Themes Summary The book of Ruth tells the story of three people:
The story of Ruth offers vital lessons to every generation and has enjoyed nearly universal acceptance by biblical scholars and critics throughout the centuries.
All seem to be captured by its timeless message of faith, personal sacrifice and the deeper issues of life and human fulfillment. What is it about this story that has inspired people throughout history?
Background of the book of Ruth Most conservative authorities accept Samuel as the probable author of Ruth. Events in this book occur during the time of the judges in Israel Ruth 1: It was a time of great instability and trouble in Israel, with everyone doing what was right in his own eyes Judges The setting of the book is the spring barley harvest, hence its long association with the festival of Pentecostwhich pictured this early harvest.
Although there was strife, evil and lawlessness generally throughout the time of the judges, the story of Ruth offers us an insight into how the blessings and guidance of God can be bestowed even in difficult times.
Ruth, as we shall see, committed her life to helping others; and as a result, she was blessed by God for her faithfulness.
Outline of the book of Ruth 1: Elimelech and his family go to Moab. Widowed Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth return to Bethlehem. Ruth appeals to Boaz to be the kinsman-redeemer. Boaz accepts and marries Ruth; they become the ancestors of David and Jesus Christ.
Quotes about Ruth Before we look at the story, consider a few comments about the impact this book has had through the years. Joshua, Judges, Ruth, p. A summary of the story of Ruth A man from Bethlehem named Elimelech was forced out of his home by famine and went to live in the land of Moab with his wife, Naomi, and two sons.
He died and subsequently his sons married women from Moab, Orpah and Ruth. After 10 years the two sons also died, leaving Naomi and her two daughters-in-law as widows. Naomi heard that the famine was over in Judea and decided to return to Bethlehem.
She urged her daughters-in-law to remain in Moab and find husbands from among their own people. Orpah finally decided to stay, but Ruth was determined to go with Naomi. Again, Naomi urged her to return to her people and her gods. But it seems Naomi had been faithful to God even while living among the pagan Moabites, and her example of faithfulness had a direct impact on Ruth.
Ruth chose to be kind and loyal to her mother-in-law and to commit to her God—the true God. So Ruth replied to Naomi with the most famous lines from the book: Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The two women arrived in Bethlehem just in time for the early spring harvest.
Ruth immediately went to work in the fields to support herself and her mother-in-law. Boaz was deeply impressed by this industrious and devoted young widow working in his fields and introduced himself.
The relationship developed further, and God used Boaz himself to fulfill this blessing as the redeemer which serves as a type of the work of the Messiah. After satisfying some of the technicalities of the ancient laws concerning widows and inheritance, Boaz and Ruth wed.
We may at times think that God is only watching the really important people of this world, but the story of Ruth tells us otherwise. God is not impressed with our wealth, fame or power.
He is most impressed with the quality of our character. This marriage was one of the most significant in Jewish history because the great-grandson of Boaz and Ruth was none other than the most famous and loved ruler of Israel, King David Ruth 4: Lessons from Ruth for all generations 1.
God notices people of good character. Did she really just happen by accident to go to work in his fields? Did the events leading to this marriage all just work out by chance? The unseen hand of God was at work to bring all these things to pass, especially when we consider that King David and Jesus Christ Himself descended from this special woman.
This story fully supports the biblical truth written by the prophet Isaiah that God looks to those people who are poor and of a contrite spirit and tremble at His words Isaiah In the midst of all that was happening in the world of the 12th century B.
All that is good and worthwhile will come to us if we are patient and commit ourselves to doing what is right in the eyes of God.Background of the book of Ruth Most conservative authorities accept Samuel as the probable author of Ruth.
Events in this book occur during the time of the judges in Israel (Ruth ), probably in the 12th century B.C., perhaps 50 to years before the birth of David. Yet, modern Christian translations of the Old Testament rely on the Masoretic Text, not the Septuagint.
Where is the problem?
Most of the quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament used the Septuagint as their primary source. Both Ruth and modern women are faced with a similar predicament: to resolve the conflict between passion and independence, and responsibility and loyalty as outlined by a Judeo-Christian society.
This conflict is resolved for both Ruth and the modern woman by the elimination of awareness of personal desire and the total assimilation into the culture.
"This fascinating story is one of the most dramatic in the Old Testament, reflecting as it does the passions, luxury, intrigue, and the political and social organization of the Persian regime," as, well I as "demonstrating something of the vitality that characterized the Jewish colonists of the Persian period ( B.C.)" (Harrison ).
Both Ruth and modern women are faced with a similar predicament: to resolve the conflict between passion and independence, and responsibility and loyalty as outlined by a Judeo-Christian society. This conflict is resolved for both Ruth and the modern woman by the elimination of awareness of personal desire and the total assimilation into the culture.
The timeline below shows where the character Ruth McBride-Jordan appears in The Color of Water. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.