During the time of the judges, an Israelite family from Bethlehem – Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their sons Mahlon and Chilion – emigrated to the nearby country of Moab. I loved studying Ruth so much. [6] She chose to glean, despite the danger she faced in the field (Ruth 2:15) and the lower social status of the job. Menachem Mendel of Kamenitz[13] wrote in 1839, "Also in the vineyard was a shelter with 2 graves: one of Jesse, father of David, and one of Ruth, the Moabite."[14]. We can learn many lessons from Ruth’s story, including these four that you can apply to your life. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. Ruth's age is not specifically given in the Christian Bible or the Jewish Tanakh, but generally she is assumed to have been about 40 years old at the... See full answer below. Ruth’s story in the Bible captivates and significantly challenges many. Ruth and Boaz became the parents of Obed, who became the father of Jesse, the father of David.[1]. The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically how old Ruth and Boaz were, but in Old Testament times, women married right around the time they became able to have children, so around 14. Ruth remained in submission at his feet until she returned to the city in the morning. The child was named Obed, whom the reader discovers is "the father of Jesse, the father of David" (Ruth 4:13–17), that is, the grandfather of King David. Both her husband and her father-in-law die, and she helps her mother-in-law, Naomi, find protection. Studying the women of the Bible, has been such an amazing journey for me. The Book of Ruth is one of the Historical Books of Hebrew Scripture, our Old Testament of the Bible. top Check the Teaching Ideas page on … ), Ruth – English translation [with Rashi commentary], Bible Study on Cross-Cultural Love – InterVarsity website, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Book_of_Ruth&oldid=996569754, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Scene 3: Arrival of Naomi and Ruth in Bethlehem (1:19–22), Scene 1: Ruth in the field of Boaz (2:1–17), Scene 2: Ruth at the threshing-floor of Boaz (3:6–15), Scene 1: Boaz with the men at the gate (4:1–12), This page was last edited on 27 December 2020, at 11:25. Boaz, being a close relative of Naomi's husband's family, was therefore obliged by the levirate law to marry Ruth (Mahlon's widow) to carry on his family's inheritance. [10] It receives numerous visitors every year, especially on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, when the Book of Ruth is read. ", According to the Ruth Rabbah, Ruth was Orpah's sister and the two were daughters of Eglon, the king of Moab; according to the same text, Eglon was the son of Balak. [12] Unlike the story of Ezra–Nehemiah, where marriages between Jewish men and non-Jewish women were broken up, Ruth teaches that foreigners who convert to Judaism can become good Jews, foreign wives can become exemplary followers of Jewish law, and there is no reason to exclude them or their offspring from the community. When Boaz returned home, he noticed Ruth and asked the man in charge Ruth in the Bible, is an incredible story of a woman’s courageous faith and our God’s incredible love and redemption. It’s a dark and troubled time for Naomi: a famine drives her and her family from their land in Israel, and her husband and sons die in a foreign country. "[2], The book is held in esteem by Jews who fall under the category of Jews-by-choice, as is evidenced by the considerable presence of Boaz in rabbinic literature. [3], Josephus viewed the Book of Ruth as historical and referenced it in his Antiquities of the Jews. . • 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. Boaz was attracted to her, but informed her that there was a kinsman nearer than he who had the first right to redeem the estate of Elimelech and that it would be necessary for this kinsman to renounce his right before Boaz could proceed in the matter. . Commentary of Rashi (c. 1040-1105 CE) regarding the first act of kindness: "that you did with your mother-in-law". After about ten years, the two sons of Naomi also died in Moab (1:4). It explains like no other book in the Bible, the role and mission of the Kinsman Redeemer. Even though Ruth is a foreigner in the land of Israel, a wealthy farmer named Boaz takes interest in her. [3], The book is structured in four chapters:[4], Act 1: Prologue and Problem: Death and Emptiness (1:1–22), Act 2: Ruth Meets Boaz, Naomi's Relative, on the Harvest Field (2:1–23), Act 3: Naomi Sends Ruth to Boaz on the Threshing Floor (3:1–18), Act 4: Resolution and Epilogue: Life and Fullness (4:1–22). When Boaz woke up, surprised to see a woman at his feet, Ruth explained that she wanted him to redeem (marry) her. The Book of Ruth also functions liturgically, as it is read during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot ("Weeks"). She told her daughters-in-law to return to their own