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Bible Highlights from the Book of Ruth
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Introduction: The purpose of Bible Highlights: the Bible tends to be repetitious and not always chronological. Therefore, Bible Highlights can help you get a sense of the Big Picture by scanning for key sections that are needed at a particular point in your Bible study and teaching. However, the complete Bible should always be used in conjunction with Bible Highlights, and always takes priority over anything you may read in Bible Highlights.
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Scriptures used are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 1987 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. All scripture verses should be read within the context of the whole passage: who said it, to whom was it said, why was it said, what happened before and after. Therefore, verses should be studied within their context.
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Table of Contents for Bible Highlights from the Book of Ruth
of completed books of the Bible:
Ruth [under construction]
Highlights from the Book of Ruth
RU 1:1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2 The man's name was Elimelech, his wife's name Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.
RU 1:3 Now Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. 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.
RU 1:6 When she heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.
RU 1:8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the LORD show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me. 9 May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband." Then she kissed them and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, "We will go back with you to your people."
RU 1:11 But Naomi said, "Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me--even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons-- 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD's hand has gone out against me!"
RU 1:14 At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.
RU 1:15 "Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."
RU 1:16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
The book of Ruth follows the book of Judges in the Bible. The book of Ruth is relatively short, only four chapters. However, it includes very important information regarding Jesus Christ, the coming redeemer.
When Ruth fell in love with Boaz and married him, they had a son who was named Obed. When Obed fell in love and got married, he had a son and named him Jesse. And when Jesse fell in love and got married, he had several sons and one of them was David, who would grow up to become the King of Israel.
Elimelech and Naomi were residents of Bethlehem, in Judah. They had two boys, Chilion and Mahlon. There was a famine in Judah, so they moved to the land of Moab.
Earlier Israel and his 12 sons moved from Canaan, their promised land, to Egypt because of a famine in the land. The same thing happened to Elimelech and his family. They moved to Moab, from a land of godliness to a land of idolatry.
The history of the land of Moab is very strange. When God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, he ordered everyone in Abram's family to run for their lives and to not look back. Lot lived in Sodom and was Abram's nephew. When he and his wife ran for their lives, Lot's wife disobeyed and looked back. For that, she was turned into a pillar of salt. [Gen. 19:25.]
After the smoke had cleared, Lot's two daughters feared their family line would die out because of the recent destruction. So, they conspired together to get their father, Lot, drunk and then would have sex with him while he slept. Both daughters got pregnant and when the older daughter had a son, she named him Moab and from him came the Moabite nation. [Gen. 19:37]
Now back to our story. While living in Moab both of the sons fell in love with local girls, named Ruth and Orpah. [This may be where the mother of Opra Winfrey got the name Opra, a misspelling of Orpah.]
Then Elimelech and both his sons died and Naomi decided to go back home to Bethlehem. She told her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab. Oprah agreed but Ruth declared she would go to Bethlehem with Naomi. She made the famous speech that became a love song that was sung at our wedding in 1956: Whither Thou Goest [From the King James] . RU 1:16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.
Gleaning in the barley field
RU 1:22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
RU 2:1 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband's side, from the clan of Elimelech, a man of standing, whose name was Boaz.
RU 2:2 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor." Naomi said to her, "Go ahead, my daughter." 3 So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech.
RU 2:4 Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, "The LORD be with you!" "The LORD bless you!" they called back.
RU 2:5 Boaz asked the foreman of his harvesters, "Whose young woman is that?"
RU 2:6 The foreman replied, "She is the Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi. 7 She said, `Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.' She went into the field and has worked steadily from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter."
When Elimilech and his family left Judah, there was famine in the land. So they went over the boundary into the land of Moab, looking for food.
But after the death of Elimelech and his two sons, Naomi and her daughter-in-law, Ruth, decided to return to Judah. When they arrived, the barley harvest was in full swing.
Gleaning was stoop labor of the worst kind and involved picking up the barley seeds that fell to the ground. The product of barley was the kernels of grain that grew at the top of the stalk. When the "professional" harvester went through a field, it was customary to not harvest the corners of the fields nor would they pick up any grain that fell to the ground. According to the laws of Moses, this practice of "sloppy" harvesting would be the welfare program for the poor and the families of widows.
LEV 19:9 " `When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.
