The Book of Ruth

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by danielslivinskas
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The Book of Ruth

1300 BC


Ruth 3:1 “Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you?”This speaks to me because Naomi might have been bitter at the loss of her husband and sons but she still cared enough about Ruth to seek rest for her and find a home for her among the Israelites. Even though she had lost everything she still cared enough to help her out.

THEMEThe Book of Ruth's theme is Loyalty. In fact, the Hebrew word for this—chesed—appears multiple times throughout the story. This word is used elsewhere in the Bible to describe God's loyalty and faithfulness to Israel (source, p. 240). In Ruth, it's the characters who act with chesed towards each other. Ruth shows chesed when she refuses to leave Naomi. Boaz praises her for chesed in the fields. Later, Boaz says that Ruth coming to him on the threshing floor is an act of chesed. Praise the Lord and pass the chesed.

Chapter 1 Summary- In the Beginning…-The story begins around the time that all that good stuff in the Book of Judges is happening.-We meet a nice Jewish family who live in Bethlehem in Judah: a man named Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion.-But all is not good. A famine hits Bethlehem and the family is forced to get out of there.-They wander over to Moab where they get food, settle in, and get acquainted with the locals.- The two sons marry two nice Moabite girls, Orpah and Ruth. -Later, Elimelech dies and Naomi is left with only her two sons. -Then, after the family has been there about ten years in total, both Naomi's sons die, too.-neither Mahlon or Chilion had any kids with their wives, so Naomi can't even fill her days with the spoiling of grandkids. She's pretty misreble.

Stuck on Each Other-Since the famine in Bethlehem also happens to be over around this time, Naomi decides to make her way back to Judah. Her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, join her.-But, Naomi begs the women not to follow her. She can't provide for them (no men around means no way to earn money).-She tells them to head back to their mothers' houses. There they'll be able to find some nice husbands to support and look after them. -Naomi kisses the girls and wishes them well, but they refuse to turn back. They beg to go with her to Judah.-But Naomi won't give in even though it's clear she loves both women (she calls them her "daughters").-So Naomi lays it all on the line. There's no use in going with her. It's not like she can provide Orpah and Ruth with more husbands.-She's too old to get another husband and too old to have more sons. Even if she did, would they want to wait until those babies were old enough to marry? What will they have if they keep following her?

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCEIn the bible, Ruth migrates from Cannan to Bethleham because of a famine. My family also had to migrate from different places, but not because of a famine, because of a war. The rest of the book is Ruth and Boaz and them getting married and having a son. I have yet to go and marrry someone and have a child.

Ruth 1:17-18 “Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.”What a precious loyalty Ruth shows here to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi tried to dissuade her from going with her but Ruth was determined to go wherever Naomi went. This was somewhat surprising for a Moabite woman to leave her own people and go to a nation (Israel) that considered them a natural enemy

-Orpah is pretty sad, but she's finally convinced. She takes her mother-in-law's advice and turns back to mentally start making second wedding plans. -Ruth isn't giving up though.-She pledges to follow Naomi wherever she goes. In a lovely bit of poetry Ruth tells her "your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried."-Now that Ruth has agreed to throw off her religion and cultural identity and become a Jew living in Judah, Naomi lets her tag along.-Back in Judah, Naomi's arrival after ten years being gone is big news. The gossip mill starts churning instantly-But, Naomi warns them not to call her by that name anymore. She tells them to address her as Mara (which means "bitter")-The famine is clearly last decade's news, because the barley harvest is about to begin in Bethlehem.



VERSES THAT SPEAK TO MERuth 1:16 “Do not urge me to leave you or to return 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.”This verse really speaks to me because it shows a strong relationship or bond between saying that the other person is like a God to them and wherever they go, you will go. They will stay together.


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