mothers and remarry. [8][9] According to Moshe Sharon, the association of the site with Ruth is very late, starting in the 19th century. [4] The reference to Moab raises questions, since in the rest of the biblical literature it is associated with hostility to Israel, sexual perversity, and idolatry, and Deuteronomy 23:3–6 excluded an Ammonite or a Moabite from "the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation". [16], In English literature, John Keats in "Ode to a Nightingale" references Ruth as isolated and grief-stricken when laboring in exile: "Perhaps the self-same song that found a path/Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,/She stood in tears amid the alien corn;"[17], Protagonist of the Book of Ruth in the Hebrew Bible, Genealogy: the descent of David from Ruth, Tombs and graves of saintly people in Judaism, List of artifacts significant to the Bible, Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund, "Converts pay homage to Ruth at her Hebron tomb", "HebrewBooks.org Sefer Detail: חבת ירושלים – הורביץ, חיים בן דבריש", "Screen: 'Story of Ruth':Biblical Tale Opens at Two Theatres", "The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith (2009)", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ruth_(biblical_figure)&oldid=993668771, Christian female saints from the Old Testament, People celebrated in the Lutheran liturgical calendar, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from March 2019, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 11 December 2020, at 21:07. Feminists, for example, have recast the story as one of the dignity of labour and female self-sufficiency, and as a model for lesbian relations, while others have seen in it a celebration of the relationship between strong and resourceful women. In the narrative, she is not an Israelite but rather is from Moab; she marries an Israelite. [6], Barry Webb argues that in the book, Ruth plays a key role in Naomi's rehabilitation.[7]. Designed for 30-minute lunch breaks, the study contains Scripture references, thought [11], Scholars have increasingly explored Ruth in ways which allow it to address contemporary issues. Ruth is one of the Five Heroines of the Order of the Eastern Star. The story is told in the Book of Ruth, part of the biblical canon called Ketuvim, or Writings. It appears to be in the Bible primarily because Ruth, a . Matthew 1:5–6 says, “Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.” The story of . This conflict was resolved through the custom that required land to stay in the family: a family could mortgage land to ward off poverty, but the law required a kinsman to purchase it back into the family (Leviticus 25:25ff). Boaz thus became Ruth and Naomi's "kinsman-redeemer. Acknowledging he was a close relative, Boaz blessed her and agreed to do all that was required. [8], The Book of Ruth illustrates the difficulty of trying to use laws given in books such as Deuteronomy as evidence of actual practice. The kinsman declared that he did not desire to do so and drew off his shoe in token that he had renounced his rights in favor of Boaz. Spread your robe over your handmaid, for you are a redeeming kinsman" (3:9 NJPS). (3:4). One daughter-in-law leaves Naomi to find a new husband; the other swears an oath of loyalty to Naomi: This woman’s name is Ruth. Elimelech had an inheritance of land among his brethren, but Naomi will be compelled to sell it unless she can find a Goel, that is, a kinsman of Elimelech who could assert Elimelech's inheritance rights. At the crucial moment, however, "Ruth abandons the attempt at seduction and instead requests a permanent, legal union with Boaz. Naomi heard that the famine in Judah had passed, and determined to return home. "[5], Ruth is one of five women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus found in the Gospel of Matthew, alongside Tamar, Rahab, the "wife of Uriah" (Bathsheba), and Mary. The women of the city celebrated Naomi's joy, for Naomi had found a redeemer for her family name. She is a Moabite woman that marries one of Naomi's sons. Ruth 2:3 says that ‘as it happened’ Ruth went to the field of Naomi’s rich relative, Boaz. Ruth, biblical character, a woman who after being widowed remains with her husband’s mother. Ruth and Boaz Bible Story While in Judah, God orchestrated a wondrous plan for a man named Boaz to take Ruth as his wife, give her a child, and provide for her and Naomi. 