaves extra grain for her purposely.
• In chapter 3, Naomi encourages Ruth to seek marriage with Boaz as a kinsman redeemer. Ruth obeys Naomi and asks for her rights and Boaz agrees but mentions that he must first be sure there are no others with first rights.
• Chapter 4 Boaz and Naomi are married and Ruth conceives a son named Obed, the grandfather of the great King David, in the lineage of Christ our Messiah.