When Ruth set out to glean that first day, I am sure she was fully aware that there was a blood relationship between her former father-in-law and the prosperous farmer, Boaz. If she nor Naomi did not know about this relationship, the Holy Spirit surely did. So Ruth began gleaning behind the barley harvesters in one of Boaz'a fields.
That day, when Boaz rode his horse out from Bethlehem to check on how the barley harvesting was coming alone. he apparently had an eye for a pretty girl because he asked the forman about Ruth.
The foreman gave Ruth a good report and said she was a steady worker.
Ruth meets Boaz
RU 2:8 So Boaz said to Ruth, "My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls. 9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled."
RU 2:10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me--a foreigner?"
RU 2:11 Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband--how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."
RU 2:13 "May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord," she said. "You have given me comfort and have spoken kindly to your servant--though I do not have the standing of one of your servant girls."
RU 2:14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, "Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar." When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, "Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don't embarrass her. 16 Rather, pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her."
Much of the Old Testament is written in an agrarian setting, including Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
When Ruth and Naomi were back in Judah and it was barley harvest, the natural thing would be to go out in the barley fields and glean after the professional harvesters.
Of course, there were several steps between the field and the dinner table. First, the fresh grain must be separated from the husks by winnowing. Second, the winnowed grain must be ground into a powder or flour. Third, the flour must be blended with yeast [leven], water, and salt to make dough. Fourth, the dough must be baked in an oven to make bread.
In V 2, Boaz offers his fields for gleaning and tells Ruth to look no further.
In V, 11, Boaz tells Ruth he has heard the good report of the way she has treated Naomi.
Later, he tells his harvesters to deliverately drop some barley on the ground so Ruth will have plenty of barley to glean.
Boaz the Kindsman-Redeemer
RU 2:23 So Ruth stayed close to the servant girls of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
RU 3:1 One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for? 2 Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don't let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do."
RU 3:5 "I will do whatever you say," Ruth answered. 6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.
RU 3:7 When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 In the middle of the night something startled the man, and he turned and discovered a woman lying at his feet.
RU 3:9 "Who are you?" he asked. "I am your servant Ruth," she said. "Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer."
RU 3:10 "The LORD bless you, my daughter," he replied. "This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 And now, my daughter, don't be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character. 12 Although it is true that I am near of kin, there is a kinsman-redeemer nearer than I. 13 Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to redeem, good; let him redeem. But if he is not willing, as surely as the LORD lives I will do it. Lie here until morning."
RU 3:14 So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, "Don't let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor."
RU 3:15 He also said, "Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out." When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and put it on her. Then he went back to town.
RU 3:16 When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, "How did it go, my daughter?" Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her 17 and added, "He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, `Don't go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.' "
Ruth's mother-in-law, Naomi, along with the Holy Spirit, works somewhat in the role of matchmaker as she prompts Ruth to take the necessary steps of drawing Boaz's attention to her in a legal, modest way.
The kinsman-redeemer in the story of Ruth and Boaz begins when Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, return to Bethlehem from Moab where they had been living. Naomi’s husband and both sons, one the husband of Ruth, had died, leaving the women penniless and without a male protector. Upon arriving in Bethlehem, Naomi sends Ruth to glean in the fields of Boaz, a wealthy relative of Naomi to whom they, through a series of divinely-appointed circumstances, appeal as their go el. Boaz acquiesces, willingly takes Ruth as his wife, and together they bear a son named Obed who became the grandfather of David, the forefather of Jesus.
Boaz is impressed with Ruth and promises to serve as her kinsman-redeemer, but there is one man in town who is a closer relative to Naomi than he is, so he tells Ruth that he has first dibs if the other relative opts out.
Then he sends Ruth home with 6 measures of barley, poured onto her spread shawl.
The meeting at the gate
RU 3:18 Then Naomi said, "Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today."
RU 4:1 Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat there. When the kinsman-redeemer he had mentioned came along, Boaz said, "Come over here, my friend, and sit down." So he went over and sat down.
RU 4:2 Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, "Sit here," and they did so. 3 Then he said to the kinsman-redeemer, "Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4 I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line." "I will redeem it," he said.
RU 4:5 Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the land from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabitess, you acquire the dead man's widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property."
RU 4:6 At this, the kinsman-redeemer said, "Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it."
