This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Historical setting
- 3 Discussion
- 3.1 Ruth: Bethlehem trilogy and the choice to be righteous
- 3.2 Ruth: Symbolism of the bride and bridegroom
- 3.3 Ruth: Financial insecurity
- 3.4 Ruth: Israelite intermarriage with foreigners
- 3.5 Ruth 1: Naomi leaves Bethlehem for Moab and returns with Ruth
- 3.6 Ruth 2: Boaz treats Ruth kindly as she gleans in his field
- 3.7 Ruth 3: Naomi's plan to prompt Boaz to marry to Ruth
- 3.8 Ruth 4: Boaz purchases Naomi's field and the right to marry Ruth
- 4 Outline and page map
- 5 Unanswered questions
- 6 Prompts for life application
- 7 Prompts for further study
- 8 Resources
- 9 Notes
This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →
Relationship to Old Testament. The relationship of Ruth to the Old Testament as a whole is discussed at Old Testament: Organization.
Story. The book of Ruth relates four episodes, each in its own separate chapter:
- Ruth 1: Naomi returns to Israel with Ruth. Because of a famine in Israel, Naomi travels with her husband and two sons to neighboring Moab. While there her husband dies, her two sons marry Moabitish women, and the two sons then die. After ten years in Moab, Naomi returns to Israel. She encourages her Moabitish daughters in law to remain in Moab, but Ruth insists on accompanying Naomi to Israel.
- Ruth 2: Boaz is kind to Ruth. Ruth gleans barley at harvest time in the field of Naomi's kinsman Boaz. When Boaz learns her identity, he treats her kindly and generously because of the kindness that Ruth has shown to Naomi.
- Ruth 3: Naomi's plan for Boaz to marry Ruth. Naomi instructs Ruth to prompt Boaz to marry her. Boaz promises to do so if the one relative closer to Naomi will not. Boaz is again generous to Ruth and gives her a large quantity of barley to take home.
- Ruth 4: Boaz marries Ruth. Boaz publicly announces his marriage to Ruth after the nearer kinsman declines to do so. The chapter (and the book) ends with a short genealogy identifying Ruth and Boaz as the great grandparents of King David.
Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Ruth include:
- Happiness amidst wickedness. Righteous people can find happiness by being kind to each other even though they live in unhappy times.
- Christ and his people. The relationship between Boaz and Ruth can be seen as a type of the relationship between Christ and his people.
- Money matters. The great threat facing Naomi and Ruth is financial insecurity, and many of Boaz's kindnesses are financial.
- Adoption of foreigners. At a time when the Lord was chastising Israel for intermarrying with foreigners, Boaz's marriage to a righteous foreigner who has converted is approved.
This section should be brief and explain facts about the historical setting that will help a reader to understand the book. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →
Moses led the 1st Generation of Israelites that came up out of Egypt. That generation died off during the forty years that Israel wandered in the wilderness.
Joshua led their children, the 2nd Generation that conquered much of the promised land of Canaan. The books of Joshua and Judges depict that 2nd Generation as being faithful to the Lord. Salmon, the ancestor of David and Christ, would have been a member of that 2nd Generation since he married Rahab, the harlot of Jericho who hid the two Israelite spies at the beginning of Joshua's leadership.
The opening and closing stories in Judges depict the descendants of that 2nd Generation, as being unfaithful to the Lord. The two opening episodes accuse Israel of breaking three key commandments: no idolatry, no foreign alliances, and no intermarriage with foreigners. The two closing stories regarding the tribes of Dan and Benjamin depict Israel breaking every single one of the Ten Commandments. Since the two closing stories feature grandsons of Moses and Aaron, they are specifically set in the 3rd Generation.
Ruth is set during the reign of the Judges (1:1). Specifically, since Boaz is the son of Salmon and Rahab, Ruth is also set during the time of the 3rd Generation, a time described in Judges as one of widespread wickedness in Israel. A more complete description of circumstances during the time of the 3rd Generation is found at Judges and Judges 17-21.