23:5: "Because they [the peoples of Amon and Moab] did not greet you with bread and water on the way when you left Egypt, and because he [the people of Moab] hired Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor in Aram Naharaim against you, to curse you." After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband. Ruth is commemorated as a matriarch in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod on 16 July. Boaz addresses him as ploni almoni literally "so and so".) For "feet" as a euphemism for genitals see, for example, Amy-Jill Levine, "Ruth," in Newsom and Ringe (eds. However, Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you, to turn back and not follow you. Ruth was not an Israelite but a Moabite, and she married Naomi's son, Mahon. Its main character is a Moabite woman named Ruth, the daughter-in-law of a Jewish widow named Naomi., the daughter-in-law of a Jewish widow named Naomi. Others again have seen it as a book that champions outcast and oppressed peoples. The unnamed relative, unwilling to jeopardize the inheritance of his own estate by marrying Ruth, relinquishes his right of redemption, thus allowing Boaz to marry Ruth. Ruth 2:1 Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. Curiously, God is hardly mentioned in the book of Ruth. The inner chapters show how Namoi and Ruth make a plan, followed by an encounter between Ruth and Boaz, followed by Namoi and Ruth rejoicing. 3 Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. [10] A complication arises in the story: another man was a closer relative to Elimelech than Boaz and had first claim on Ruth. Ruth is one of four women specifically named in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus. At a time when we look for God to be active through a judge or king, God instead works out his will through the everyday faithfulness of his people. Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that are adaptable to any lesson. Step into the Story The book of Ruth is a beautiful story about Ruth and Naomi and Ruth and Boaz. Although the Moabites were enemies of the Israelites, she was married to a Jewish man named Mahlon who had moved to Moab from Bethlehem with his family during a famine. Naomi and her husband were considerably older than Ruth so we could draw a conclusion that Boaz was closer to the age of Naomi than Ruth, however, this does not conclude a specific age difference. Elimelech died, and the sons married two Moabite women: Mahlon married Ruth and Chilion married Orpah. Boaz met the near kinsman at the city gate (the place where contracts were settled); the kinsman first said he would purchase Elimelech's (now Naomi's) land, but, upon hearing he must also take Ruth as his wife, withdrew his offer. [4] The realistic nature of the story is established from the start through the names of the participants: the husband and father was Elimelech, meaning "My God is King", and his wife was Naomi, "Pleasing", but after the deaths of her sons Mahlon, "Sickness", and Chilion, "Wasting", she asked to be called Mara, "Bitter". [1], Elimelech had a prosperous relative in Bethlehem whose name was Boaz, and who, like others, was engaged in the harvest. Ruth Bible Study This study of Ruth helps readers explore how God is at work in and through our lives, even when can't see it in the moment. [2], Elimelech, a man of Bethlehem-Judah, with his wife, Naomi, and his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, went in time of famine and sojourned in the land of Moab. What’s remarkable about this plan was that Boaz was suited as a “kinsman-redeemer” to take her as his wife. I've recently written about Rahab , Deborah, and Esther, but today, I'm excited to explore Ruth with you. [11] Concerning this, the Mishnah says that only male Moabites are banned from the congregation. Accordingly he called this kinsman to the gate of the city before the elders and told him of Ruth's situation and his right to redeem the estate and to marry Ruth. Ruth did so. The two of them travel to Bethlehem together, where Ruth wins the love of Boaz through her kindness. Boaz bought the estate from Naomi and married Ruth. Naomi was old, grief-stricken, poor and far from home, but she held on to her courage. Ruth follows Naomi's advice and when Boaz discovers her at his feet in the middle of the night he asks who she is. For the 20th-century English language novel, see, Genealogy: the descent of David from Ruth. Both her husband and her father-in-law die, and she helps her mother-in-law, Naomi, find protection. The Book of Ruth only has only four chapters and a total of 85 verses. 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. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Deut. [7] The genealogy that concludes the book is believed to be a post-exilic Priestly addition, as it adds nothing to the plot; nevertheless, it is carefully crafted and integrates the book into the history of Israel running from Genesis to Kings. [3] For Balak, it is his reward for building altars and for Eglon, it is his reward for "arising upon hearing the name of God from Ehud son of Gera". Boaz died after he married Ruth, and had a child as well but when he died the bible does not say. Ruth was a Moabite woman who lived during the era of Israel's judges. It is well known to those who give the Book of Ruth even a cursory reading that Boaz is older than Ruth and, in fact, is closer to Naomi in age. Rashi notes regarding Israel's travels on the way: "when you were in [a state of] extreme exhaustion. