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Rise & Fall of Israel’s Kingdom

(Category 7 of 16)

Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Ruth, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Ruth, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how it works within the Bible’s overall framework.

In Ruth, an Israelite family faces tragic loss, and God uses the faithfulness of a non-Israelite woman to bring restoration into the family of David.

Explore Ruth

Ruth (RS)


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The Book of


RUTH is a cameo story of love, devotion, and redemption set in the black context
of the days of the judges. It is the story of a Moabite woman who forsakes
her pagan heritage in order to cling to the people of Israel and to the God of Israel.
Because of the faithfulness in a time of national faithlessness, God rewards her by
giving her a new husband (Boaz), a son (Obed), and a privileged position in the
lineage of David and Christ (she is the great-grandmother of David).
Ruth is the Hebrew title of this book. This name may be a Moabite modification
of the Hebrew word reuit, meaning “friendship” or “association.” The Septuagint
entitles the book Routh, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name. The Latin title
of Ruth, a transliteration of Routh.

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Elimelech’s Family Goes to Moab


1 NOW it came to pass, in the days when athe judges 1ruled, that there was ba famine in the land. And a certain man of cBethlehem, Judah, went to 2dwell in the country of dMoab, he and his wife and his two sons.
2 The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion— aEphrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went bto the country of Moab and remained there.
3 Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons.
4 Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they 1dwelt there about ten years.
5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.

Naomi Returns with Ruth

6 Then she arose with her daughters- in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the LORD had avisited1 His people by bgiving them bread.
7 Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
8 And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, a“Go, return each to her mother’s house. bThe LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt cwith the dead and with me.
9 “The LORD grant that you may find arest, each in the house of her husband.” So she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.
10 And they said to her, “Surely we will return with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, athat they may be your husbands?
12 “Turn back, my daughters, go— for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons,
13 “would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that athe hand of the LORD has gone out against me!”
14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth aclung to her.
15 And she said, “Look, your sisterin- law has gone back to aher people

CHAPTER 1 References

1 aJudg.
2:16–18 bGen.
12:10; 26:1;
2 Kin. 8:1
cJudg. 17:8;
Mic. 5:2 dGen.
19:37 1Lit.
judged 2As a
resident alien
2 aGen. 35:19;
1 Sam. 1:1;
1 Kin. 11:26
bJudg. 3:30
4 1lived
6 aEx. 3:16;
4:31; Jer.
29:10; Zeph.
2:7; Luke 1:68
bPs. 132:15;
Matt. 6:11
1attended to
8 aJosh. 24:15
b2 Tim.
1:16–18 cRuth
9 aRuth 3:1
11 aGen. 38:11;
Deut. 25:5
13 aJudg. 2:15;
Job 19:21; Ps.
32:4; 38:2
14 a[Prov.
17:17] 15 aJudg. 11:24
bJosh. 1:15
16 a2 Kin. 2:2,
4, 6 bRuth
2:11, 12 1Urge
me not
17 a1 Sam.
3:17; 2 Sam.
19:13; 2 Kin.
18 aActs 21:14
1Lit. made
herself strong
to go
19 aMatt. 21:10
bIs. 23:7; Lam.
20 1Lit. Pleasant
2Lit. Bitter
21 aJob 1:21
1Heb. Shaddai
22 aRuth 2:23;
2 Sam. 21:9

CHAPTER 2 References

1 aRuth 3:2, 12
bRuth 1:2
cRuth 4:21
2 aLev. 19:9,
10; 23:22;
Deut. 24:19
4 aRuth 1:1
bPs. 129:7, 8;
Luke 1:28;
2 Thess. 3:16
6 aRuth 1:22

RUTH 2:6

and to her gods; breturn after your sister-in-law.”
16 But Ruth said:

aEntreat1 me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; bYour people shall be my people, And your God, my God.
17 Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. aThe LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”

18 aWhen she saw that she 1was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.
19 Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem. And it happened, when they had come to Bethlehem, that aall the city was excited because of them; and the women said, b“Is this Naomi?”
20 But she said to them, “Do not call me 1Naomi; call me 2Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
21 “I went out full, aand the LORD has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has testified against me, and 1the Almighty has afflicted me?”
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. Now they came to Bethlehem aat the beginning of barley harvest.

