The Book of Ruth: The stranger gathered in to hear of, and share in, God's goodness in redemption. It is read at Pentecost, which commemorates God's goodness in the land. Ruth is the second of the five megilloth or scrolls. The order of the megilloth was determined by the order of the Feasts. The date and writer of the Book are uncertain however, tradition is in favor of Samuel. It is probable that the Books of Judges, Ruth, Samuel and Kings all originally formed one work. The Book of Ruth clearly forms part of the Books of Samuel - supplying as it does the essential point of David's genealogy and early family history, and is no less clearly connected with the Book of Judges - by the Books opening verse.
Ruth was written for its necessity of linking the genealogy of David and Jesus Christ "the Son of David" as we read in Matthew 1:5-16. Today, because of what was written in Deuteronomy 23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever: -> Why? [23:4] Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee. -> many believe it is impossible for a Moabitess (of the lineage of the son of Lot and his eldest daughter) to be in the genealogy of Christ.
Only two books in all of Father's Word are named after women, Ruth and Esther. Ruth in the Strong's Concordance is Hebrew word number H7327 - rûth, pronounced - rooth, and means: Probably for H7468; friend; Ruth, a Moabitess: - Ruth.. As we see, in the Hebrew, Ruth means a female friend. She was a Moabitish woman, the wife, first of Mahlon (sick), second of Boaz (fleetness) . She is the ancestress of David and Jesus Christ, and one of the four women who are named by St. Matthew in the genealogy of Jesus. At the time of the Book, there is a severe famine in the land of Judah, and Elimelech (my God is King) - a native of Bethlehem or Ephrath (the ancient name of Bethlehem), emigrates into the land of Moab, with his wife Naomi (my delight), and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion (pining, sickly). This was probably about the time of Gideon (Judges 6-8), 1250 B.C. At the end of ten years Naomi now left a widow and childless, having heard that there was plenty again in Judah, resolves to return to Bethlehem, and her daughter-in-law Ruth returns with her. They will arrive at Bethlehem just at the beginning of barley harvest, and Ruth, going out to glean, chances to go into the field of wheat of a wealthy man who is also a near kinsman of her father-in-law - Elimelech. Upon learning who the stranger is, Boaz treats her with the utmost kindness and respect, and then sends her home laden with the corn which she gleans. Encouraged by this incident, Naomi instructs Ruth to claim at the hand of Boaz that he should perform the part of her husband’s near kinsman by purchasing the inheritance of Elimelech and taking her to be his wife. With all due solemnity, Boaz does take Ruth to be his wife - amidst the blessings and congratulations of their neighbors. Their son, Obed' (serving), will be the father of Jesse (wealthy), who was the father of David (well-beloved).
Ruth, a Moabitish woman – a gentile, marries an Hebrew husband while Esther (a star), a Jewess, marries an gentile. Because Ruth is a Moabite and is in the genealogy of Jesus, it is good to know who the Moabites were. Of course they are of the same family as Abraham, as Moab was the son of Lot, Abraham's nephew. The word "Moab" means, "of his own father". So Moab was born after Lot had escaped the destruction of Sodom, the residence of Lot. So Ruth was of the eighth day creation, and not the sixth day creation. This was all part of Father's plan, in keeping the bloodline of our Lord Jesus Christ pure. It is important to us today, for this is the key to knowing who the true Messiah is. Only through the true Messiah, can all come to our heavenly Father.