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. Naomi sent Ruth to the threshing floor at night where Boaz slept, telling Ruth to "uncover his feet and lie down. She instructed Ruth to uncover Boaz's feet after he had gone to sleep and to lie down. Naomi took the child and placed it on her bosom. There Elimelech died, and the two sons married, Mahlon taking Ruth as his wife, and Chilion taking Orpah—both women of Moab, where both sons likewise died. [6] A substantial number of scholars therefore date it to the Persian period (6th–4th centuries BC). Curiously, God is hardly mentioned in the book of Ruth. Boaz is also related to Naomi, makin… [9][Note 1], Since there was no heir to inherit Elimelech's land, custom required a close relative (usually the dead man's brother) to marry the widow of the deceased in order to continue his family line (Deuteronomy 25:5–10). Ruth was young when she married and Naomi was old when Obed was born: Ruth 4:13-15: "So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. Early that day, Boaz went to the city gate to meet with the other male relative before the town elders. Ruth’s story is celebrated during the Jewish festival of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, 50 days after Passover. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group. In a previous Ruth replies: "I am your servant Ruth. The Book of Ruth (abbreviated Rth) (Hebrew: מגילת רות‎, Megilath Ruth, "the Scroll of Ruth", one of the Five Megillot) is included in the third division, or the Writings (Ketuvim), of the Hebrew Bible; in most Christian canons it is treated as a history book and placed between Judges and 1 Samuel. Who was Ruth in the Bible? [2] Katharine Doob Sakenfeld argues that Ruth is a model of loving-kindness (hesed): she acts in ways that promote the well-being of others. In most Christian canons it is treated as a history book and placed between Judges and 1 Samuel. Ruth, in spite of the dissuasion of Naomi, accompanied her mother-in-law to Bethlehem. Home » Resources » Bible » Introduction to the Old Testament Ruth Ruth is a family story. Many readers may have heard of Naomi when they heard a sermon on a person named Ruth in the Bible. Home >> Bible Studies >> Ruth >> Ruth 1 These small group studies of Ruth contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, teaching points, and applications. Ruth Box- (covering all stories about Ruth) Grain, travel items (bible map of area), wedding items, baby doll . [1], She is one of five women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus found in the Gospel of Matthew, alongside Tamar, Rahab, the "wife of Uriah" (Bathsheba), and Mary. Others have criticized it for its underlying, and potentially exploitative, acceptance of a system of patriarchy in which a woman's worth can only be measured through marriage and child-bearing. [1], The book, written in Hebrew in the 6th–4th centuries BC, tells of the Moabite woman Ruth, who accepts Yahweh, the God of the Israelites, as her God and accepts the Israelite people as her own. [11] Haim Horwitz in his 1835 book on Israeli holy sites Love of Jerusalem[12] discusses the oral tradition that the tomb houses the grave of Ruth as well as that of Jesse, who is mentioned in earlier writings. For wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. Ruth 4:7 notes for later generations that: Boaz and Ruth were then married and had a son. The traditional burial place of Ruth is a building located in Hebron. The Book of Ruth (abbreviated Rth) (Hebrew: מגילת רות‎, Megilath Ruth, "the Scroll of Ruth", one of the Five Megillot) is included in the third division, or the Writings (Ketuvim), of the Hebrew Bible. Naomi sent Ruth to glean in his fields, and, after he had spoken kindly to her and shown her some favors, she, still acting upon the advice of her mother-in-law, approached Boaz at night and put herself in his power. (The relative is not named. Ruth: Ruth was a figure in the Old Testament book of Ruth in the Christian Bible. Ruth's kindness as noted in the Book of Ruth by Boaz is seen in the Jewish Tradition as in rare contradistinction to the peoples of Moab (where Ruth comes from) and Amon in general, who were noted by the Torah for their distinct lack of kindness. [3] Tamar Meir of the Jewish Women's Archive writes that Ruth and David being descended from these two men is seen as a "reward" for them. At a time when we look for God to be active through a judge or king, God instead works out his will through the everyday faithfulness of his people. They transfer the property and thus redeem it, and they ratify the redemption by the nearer kinsman taking off his shoe and handing it over to Boaz. Thus and more may the Lord do to me if anything but death parts me from you." As Boaz was not Elimelech's brother, nor was Ruth his widow, scholars refer to the arrangement here as "Levirate-like". 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