Ruth Meets Boaz


1 There was a arelative of Naomi’s husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of bElimelech. His name was cBoaz.
2 So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the afield, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.”
3 Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.
4 Now behold, Boaz came from aBethlehem, and said to the reapers, b“The LORD be with you!” And they answered him, “The LORD bless you!”
5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?”
6 So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, “It is the young Moabite woman awho came back with Naomi from the country of Moab.

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RUTH 2:7

7 “And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house.”
8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women.
9 “Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.”
10 So she afell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found bfavor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”
11 And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, aall that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.
12 a“The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, bunder whose wings you have come for refuge.”
13 Then she said, a“Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken 1kindly to your maidservant, bthough I am not like one of your maidservants.”
14 Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and awas satisfied, and kept some back.
15 And when she rose up to 1glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not 2reproach her.
16 “Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.”
17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of abarley.
18 Then she took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. So she brought out and gave to her awhat she had kept back after she had been satisfied.
19 And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where have you gleaned today? And where did you work? Blessed be the one who atook notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-

10 a1 Sam.
25:23 b1 Sam.
11 aRuth
12 a1 Sam.
24:19; Ps.
58:11 bRuth
1:16; Ps. 17:8;
36:7; 57:1;
61:4; 63:7;
13 aGen. 33:15;
1 Sam. 1:18
b1 Sam. 25:41
1Lit. to the
heart of
14 aRuth 2:18
15 1Gather
after the
17 aRuth 1:22
18 aRuth 2:14
19 aRuth 2:10;
[Ps. 41:1] 20 aRuth 3:10;
2 Sam. 2:5
bProv. 17:17
cRuth 3:9; 4:4,
6 1our
Heb. goalenu
22 1encounter

CHAPTER 3 References

1 a1 Cor. 7:36;
1 Tim. 5:8
bRuth 1:9 1Lit.
2 aRuth 2:3, 8
3 a2 Sam. 14:2
7 aJudg. 19:6,
9, 22; 2 Sam.
13:28; Esth.
9 aEzek. 16:8
bRuth 2:20;
3:12 1Or
Spread the
corner of your
garment over
your maidservant
Heb. goel
10 aRuth 2:20
bRuth 1:8

law with whom she had worked, and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.”
20 Then Naomi said to her daughter- in-law, a“Blessed be he of the LORD, who bhas not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!” And Naomi said to her, “This man is a relation of ours, cone of 1our close relatives.”
21 Ruth the Moabitess said, “He also said to me, ‘You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’ ”
22 And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not 1meet you in any other field.”
23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.

Ruth’s Redemption Assured


1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, ashall I not seek bsecurity1 for you, that it may be well with you?
2 “Now Boaz, awhose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor.
3 “Therefore wash yourself and aanoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.
4 “Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.”
5 And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.”
6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her.
7 And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and ahis heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down.
8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet.
9 And he said, “Who are you?” So she answered, “I am Ruth, your maidservant. aTake1 your maidservant under your wing, for you are ba 2close relative.”
10 Then he said, a“Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than bat the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich.
11 “And now, my daughter, do not

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fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are aa virtuous woman.
12 “Now it is true that I am a aclose relative; however, bthere is a relative closer than I.
13 “Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will aperform the duty of a close relative for you—good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, bas the LORD lives! Lie down until morning.”
14 So she lay at his feet until morning, and she arose before one could recognize another. Then he said, a“Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.”
15 Also he said, “Bring the 1shawl that is on you and hold it.” And when she held it, he measured six ephahs of barley, and laid it on her. Then 2she went into the city.
16 When she came to her motherin- law, she said, 1“Is that you, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her.
17 And she said, “These six ephahs of barley he gave me; for he said to me, ‘Do not go empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’ ”
18 Then she said, a“Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.”

