Church Education Trust

Church and the Bible

BHB008 Ruth



"The Messianic Family"

Key verse: Chapter 1:16-17.

"but Ruth said, Do not urge me to leave you or turn back 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. Where you die, I will die and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me and worse, if anything but death parts you and me."

Key words:

Redeem, Rest.

Key theme:

Rest through redemption. The concept of Kinsman-Redeemer or "goel" specifically protrays the perfect work of Christ. In the book of Ruth the word "goel" is used 13 times and is the most significant word in this book for it reflects all the ingredients that are to be found in the mediatorial work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There are certain clear issues to be thought about when an understanding of the Hebrew word "goel" is investigated. Firstly the "goel" must be related by blood to those he redeems. (Deuteronomy ch. 25:5,7-10, John 1:14, Romans 1:3, Phil.2:5-8).

The "goel" must be able to pay the redemption price, in the case of Jesus it was by the shedding of his blood on the cross. (Ruth 2:1, 1 Peter 2:14-15). Clearly the redeemer must be willing to pay the price needed so that redemption can happen.(Ruth 3:11, Matthew 20:28, John 10:15) The Redeemer had to be free from sin so that he could free all others from sin.

These conditions are seen perfectly fulfilled in Christ and the stories recorded in Ruth support that belief. In the book of Ruth we see that the Gentiles are included in God`s plan of salvation.

Outline of the book of Ruth.

Chapter 1:    Soujourning in Moab.

Ch.1:1-5      Naomi`s misfortunes.

Ch.1:6-18    Naomi`s decisions.

Ch.1:19-22  Naomi and Ruth enter the land.

Chapter 2:   Ruth gleans in the field owned by Boaz.

Ch.2:1-17   Ruth Gleans in Boaz`s field.

Ch.2:18      Ruth discovers who Boaz really is.

Chapter 3:  Boaz and Ruth marries.

Ch.3:1-13   Ruth`s redemption.

Ch.3:1-8     Ruth reports to Naomi.

Ch.3:9-17   Boaz`s redemption and His marriage to Ruth.

Ch.3:18-22 Messianic genealogies.


Ruth was a woman of excellence, she was completely faithful to Naomi her mother in law. Her committment and love is clearly demonstrated in ch.1&2 of the book. In marriage to Boaz they had a son who was the grandfather of David who would become king of Israel. Ruth began her journey in life as a heathen but became a worshipper of Yahweh and a member of the Messianic line.


The title of the book is "Ruth", some scholars have suggested that the name Ruth is a moabite modification of the Hebrew word "reiut" which when translated into English means "friendship association". The septuagint calls the book "Routh" which is the Greek version of the Hebrew name.


The author of this book is unknown, Hebrew tradition suggests  (Talmudic) that the author is Samuel but given the fact that he died before David was made king of Israel (1 Samuel 25:1)would rule him out as the contents of the book would seem to indicate that the events in the life of Ruth took place during David`s reign.


In chapter 4:18-22 we have a genealogy which begins from Perez and progresses to a period when David was king. That being the case we know that David reigned from 1011-971 B.C. so we can place a date of about 1000 B.C. on the book.

The contents of the book cover a period between 1150-1120 B.C. meaning that the book and its contents was compiled about 120 after the events. This would be substanciated by the fact that in chapter 4:7-8 which deals with the transfer of property,the giving of a sandel as a sign of the completion of the deal had to be explained by the author, which would indicate that the custom was no longer a part of Hebrew commercial or legal settlement of property transfer.


Redemption is the main them and it is to be understood in the light of the hebrew concept of the Kinsman - redeemer.The book stresses the absolute faithfulness of God to the covenant he has made with his people.

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