Friday, November 19, 2021

Chapter by Chapter Summary of the Book of Ruth


The Book of Ruth tells how, during a time of rebellion against the Lord in Israel, a faithful foreign woman became the great-grandmother of Israel’s greatest king.



Ruth Chapter 1

During the time of the Judges, there was a famine in Israel, so a certain family from Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab. Everyone in the family died except Naomi and her two daughters-in-law Ruth and Orpah.


Naomi heard that the famine in Israel was over, so she prepared to go back to Bethlehem. She told Ruth and Orpah they were free to return to their own parents.


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.

Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.

May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely,

if even death separates you and me.”

- Ruth 1:16-17


So, Naomi brought Ruth the Moabitess back to Bethlehem with her, and they arrived during the time of the barley harvest.



Ruth 2

Ruth went to a certain field to gather the sheaves of barley left behind by the harvesters. When the owner of the field, Boaz, came to check on the work, he noticed her working hard to provide for herself and Naomi.


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 the women who work for me.

Watch the field where the men are harvesting,

and follow along after the women.

I have told the men not to lay a hand on you.

And whenever you are thirsty,

go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”

- Ruth 2:8-9


Boaz then told his men to pull out some sheaves for Ruth to pick up behind them.


When Ruth went home that evening, Naomi saw how much she had gathered and asked where she had worked. When Ruth told, Naomi told her that Boaz was one of Naomi’s close relatives.


Ruth gleaned in Boaz’s field until the barley and wheat harvests were finished.



Ruth 3

Naomi wanted to find Ruth another husband, so she said:


“Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours.

Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor.

Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in 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.

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.”

- Ruth 3:2-4


When Boaz woke up and found her lying at his feet, he said:


“The Lord bless you, my daughter.

This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier:

You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.

And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask.

All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.”

- Ruth 3:10-11


Boaz was willing to marry her but said they had a closer relative who had first-rights to her. If the other man did not want to marry her, Boaz said he would.


Before anyone else woke up, Boaz sent Ruth home with a bundle full of barley grain.



Ruth 4

The next day, Boaz went to town and talked publicly to his relative about buying Naomi’s land and marrying Ruth. The man was unwilling to marry Ruth, even though it was his duty to raise up offspring for his dead relatives who had not had children before they died.


Then Boaz publicly declared he would marry Ruth, and the elders of the town blessed him, saying:


“May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah,

who together built up the family of Israel.

May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.

Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman,

may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

- Ruth 4:11-12


Boaz married Ruth, and the Lord enabled Ruth to conceive. She had a son named Obed, who became the grandfather of King David.





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