RU 4:7 (Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)
RU 4:8 So the kinsman-redeemer said to Boaz, "Buy it yourself." And he removed his sandal.
RU 4:9 Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, "Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon's widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today you are witnesses!"
RU 4:11 Then the elders and all those at the gate said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 Through the offspring the LORD gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah."
Boaz went and sat down at the town gate, knowing that sooner or later, the man who was a closer relative to Naomi would be next in line to buy the property and marry Ruth.
When that man came along, Boaz told him the deal with Naomi, as the kinsman redeemer. At first he said he would buy the land in question but when he heard that marrying Ruth was involved, opted out. Perhaps he already had a wife and didn't want another one.
Boaz and the other man exchanged sandals as a way of signing the contract.
All those gathered at the gate served as witnesses and wished Boaz and Ruth many children. They used as an example Rachel and Leah [who with their maids Bilhah and Zilpah] were the mothers of Israel's 12 sons and one daughter, as shown in this chart.
Leah, First Wife Rachel, Favored Wife Zilpah, Servant Bilhah, Servant Reuben
Boaz and Ruth get married and have a son, Obed
RU 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth."
RU 4:16 Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, "Naomi has a son." And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
RU 4:18 This, then, is the family line of Perez: Perez was the father of Hezron,
RU 4:19 Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab,
RU 4:20 Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, RU 4:21 Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed,
RU 4:22 Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.
Boaz and Ruth got married and lived happily ever after! The grandmother was happy too, and happily cared for little Obed.
So Ruth, a Gentile, chose Judah instead of Moab and said your God will be my God. Little did any of the principals in this story know that they were in the direct lineage of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings.
The New Testament opens this way at Matthew 1:1.
Note that Rahab was the mother of Boaz. Rahab was the Gentile prostitute who helped Joshua win the battle of Jericho. Joshua 2:1. So Obed's mother and grandmother were both Gentiles, showing that when Christ comes as the Lamb of God, salvation will be for whoever believes.
MT 1:1 A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
MT 1:2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
MT 1:3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,
MT 1:4 Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,
MT 1:5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,
MT 1:6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife,
MT 1:7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,
MT 1:8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
MT 1:9 Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
MT 1:10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah,
MT 1:11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
MT 1:12 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
MT 1:13 Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor,
MT 1:14 Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud,
MT 1:15 Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,
MT 1:16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
MT 1:17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.
The author of the Bible Highlights is G. Edwin Lint
He has a broad knowledge base and extensive training, and experience. His formal education includes Bachelor of Science in Bible and Bachelor of Theology degrees from the Allentown, Pennsylvania campus of Houghton College; Master of Arts in educational supervision and administration from Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey.
He has 36 years of professional education experience with state certification as: Elementary teacher Elementary supervisor Supervisor of curriculum and instruction Elementary principal Special education teacher Supervisor of special education. His professional experience includes 2 years as elementary teacher at Cedarville, NJ, 8 years as teacher, supervisor of special education, and director of education at the Vineland [NJ] State School, 10 years as Assistant superintendent for Rehabilitation Services, and unit manager at the Laurelton [PA] State School, and 15 years as Special Education Adviser for the Pennsylvania Department of Education in Harrisburg.
Throughout his secular career, he has remained active in Christian service in a variety of capacities: Sunday school teacher Sunday school superintendent Teacher trainer Director of Christian education Choir member, choir director Orchestra member (playing trumpet and tuba) Member and manager of a regional Gospel singing group Owner of a Gospel music store Representative for the Pennsylvania Council on Alcohol Problems Interim and supply pastor.
For over 37 years he has worked as a part -time Gospel DJ. In 1971, he earned an FCC Third Class License with Broadcast Endorsement by passing the written examination. During 1973-1997 he produced and hosted a Gospel music radio program: Gospel Caravan. His program was on Internet radio via streaming audio 2000 through 2009. Ed Lint claims that his most important credential is "a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I have accepted Jesus Christ as my sin sacrifice. He is my Lamb of God and coming King. The Holy Spirit fills me. He gives me power to live a successful Christian life and protects me from Satan and his demons."
He retired in 1994 and has been an educational consultant and primary author of DiskBooks Electronic Publishing. He has the following publications in the Kindle Store:
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