User:RobertC/OT Lesson 20

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Lesson 20: Ruth; 1 Sam 1


  • Overview. See Ruth in the Bible Dictionary for an overview of the story
  • Naomi's developing faith. Naomi at first complains to God about "returning empty" but, by the end of the story, is blessed by God. See commentary and links for Ruth 1:22.
  • God behind the scenes. Although God does not explitly appear to take an active role in this story, there is a powerful implied theme about God's dealings with the characters in the story.
  • Serendipity. See commentary for Ruth 2:3 and Ruth 4:1 regarding what appear to be lucky and coincidental events in the story of Ruth (but really reflect divine providence).
  • Kindness to each other. The kindness shown by the characters in Ruth stands in stark contrast to the behavior described in Judges. See commentary for Ruth 1:1 (regarding "two") and Ruth 1:16-17 (regarding Ruth's kindness). When Israel is wicked, God sends armies to against Israel to show his anger, and when Israel is righteous, the virtues of kindness and loyalty by itself becomes a blessing to Israel.
  • Wept, kissed and clave. See lexical notes for Ruth 1:14 for chiastic emphasis of Ruth's cleaving to Naomi.
  • Lodge. See commentary for Ruth 3:13 for the significance of the recurring use of the term "lodge" as it relates to the kindness (hesed) theme.
  • Ruth approaching Boaz. Ruth, following Naomi's advice, approaches Boaz and essentially asks if he will help her find or be a "near kinsman" (also translated "redeemer") according to Levirate marriage custom/law. See Ruth 3:10 for more comments on this.

Hannah (1 Sam 1)[edit]

  • Women as saviors to Israel. One view on the book of Judges is that as the wickedness escalates, so does the oppression of women (see quotes on this page). The story of Ruth can be viewed as a righteous, feminine example that contrasts the male wickedness depicted in Judges which culminates in the story of Samson (see the discussion of Samson in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary).
  • Connection of Hannah and Ruth.
  • Quote by Jerrie W. Hurd, p. 62 (see source below):
"When he was an old man, Hannah's son visited the grandson of Ruth, interviewed the young men in his household, and anointed the youngest, David, king of Israel. This presents an interesting connection between the two women, for both at one time despaired of having any children. Ruth had lost her husband and, in traveling to a foreign land, had no way of knowing what the future held."
  • Miraculous offspring. The righteous example of Hannah and Ruth underscores the feminine genesis of Israel's temporal salvation. Ruth and Hannah both exemplify examples of righteousness and humility which are traits that Israel is in desperate need of. The offspring of both women was a direct result of these righteous traits.
  • Contrast with Samson. In the Judg 13, Samson's mother is also visited by the Lord before she gives birth. However, Samson's mother does not exemplify the same righteousness as Samuel's mother. (Doing a careful analsysis of these passages would surely be an interesting and enlightening exercise....)
  • See links below on Hannah and Samuel.

Related links[edit]

  • Ruth
  • Hannah
  • Samuel