So here we have a Moabite woman in the seedline of Christ; How can that be? Because the banishment was not directed to women; only to the Moabite men. There is no contradiction in the Word concerning Ruth and the seedline of Jesus Christ. However there are two words that are necessary to come to a complete understanding of, and those words are "kinsman redeemer". A look at both words "kinsman" and "redeemer", show that in the Hebrew are the same - "Ga'al", meaning next of or near kin - the one "who had the right of redemption". A closer inspection of each word reveals that they both also have other meanings, so it is imperative that we use the correct word in the correct context. We'll start with the word "kinsman": There are thirteen verses in Father's Word with this word in them, both in the Old and the New Testaments - both in Hebrew and in Greek. In the Strong's Concordance the Hebrew words are Hebrew numbers: H1350, 4129 and 7607; while in Greek it is 4773. We'll start with the first: H1350 - gâ'al, pronounced - gaw-al', and means: A primitive root, to redeem (according to the Oriental law of kinship), that is, to be the next of kin (and as such to buy back a relative’s property, marry his widow, etc.): - X in any wise, X at all, avenger, deliver, (do, perform the part of near, next) kinsfolk (-man), purchase, ransom, redeem (-er), revenger., next we have H4129 - môda‛ or môdâ‛, pronounced - mo-dah', mo-daw', and means: From H3045; an acquaintance: - kinswoman., and lastly in the Hebrew we have H7607 - she'êr, pronounced - sheh-ayr', and means: From H7604; flesh (as swelling out), as living or for food; generally food of any kind; figuratively kindred by blood: - body, flesh, food, (near) kin (-sman, -swoman), near (nigh) [of kin]. , and in the Greek it is Greek word G4773 - suggenēs, pronounced - soong-ghen-ace', and means: From G4862 and G1085; a relative (by blood); by extension a fellow countryman: - cousin, kin (-sfolk, -sman).. Next we look at redeemer: there is only one word in the Strong's for this word and that is the same from the first above: H1350 - gâ'al, pronounced - gaw-al', and means: A primitive root, to redeem (according to the Oriental law of kinship), that is, to be the next of kin (and as such to buy back a relative’s property, marry his widow, etc.): - X in any wise, X at all, avenger, deliver, (do, perform the part of near, next) kinsfolk (-man), purchase, ransom, redeem (-er), revenger. , however, when we take it back to redeem, we find H6299 - pâdâh, pronounced - paw-daw' and means: A primitive root; to sever, that is, ransom; generally to release, preserve: - X at all, deliver, X by any means, ransom, (that are to be, let be) redeem (-ed), rescue, X surely.. For a good example of the difference and contrast of the two words, we can look to the Book of Exodus where we find two good contrasting verses concerning these words: Exodus 6:6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem (Ga'al – to buy back or purchase) you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: -> and we contrast this with Exodus 13:13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem (padah – to ransom) with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem (padah) it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem (padah). -> The difference is clear and plain and it is for us to properly interpret and understand the different meanings and uses of the two.
In that Ruth was the great grandmother to David, the man through which the Messiah - Jesus Christ, would come, then this book that was read on Pentecost day is telling of the Kinsman Redeemer of all redeemers, for Jesus would become our Kinsman Redeemer for once and all times. You are His kin if you have faith and love Him, and He is in you. Jesus paid an awesome price to fulfill that position to redeem your soul and give you life eternal.
So lets get into and enjoy this Book: Ruth.
1:1-18 ELIMELECH'S FAMILY. THE DEPRESSION (Alteration)
1:1-3 Departure from Beth-lehem.
Ruth 1:1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. -> Now it came to pass in the days...=this phrase occurs five times and it always denotes impending trouble followed by happy deliverance; compare with Genesis 14:1; Judges 19:1; Isaiah 7:1 and Jeremiah 1:3.
When the judges ruled=this famine then is obviously taking place prior to the sin of Judges 1. What was the sin of Judges 1? This can be found in Judges 1:26-36, and the sin was that when the Israelites moved into the Promised Land and Caleb was the leader over them--for both Joshua and Moses had already returned Home to Father--that they allowed many of the different Canaanite tribes to stay in the land and did not utterly destroy them as Father said they were supposed to do, this developed the later internal disorders and outward oppressions found throughout the Book of Judges.
We can compare what Elimelech (a certain man) did here when this famine broke out, with what Abraham did in Genesis 12:10, when the famine broke out in his time. Abraham went to Egypt, while Elimelech will take his family and go to Moab.
A certain man of Bethlehem-Judah=Bethlehem, where both Benjamin - the youngest son of Jacob, and our Lord Jesus Christ were born.
Ruth 1:2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem-judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. -> Ephrath of Bethlehem-judah=as we learn in Genesis 35:19 and Genesis 48:7 Ephrath is Bethlehem, so the name Ephrath is actually the ancient name.
So, the famine hits and Elimelech takes his wife and two sickly sons and leaves Bethlehem and goes to Moab to find food and maybe even better health for their sons. Of the thirteen famines in the land recorded in Fathers Word, this famine is the third.