A broader treatment of the history of ancient Israel, including Ruth, is found at Old Testament: Historical Overview. You can read that historical background until it reaches Ruth and then click on the link back to this page.
This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →
Ruth: Bethlehem trilogy and the choice to be righteous
The last two stories in Judges regarding the tribes of Dan (Judges 17-18) and Benjamin (Judges 19-21) plus the story of Ruth are often called the "Bethlehem Trilogy." The story of Dan begins with a Levite of Bethlehem who travels to Mount Ephraim, where he enters the service of Micah's house (Judg 17:7-8). The story of Benjamin begins with a Levite who retrieves his concubine from her father's home at Bethlehem to return with her to his own home at Mount Ephraim (Judg 19:1-3). The story of Ruth begins when Naomi leaves Bethlehem with her husband and sons and then returns to Bethlehem with her daughter in law (Ruth 1:1-2, 19).
The stories of Dan and Benjamin are different than most of the other stories in Judges. The six stories in the middle portion of Judges (Ehud, Deborah-Barak, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, and Samson) occur in chronological order and (except for Abimelech) depict Israel's increasing inability to obtain deliverance from foreign oppression over a period of about 330 years. In contrast, the last two stories in Judges (Dan and Benjamin) are placed far out of chronological order since they feature grandsons of Moses and Aaron who were members of the 3rd Generation; those two stories would therefore have occurred near the beginning of the time covered by Judges, not at the end where they are placed. In addition, unlike five of the six central stories of Judges, the stories of Dan and Benjamin do not address deliverance from foreign oppressors, but rather show spiritual disintegration inside Israel.
The story of Ruth provides a significant contrast to the stories of Dan and Benjamin. The story of Ruth, like the stories of Dan and Benjamin, is also set in the 3rd Generation since Boaz is identified as the son of Salmon and Rahab. And like the stories of Dan and Benjamin, Ruth does not address deliverance from foreign oppression, but instead focuses on the behavior of Israelites. But in contrast to the stories of Dan and Benjamin, which depict society at large breaking every single one of the Ten Commandments, the story of Ruth shows that people still have the freedom to be individually righteous even during a time of widespread and increasing wickedness, apostasy, anarchy, and foreign oppression.
It is also significant that the people choosing to be righteous (Boaz and Ruth) in the midst of general Israelite apostasy are direct line ancestors of David and Christ. This could be seen as bolstering the House of David's claim to lead Israel.
Ruth: Symbolism of the bride and bridegroom
If we look at the story in the book of Ruth and view Naomi as Israel (the Church), Ruth as the future covenant bride of Christ (righteous members of the Church are depicted as the bride of Christ), and Boaz as the Bridegroom, or Jesus Christ, a wonderful analogy appears that can be applicable in our lives.
- The Sojourn in Moab
Elimelech and Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, left their homeland in Bethlehem-judah and traveled to Moab because there was a famine in the land. Famine has been symbolic of apostasy, and Israel has been scattered more than once because of a "famine" of righteousness among its covenant people (see Amos 8:11).
While in Moab, their two sons married and within ten years, Elimelech, Mahlon and Chilion died, leaving three widows. Naomi decided to return to her homeland, amid tears of her daughters-in-law. One daughter-in-law returned to her mother’s house, but Ruth would not be moved. She had converted and desired to stay with the Naomi (the Church) rather than live among the idol-worshipping Moabites. She pleaded, "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God." (Ruth 1:16).
- The Barley Harvest
The return of Naomi to her homeland can be symbolic of the return of scattered Israel. Naomi and Ruth returned to Bethlehem at "the beginning of the barley harvest" (Ruth 1:22), which is also the Passover season, and possibly Naomi returned in time to celebrate it with her people. As the Passover was a reminder to Israel that they had left Egypt [symbolic of spiritual Babylon], through the death of the Firstborn, so had Ruth and Naomi left Moab during this symbolic feast of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. In order for us to truly partake of the Passover in our lives, we too must leave spiritual Babylon.