Boaz Redeems Ruth


1 Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, athe close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, “Come aside, 1friend, sit down here.” So he came aside and sat down.
2 And he took ten men of athe elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down.
3 Then he said to the close relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land awhich belonged to our brother Elimelech.
4 “And I thought to 1inform you, saying, a‘Buy it back bin the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if 2you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; cfor there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.’ ” And he said, “I will redeem it.”
5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, ato 1perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance.”
6 aAnd the close relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You re-

11 aProv. 12:4;
12 aRuth 3:9
bRuth 4:1
13 aDeut.
25:5–10 bJer.
4:2; 12:16
14 a[1 Cor.
10:32] 15 1cloak
2Many Heb.
mss., Syr.,Vg.
she; MT, LXX,
Tg. he
16 1Or How
are you,
18 a[Ps. 37:3, 5]

CHAPTER 4 References

1 aRuth 3:12
1Lit. so and
so, Heb.
peloni almoni
2 a1 Kin. 21:8
3 aLev. 25:25
4 aJer. 32:7, 8
bGen. 23:18
cLev. 25:25
1Lit. uncover
your ear 2So
with many
Heb. mss.,
LXX, Syr.,
Tg.,Vg.; MT
5 aMatt. 22:24
1Lit. raise up
6 aRuth 3:12,
7 aDeut.
10 aDeut. 25:6
1Probably his
civic office
11 aPs. 127:3;
128:3 bGen.
dMic. 5:2
12 aMatt. 1:3
bGen. 38:6–29
c1 Sam. 2:20
13 aRuth 3:11
bGen. 29:31;
14 aLuke 1:58
Heb. goel
15 a1 Sam. 1:8
17 aLuke 1:58
18 a1 Chr. 2:4,
5 bNum.
26:20, 21
20 aNum. 1:7
bMatt. 1:4
1Heb. Salmah
22 aMatt. 1:6

RUTH 4:22

deem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”
7 aNow this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a confirmation in Israel.
8 Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” So he took off his sandal.
9 And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi.
10 “Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, athat the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from 1his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.”
11 And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. aThe LORD make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who bbuilt the house of Israel; and may you prosper in cEphrathah and be famous in dBethlehem.
12 “May your house be like the house of aPerez, bwhom Tamar bore to Judah, because of cthe offspring which the LORD will give you from this young woman.”

Descendants of Boaz and Ruth

13 So Boaz atook Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, bthe LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.
14 Then athe women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a 1close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel!
15 “And may he be to you a restorer of life and a 1nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is abetter to you than seven sons, has borne him.”
16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him.
17 aAlso the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
18 aNow this is the genealogy of Perez: bPerez begot Hezron;
19 Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab;
20 Amminadab begot aNahshon, and Nahshon begot bSalmon;1
21 Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed;
22 Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot aDavid.

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The Consoling Memory of God’s Redemptive Works

To the Chief Musician. aTo Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.

1 I CRIED out to God with my voice— To God with my voice; And He gave ear to me.
2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah

4 You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I have considered the days of old, The years of ancient times.
6 I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, And my spirit 1makes diligent search.

7 Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more?
8 Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His apromise failed 1forevermore?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah

PSALM 77 References

title aPs. 39:
6 1ponders
8 a[2 Pet. 2:8,
9] 1Lit. unto
and generation
10 1Lit. infirmity
13 aPs. 73:17
1Or holiness
16 aEx. 14:21;
Hab. 3:8, 10

10 And I said, “This is my 1anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is in 1the asanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God?
14 You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
15 You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

16 The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were aafraid; The depths also trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water; The skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about.
18 The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known.
20 You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.




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