Studies in the Book of Ruth

W. J. Hocking.

Part A. — Bethlehem forsaken for Moab
Part B. — Back to Bethlehem
Part C. — Ruth the Stranger in the Fields of Boaz
Part D. — Ruth the Suppliant at the Feet of Boaz
Part E. — Boaz becomes the Kinsman-Redeemer
Part F. — Joy for Naomi and Fame for Boaz
Part G. — A Typical Outline of Israel's Final Restoration
Part H. — Ruth as a Vessel of Divine Mercy

Outline of the Book in Seven Parts

A. Ruth 1:1-5 During a famine, Elimelech and his family leave Bethlehem for the country of Moab.
B. Ruth 1:6-22 Naomi returns to Bethlehem, accompanied by Ruth, her Moabite daughter-in-law.
C. Ruth 2:1-23 Ruth during harvest gleans in the fields of Boaz, Naomi's kinsman.
D. Ruth 3:1-18 At Naomi's suggestion, Ruth visits the threshing-floor of Boaz.
E. Ruth 4:1-12 Boaz redeems the inheritance and marries Ruth.
F. Ruth 4:13-17 Ruth gives birth to Obed, the grandfather of David.
G. Ruth 5:18-22 Pedigree of David the king of Israel traced from Pharez (Gen. 38:29).
H. Ruth as a Vessel of Divine Mercy

Introductory Note

Like the Book of Esther, the Book of Ruth is one of the smaller historical Books of the Bible. The two Books are remarkable by being the only ones in the inspired scriptures bearing the names of women. Ruth was a Moabitess and Esther a Jewess; but both exhibited piety and faithfulness to God in an unexpected manner and in unexampled circumstances.

The single reference to Ruth in the New Testament shows the great importance of her brief biography recorded in the Old Testament, for this reference occurs in the genealogy of our Lord given by Matthew (1:5). In the fuller genealogies of 1 Chronicles Ruth's name is not found. It recurs twelve times in her own Book, but nowhere else either in the O.T. or the N.T., save in its solitary mention (Matt. 1:5) along with divinely honoured names such as Abraham, David, Solomon, Josiah, and Zerubbabel. God's grace has, therefore, given the Moabitish stranger a distinctive place in the line leading up to David the king and onwards to Jesus the Messiah, the King of kings. This fact alone should awaken in us a special interest in the study of the Book of Ruth.