Ruth 1:3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. -> Obviously Elimelech--like his two sons--must have been ill. But, there in Moab as a widow in a foreign land, Elimelech's wife Naomi was left with her two sickly sons. Things would be hard on she and them as she tries to survive.
1:4-5 Daughters-in-law. Breavement.
Ruth 1:4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. -> Orpah=According to Dr.'s Bullinger and Smith this means hind or fawn, Dr. Strong says it's mane or nape of the neck.
Naomi and her sons stay and live in the land for ten years after the death of her husband, and then after they are of age, Naomi's two sons both take Moabites women for wives. Back in Genesis 38 Judah had taken a Canaanite for a wife and here Naomi's two sons take Moabiteesses - all no-nos in Father's Word. They - Naomi and her two sons, are of the Adamic seedline and were to have remained pure, therefore, their taking of Moabites for wives; may assist in explaining why they also died.
Ruth 1:5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. -> Naomi is going through a rough patch for sure as first she loses her husband and then her two sons, leaving her now with just she and her two daughters-in-law.
1:6-7 Departure for Beth-lehem.
Ruth 1:6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. -> Word spreads quickly when a famine is over and Naomi heard that Bethlehem-judah's famine has now ended - that Father has now returned His Blessings her homeland, and she wants to return home to be with her people - the Israelites. Yes, the Moabites are of the Adamic line, however, they don't live Godly lives and Naomi wants to get back to people who do worship YHVH and live as He wants us to live.
This was in 1326 B.C., a year prior to the second Jubilee which ran from 1325-1324.
Ruth 1:7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah. -> Crops are growing and Bethlehem-judah has plenty again, so Naomi desires to be there.
1:8-18 DAUGHTERS-IN-LAW. COLLOQUY. (Repeated Alteration)
1:8-18 Daughters-in-law. Colloquy.
1:8-9 Advice to leave her.
Ruth 1:8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, "Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead and with me. -> Naomi tells her daughters-in-law that she is returning to the land of her people and that they don not have to return with her, they can stay here with their people. So she asks Father to Bless each of them and releases them of their obligation to her.
Remember the custom at the time of this writing was that if a man died before he had children, his brother was to marry his widow and raise up the first child to his brother. Naomi tells her daughters that since she has lost her husband, and since she herself is too old to have more children, she will not have any more for them to marry, therefore they are free to go and find another man to marry and have a family with.
1:9-10 Reception. Refusal of both.
Ruth 1:9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband." Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. -> This was a sorrowful departing for all of them as they all loved eachother.
Ruth 1:10 And they said unto her, "Surely we will return with thee unto thy people." -> Naomi tells these young women that they are free to remarry and live a normal life. Then she kissed each of them, and they stood there on the road weeping in each others arms. This tells us the great affection that they had for their mother in law, Naomi. Notice as we go through this book how everyone that came in contact with Naomi had great affection and love for her.
1:11-13 Advice to leave her.
Ruth 1:11 And Naomi said, "Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? -> Naomi knows she was well past child bearing age and was therefore unable to have any more, so she again tells her daughters-in-law that they are free to go and find a man of their own people to marry.
Ruth 1:12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; -> The girls loved Naomi and didn't want to leave their mother-in-law. So she reassures them she wants to be with her people and that they would be better off here in Moab - with their people. She says to them that even if she were to find a man right now--and I'm sure with as many people that loved her, she probably could have found one if she had wanted to, still if she got married that day and became pregnant that night, it would be too long and they young for these women.
Ruth 1:13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me." -> Father loves Naomi and His hand wasn't against her, this was just life - something that happened.
1:14 Reception. Refusal of Ruth.
Ruth 1:14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. -> Orpah sees the reality of the situation, kissed Naomi, and goes back to her people and to another life, however, Ruth loves Naomi and would not leave her mother-in-law. Ruth was loyal to Naomi, and completely sticks by her side.
1:15 Advice to leave her.
Ruth 1:15 And she said, "Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law." -> Naomi knows the Moabites worship a god--lower case "g"--other than YHVH, and she tells Ruth that she too--like Orpah--is free to go and worship her gods. Naomi is making every effort to allow Ruth to go back, and not feel that binding commitment that she had to Naomi.
We know that the Moabites served other gods and that it angered Father, it also angered Him when the Israelites followed after their gods, we find evidence of this in Judges 10:6 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him..