When they left their land of inheritance, their property was most likely sold and used by others during their ten year stay in Moab. Because of ancient Israel’s land inheritance rights, Naomi could "redeem" her land when she returned by re-purchasing it, but it was impossible for her because she had not the means to do so. Like Naomi, we have left our land of inheritance when we entered mortality and cannot return to our “promised land” on our own — we need help through our near kinsman, Jesus Christ.
Needing food, Ruth said to Naomi, "Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn [barley] after him in whose sight I shall find grace." She gleaned in the field belonging to Boaz. Like Ruth, we as members of the Church, should gather our daily spiritual bread in the "fields" sown by Christ through daily scripture study, prayer and pondering.
When Boaz noticed industrious (faithful) Ruth in the field, he asked her not to glean in any other field but his and she would be protected and when she was thirsty, she could drink all she wanted (Ruth 2:8-9). Then Ruth "fell on her face and bowed herself to the ground" before Boaz and asked, "Why have I found grace in thine eyes …?" Boaz replied, "It has fully been shewed me, all that thou has done … and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother and the land of thy nativity."
Like Boaz, Christ is aware and notices our efforts. Ruth had left her family in order to be with Naomi (the Church). Jesus said, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and even his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26). Ruth had demonstrated that she was disciple worthy. Christ, like Boaz, also asks us to get our spiritual sustenance from His "fields" and He offers us "living water" to quench our thirst" (John 7:38).
Boaz continued, "The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust" (Ruth 2:12). Ruth responded, "Let me find favour in thy sight, my Lord; for that thou has comforted me …" (Ruth 2:13).
Boaz invited her to join with the reapers at mealtime for bread and vinegar [the NIV Bible account says wine-vinegar], from which we could draw the symbolism of the supper of the Lord, the Sacrament. Then Boaz instructed his servants to let Ruth even glean among the sheaves and purposely leave handfuls of grain for her to glean.
When we study and seek the words of the Lord, and He notices our efforts, often we are blessed with "handfuls" of insights, understanding and blessings. Ruth went home to Naomi with an ephah of barley, which is approximately eight gallons of grain, which is a heavy load for a woman to carry (Ruth 2:17).
- Naomi's Plan
Realizing that Boaz is a near kinsman, Naomi devised a plan for Ruth. She said, "My daughter [notice that Ruth is not considered an in-law anymore, but an adopted daughter — adopted into the house of Israel], shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?" (Ruth 3:1). Our Church likewise teaches us the Lord’s plan for each of us to enter into His rest, or back to His presence. It is called the Plan of Salvation or the Plan of Happiness.
The role of the kinsman-redeemer was to protect the interests of needy members of the extended family (Deut. 25:5-10), to redeem the land that a poor relative had sold outside the family, like Naomi (Lev. 25:25-28), to redeem a relative who had been sold into slavery (Lev. 25:47-49) and to avenge the killing of a relative (Num. 35:19-21). Boaz was described as a "mighty man of wealth" (Ruth 2:1) and would have the means to be able to fulfill the role of the near kinsman.
Likewise, Christ has the means to protect us, to provide the means whereby we can obtain our "promised land," to redeem us from spiritual bondage and to execute judgment upon the enemies of our souls.
Naomi gave instructions to Ruth to meet Boaz so "that it may be well with thee" (Ruth 3:1). Boaz would be winnowing barley at the threshing floor that night. To thresh the grain, livestock trampled the stalks. After the grain was loosened from the stalk, the wheat was tossed into the air by a large fan. The chaff is blown away, leaving the kernels behind. This process was called winnowing.
John the Baptist prophesied of Christ, "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner: but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Matt. 3:12). Amos and Jeremiah likewise recorded: "For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as wheat is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth" (Amos 9:9) and "For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor, it is time to thresh her: yet a little while and the time of her harvest shall come" (Jer. 51:33).
The threshing floor is located on the highest point on the property, where there is a good, strong wind. It was on a threshing floor that David was commanded of the Lord to build an altar to the Lord and offer sacrifice (see 1 Chron. 21:20-30). Then David said, "This is the house of the Lord God …" (1 Chron. 22:1). It was upon this threshing floor that Solomon built the temple (see 2 Chron. 3:1).
