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THE BOOK OF RUTH – INTRODUCTION
I. TITLE OF BOOK:
A. “Ruth” – may be a Moabite modification of the Hebrew, “reeiut” meaning “friendship, association”.
B. Ruth, the principle character of the Book, lives up to her name admirably (Ruth 1:16).
II. PLACE OF BOOK IN THE HEBREW CANON AND OUR BIBLE
A. The third division: Kethubhim or Hagiographa (“Writings”) cf. Luke 24:44.
1. First division: “The Torah” (Law) – Genesis – Deuteronomy
2. Second division: The Nebhiim (Prophets)
a. “Former Prophets” – Joshua, Judges, I & 2 Samuel, I & 2 Kings
b. “Latter Prophets ” – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the 12 minor Prophets
3. Third division (Writings) – Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, I & 2 Chronicles.
B. Properly fits next to Judges in our Bibles:
1. “…in the days when the judges judged” (Ruth 1:1)
III. DATE AND AUTHOR OF BOOK
A. Time of the Judges (Ruth 1:1)
1. Famine (cf. Judges 6:4)
2. Ehud and Moabites (Judges 3:12-
3. Gideon and Midianites (cf. Judges 7-
4. Ehud – Gideon (1316 B.C. – 1151 B.C.)
B. Written at the earliest in the time of David
1. Ancient custom has to be explained to readers (Ruth 4:7)
2. David is mentioned (Ruth 4:17,22)
C. Author unknown – Some say Samuel wrote it.
IV. JEWISH CUSTOMS IN BOOK
A. Law of “gleaning” the fields – blessing to the poor (Ruth 1:21, 2:2, Lev. 19:9-
B. Law of the “near kinsman” – “goel” (Ruth 2:20, 3:9, 12, 4:7-
V. FEATURES OF THE BOOK
A. Historical account of some of the days of Moabite Ruth who is in the lineage of David’s genealogy and ultimately Jesus’ (Ruth 4:17-
B. How true friendship, godliness and kindness can thrive in the difficult and sometimes dark times of the Judges
1. Ruth with Naomi (Ruth 1:16)
2. Boaz with his reapers ( Ruth 2:4)
3. Boaz with Ruth (2:8-
C. Contrast of the two books in the Bible named after Women:
1. Esther: a woman (Jew) marries a man -
2. Ruth: a woman (Gentile) marries a man – prosperous land owner (Jew).
VI. OUTLINE OF THE BOOK:
A. Sojourn of Elimelech’s family in Moab (1:1-
B. Naomi’s return with Ruth to Bethlehem (1:6-
C. Ruth gleans in the field of Boaz (2:1-
D. Ruth appeals to Boaz to perform his part as the nearest kinsman (3:1-
E. The council at the gate of Bethlehem (4:1-
F. Marriage of Boaz and Ruth – Birth of Obed (4:13-
G. Genealogy of David (4:18-