Saturday, August 16, 2008

08 The Book of Ruth (Summarized)


The widowed Ruth tends to her mother-in-law 1

Ruth gets a new husband 2-4

  1. BG | SAB | In the days of the judges, Elimelch and his wife Naomi (which means pleasant) moved from Bethlehem to a place in Moab with their two sons. Elimelech dies. The sons got married to Moabites Orpah and Ruth. They all lived there for about 10 years, then Naomi's sons died. Naomi and Orpah and Ruth set out for Bethlehem. Naomi tells Orpah and Ruth to go back to their mothers' houses. Orpah and Ruth wept and said they'd follow Naomi. Naomi told them to go to their mothers' houses again, sighting that she was “too old to have another husband,” that it was impractical to wait for her to have a son and for that son to grow up, and that God's hand was against her. Orpah decides she will go back to her mother, but Ruth stays with Naomi. Naomi says to Ruth that Orpah is going back to her people and her gods and Ruth should do the same. Ruth claims she will stay with Naomi until death. Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem. Naomi says to call herself Mara (which means bitter) because of what God has done to her.
  2. BG | SAB | Ruth finds a barley field where she can glean after the harvesters. The owner of that particular field was Boaz, a prominent man from Elimelech's clan. Boaz stopped by the field and asked about Ruth, to which the foreman replied she'd been steadily gleaning since morning. Boaz invites Ruth to stay with his servant girls and continue to glean. He tells his men not to touch her. Ruth asks Boaz why he is being so kind her. Boaz replies that he knows of Ruth's story. Boaz invites her to eat with the harvesters at mealtime. Boaz tells his men to drop extra barley for Ruth to glean. Ruth gleans some more and then brings her harvest to Naomi. Ruth explains about Boaz. Naomi says to stick with Boaz's servant girls, because she may be harmed in other fields. So Ruth did this, and continued to glean.
  3. BG | SAB | Naomi gives Ruth a plan to enter into Boaz's household: She tells her to wash and put on perfume and her best clothes. Then head to the threshing floor. Wait for Boaz to eat, drink, and lie down. Then go and uncover his “feet” and lie down. He will tell her what to do. Ruth agrees to do what Naomi said. Boaz eats, drinks, and sleeps. Ruth uncovers his feet and sleeps there. Boaz awakens in the middle of the night and sees Ruth. Boaz asks who she is. Ruth tells him, and basically invites him to have sex with her. Boaz says there is a better candidate for Ruth. But if this other guy does not want Ruth, Boaz will “redeem” her. Early in the morning, Boaz sends Ruth back to Naomi with 6 measures of barley and tells her not to let anyone know she was there. Ruth tells Naomi about this, and Naomi tells Ruth to wait until she sees what Boaz will do.
  4. BG | SAB | Boaz finds the other candidate and gathers some elders as witnesses. Boaz offers him Naomi's property. The candidate says yes, he'll buy it. Boaz says that includes Ruth. The candidate says no, he will not buy it because it might “endanger his estate.” So the candidate gave Boaz his sandal to make the deal official. Boaz claims the property and Ruth as his wife. The elders say may she be like Rachel and Leah (Genesis 29), and may his family be like Perez. God allows Ruth to have a son with Boaz, called Obed. Obed becomes part of the lineage from Perez to David, who appears in two more generations.

Judges | Ruth | 1 Samuel

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