The threshing floor of Boaz could be symbolic of the Temple. Naomi told Ruth to "wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee and get thee down to the floor …" (Ruth 3:3). The NIV Bible commentary says that Ruth prepared herself and dressed like a bride. It is in the Temple that we prepare ourselves to meet the Lord. As we truly wash and anoint ourselves through repentance, justification, and sanctification, and put on the robes of the Holy Priesthood, we prepare ourselves, like a bride, to meet the Bridegroom.
On the night of harvest, the owner would join the reapers in threshing the grain and the grain was piled in great heaps. After their work, it was a time of rejoicing and eating together. Then they would lie beside the great mounds of grain in order to protect it from thieves.
Ruth was obedient to all of Naomi’s commands. She went to the threshing floor and found Boaz asleep and she came to him softly and “uncovered his feet, and laid her down” (Ruth 3:7) The uncovering of his feet is probably the best way to gently help Boaz wake up without being startled. It could be symbolic of the parting of the veil. Ruth also wore a veil that was later removed that night.
At midnight, Boaz turned himself and beheld Ruth. Midnight was the hour the Lord used to exemplify his second coming. "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh: go ye out to meet him" (Matt. 25:6).
After asking who she is, Ruth answered, "I am Ruth thine handmaid." There is no account that she officially worked for him, so the author feels that this is symbolic of Ruth desiring to be a servant of Boaz (or the Lord). Then she requested, "Spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman." The skirt is the lower part of Boaz’s robe.
Isaiah 61:10 reads, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom …" Nephi pleads, "O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness!" (2 Nephi 4:33).
The request for covering could be symbolic of the atonement which "covers" our sins — as Paul stated, "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered" (Romans 4:7).
Boaz was obviously pleased with this request for he said, "Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter … fear not: I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman" (Ruth 3:10-11).
Because of her righteousness, Ruth’s requests are granted. Like Naomi, Boaz called Ruth a daughter. Paul writes, "… but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:15-17). Boaz, like Christ, was willing to make Ruth his daughter, his bride and joint-heir.
Then Boaz told her to bring her veil and hold it while he gave her six measures of barley. This indicated that Ruth did wear a veil and took it off so that Boaz could fill it. That is what Jesus Christ does — He feeds and fills us.
Boaz also told Ruth that there was a nearer kinsman that he needed to deal with before he could redeem her (Ruth 3:12-13).
Returning to Naomi with the six measures of barley, Ruth told Naomi all that had transpired. Naomi said, "Sit still, my daughter… for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day." Likewise Christ will not rest until He has completed His work.
- Answered Prayers
The six measures of barley could be symbolic of the six days or six periods of time until the Lord has finished His work and rests on the seventh or Sabbath Day. The Sabbath also is symbolic of the saints entering into His rest, "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev. 21:2, also see my article "Shabbat Hamalka — The Sabbath Queen", Meridian Magazine).
Boaz went to the gate and, with ten elders of the city, talked with the nearer kinsman. This could be symbolic of the judgment. Of what can this near kinsman be representative? As Christ is the only one that can truly redeem us, the nearer kinsman could represent the law or justice that has claim upon us until we can be redeemed by Christ. Alma wrote, "There is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law" (Alma 42:22). Boaz is symbolic of Christ and mercy. Because Ruth is a virtuous woman, mercy, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, claimeth justice.
Boaz went to the city council in behalf of not only Naomi, but also for Ruth, who was a gentile and a Moabitess, and who by law had no rights at all. At first the nearer kinsman was willing to redeem the land, but when Boaz told him that he must "buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance (Ruth 4:5), the nearer kinsman said, "… redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it" Ruth 4:6).
As Paul clearly states, the law cannot save us because all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). As we are "covered" through the atonement of Jesus Christ through repentance, "sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14).
The nearer kinsman (he is never named) then took of his shoe and gave it to Boaz as a testimony that he transferred the right of redemption. What the law (the nearer kinsman) could not do, Boaz (Christ’s atoning grace) was willing and able to perform, all the legal obligations.
Boaz then exclaimed, "Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife" (Ruth 4:9-10). Paul said, "Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s" (1 Cor. 6:19).
It is fitting that Jesus Christ descended from Boaz and Ruth (Matt. 1:5-16), and that one of the two pillars in Solomon’s temple was named Boaz (1 Kgs. 7:21). The wonderful story of Ruth and Boaz can teach us how to have this covenant relationship with Jesus Christ and about His role as our Redeemer.
Ruth: Financial insecurity
In this story the antagonist is not a person, but Naomi and Ruth's financial insecurity. Naomi refers to this threat in her attempt to warn Ruth not to accompany her back to Israel. Ruth is reduced to gleaning, an occupation reserved to the poor.
Boaz is repeatedly kind to Ruth. One of his kindnesses is to warn his servants not to harass Ruth. But many of his other kindnesses are directly financial.
Ruth: Israelite intermarriage with foreigners
In Judges 1-2 Israel was chastised for breaking three key commandments. One of those three key commandments was to not intermarry with foreigners. The story of Ruth, set during the time of Judges, approves of Boaz's marriage to Ruth as a good thing.
It is worth noting in this connection that Ruth said at the beginning of the story that "Thy God [shall be] my God" (1:16). Also, when Boaz first meets Ruth, he acknowledges that "the Lord God of Israel [is the one] under whose wings thou [Ruth] art come to trust" (3:12).
Ruth 1: Naomi leaves Bethlehem for Moab and returns with Ruth
- Ruth 1:1: Two. The word two first occurs in this verse. This word appears 7 times in the first chapter of Ruth. Many times, the inclusion of the word two seems unnecessary or superfluous in terms of relating the plot of the story, but the word may be included to develop an important theme of the book of Ruth regarding how two people should act toward each other. For a more in depth analysis of this point, see the Anchor Bible comment section for this verse.
- Ruth 1:6-7: Return theme. Scholars believe that the double use of the term return in these verses and in verse 22 establishes a distinct unit of the story based on the theme of Naomi returning to the land of Judah.
- Ruth 1:14: Wept, kissed, and clave. The verb sequence here, wept and then kissed, is reversed from the order in verse 9, perhaps chiastically indicating a thematic unit of the chapter. Also, the kiss was a common act when departing (cf. Gen 31:8, 2 Sam 19:40, and 1 Kgs 19:20), and is contrasted to Ruth who "clave" unto Naomi. Also note the word cleave (clave = past tense) is used frequently in Deuteronomy in the commandments for Israel to cleave to God.
- Ruth 1:16: Leave. The Hebrew word azab, translated here as "leave," is often translated as "forsake" and seems to carry covenantal undertones (see esp. usages of the word in Deuteronomy and Judges regarding cleaving to God and not forsaking him; also compare Ruth 1:14 and 2:20).
- Ruth 1:16-17: Ruth's kindness and loyalty. The kindness and loyalty shown by Ruth in these verses stands in stark contrast to the unkindness and disloyalty shown in the book of Judges. For example, contrast the disloyalty theme of whoring in Judg 2:17; 8:27, 33; 19:2, and unkindness evident by the Levite who couldn't find lodging in Judg 19:18.
- Ruth 1:20: Almighty. This term for God seems to underscore the legalistic nature of Naomi's complaint against God, since the term is used elsewhere in a context of God's role as a judge conferring belssings, curses, deliverance, or punishment (cf. Gen 49:25 and Num 24:4, 16).
- Ruth 1:21-22: Returning empty. Scholars believe the double use of the word return in verse 22 completes a unit of the story started in verse 6 with the keyword return appearing twelve times in these seventeen verses. An important theme established in this unit of the story appears to be a crisis (or "returning) of faith for Naomi (parallels have been drawn with the hardships Naomi is faced with and the hardships faced by Job). As the story progresses, Naomi's complaint toward God seems to be answered (see esp. Naomi's contrasting position in Ruth 3:17 and 4:13-17).
Ruth 2: Boaz treats Ruth kindly as she gleans in his field
- Ruth 2:3: Ruth's "hap." Ruth's "hap" (good luck or good fortune) here is probably a sublte way that the narrator of this story is showing how God intervenes in small, often unnoticed ways to bring about great blessings. The double occurrence of the term LORD in verse 4 suggests this. A similar notion of divine providence may also be significant in Ruth 3:18 where Naomi, whose faith seems to grow as the story progresses, admonishes Ruth to "sit still . . . until thou know how the matter will fall."
Ruth 3: Naomi's plan to prompt Boaz to marry to Ruth
- Ruth 3:1: Rest. The plan Naomi is devising is to give Ruth "rest". I believe this story is symbolic of entering into the "rest" of the Lord.
- Ruth 3:9: Near kinsman. The Hebrew word used here is often translated "redeemer."
- Ruth 3:9. The Matthew Henry commentary interprets this verse as Boaz praising Ruth for showing even more hesed (kindness) than she had shown before— now Ruth is seeking to follow divine law and what is best for the honor and interest of Naomi rather than simply following her own interest or desires.
Ruth 4: Boaz purchases Naomi's field and the right to marry Ruth
- Ruth 4:1: The kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by. This apparently serendipitous event develops a theme of divine providence which the narrator seems to implicitly develop throughout the story. (See also the commentary for Ruth 2:3.)
Outline and page map
This section contains an outline for the entire book. Items in blue or purple text indicate hyperlinked pages that address specific portions of the book. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →
● Naomi's sojourn in Moab (Chapter 1)
- • Naomi's travel to Moab and her situation there (1:1-5)
- • Ruth insists on accompanying Naomi back to Israel (1:6-18)
- • Naomi returns to Bethlehem empty (1:19-22)
● Boaz treats Ruth kindly as she gleans in his field (Chapter 2)
- • Ruth gleans in Boaz's field (2:1-3)
- • Boaz told her identity by his servants (2:4-7)
- • Boaz treats Ruth kindly because of her kindness to Naomi (2:8-14)
- • Boaz instructs his servants to treat Ruth kindly (2:15-17)
- • Ruth reports to Naomi of her day (2:18-22)
● Naomi's plan to prompt Boaz to marry to Ruth (Chapter 3)
- • Naomi's plan for Ruth to prompt a marriage proposal (3:1-5)
- • Ruth lays down next to Boaz (3:6-7)
- • Boaz promises to marry Ruth if the closer relative does not (3:8-13)
- • Boaz gives Ruth a large quantity of barley before she leaves (3:14-15)
- • Ruth reports to Naomi on her night (3:16-18)
● Boaz purchases Naomi's field and the right to marry Ruth (Chapter 4)
- • nearer kinsman agrees to redeem Naomi's field (4:1-4)
- • nearer kinsman declines when Ruth is included (4:5-8)
- • Boaz purchases Naomi's field and the right to marry Ruth (4:9-12)
- • Ruth bears a son Obed (4:13-17)
- • genealogical list from Judah to David (4:18-22)
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Prompts for life application
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Prompts for further study
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Translations and Lexicons.
Related passages that interpret or shed light on Genesis
- The Joseph Smith Translation made no changes to the book of Ruth.
- The story of the tribe of Dan Judges 17-18, the story of the tribe of Benjamin Judges 19-21, and Ruth are often read together as the "Bethlehem Trilogy."
References cited on this page.
- Henry, Matthew. Commentary on the Whole Bible: Ruth. 1706.
- Wayment, Thomas A., ed. The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, p. 131-32. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2009. (ISBN 1606411314) BX8630.A2 2009
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Judges 13-21, Ruth 1-4." In Old Testament: Genesis to Second Samuel (Institute Manual), vol. 1, third ed. (PDF version), ch. 23, p. 219-20. Salt Lake City, Utah: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003.
- Ricks, Stephen D. "Ruth." In Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet, ed. Studies in Scripture, Vol. 3: The Old Testament, Genesis to 2 Samuel, p. 259-65. Salt Lake City, Utah: Randall Book Co., 1985. (ISBN 1555170005).
Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.
- Wayment, The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, p. 131-32.
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