1:16-18 Reception. Resolve of Ruth.
Ruth 1:16 And Ruth said, "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 pleads with her mother-in-law to allow her to go with her and in doing so, she makes a seven-fold pledge and declaration to her mother-in-law.
Thy God my God=ELOHIM. Here in this declaration, Ruth accepts and agrees to follow and worship our Creator - the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and He alone.
Ruth 1:17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." -> Ruth makes this compete commitment to Naomi to face all life had to offer
together with her, in good but also in hard times. We know that Naomi was a wonderful woman, and we see the same sincerity and beauty in Ruth as is in her mother in law.
Ruth 1:18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her. -> Ruth's seven-fold declaration and pledge to her, convinced Naomi that Ruth was serious in her desires to stay with her mother-in-law, and she therefore allows Ruth to come back to Bethlehem-judah with her.
1:19-22 SYMPATHY WITH NAOMI. IN GRIEF. (Introversion)
1:19 Beth-lehem. Arrival.
1:19 Sympathy given.
Ruth 1:19 So they two went until they came to Beth-lehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Beth-lehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, "Is this Naomi?" -> Beth-lehem=House of Bread, the birth place of Benjamin and Jesus.
Is this Naomi?=this verse documents why Naomi was named "my delight," she was well loved by every one she met and knew. The town's were very pleased to she this woman return to their city after ten years absence and everybody came out to meet her and welcome her back with open arms.
1:20-21 Sympathy needed.
Ruth 1:20 And she said unto them, "Call me not Naomi, call me Mara (sad, bitter): for the ALMIGHTY hath dealt very bitterly with me. -> Them=this in the Hebrew is feminine, as is the verb "call", so what this is saying is that Naomi was addressing the women and telling the women to no longer call her Naomi.
Naomi didn't see Father's hand at work in her life and she was a little bitter and sad at what she felt was a hard unfulfilled life - leaving her with no husband and no sons. So she tells her friends to no longer call her Naomi, but to now call her "Mara."
Had Naomi seen and knew what Father had in store for her and Ruth, she would never have told her friends to call her Mara. Father's hand is at work in this and it was His design for her to bring Ruth back to Beth-lehem, for her to marry their near-kinsman, because it is through this seed-line that Father Himself will be born in the flesh.
The ALMIGHTY=Shaddai. Shaddai is in every instance translated "Almighty", and is indicated by small capital letters ("ALMIGHTY"). It is God (El), not as the source of strength, but of grace; not as Creator, but as the Giver. Shaddai is the All-bountiful. This title does not refer to His creative power, but to His power to supply all the needs of His people. Its first occurrence is in Gen. 17:1, and is used to show Abraham that He Who called him out to walk alone before Him could supply all his need. Even so it is the title used in II Cor. 6:18, where we are cal 1000 led to "come out" in separation from the world. It is always used in connection with El..
Ruth 1:21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the ALMIGHTY hath afflicted me?" -> In Naomi's mind, Father had taken all the blessings from her that she had when she left, but we will see that this will all change in time. Again, Father had a purpose for bringing Naomi and Ruth back to Bethlehem, for He will bring Ruth to a union that will fit into the lineage of His Son, Jesus the Christ. Let's review for a moment, the blood line of Jesus, as He was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God, and born to the Virgin Mary. We'll pick it up in the Book of Luke: Luke 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph (Jesus was the "stepson" of Joseph), which was the son of Heli, -> we'll skip on down to verse Luke 3:31 Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David, [3:32] Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson, -> etc., this listing continues all the way back to Adam – the originator of the pure seed-line through which Father would be born.
1:22 Beth-lehem. Settlement.
Ruth 1:22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Beth-lehem in the beginning of barley harvest. -> The Moabitess=so called five times. As I pointed out, in Deuteronomy 23:3, no Moabitess was to enter forever into the congregation of Father. However, there in Deuteronomy 23 the word is masculine and not feminine, therefore this does not affect Ruth.
Barley harvest=Therefore at Passover. Barley harvest was the first grain to ripen. It was "a poor man's bread," though at this time right after the famine, it was now considered a rich man's bread. Naomi and Ruth arrived during harvest season which was a good time to store up your food supply for the year. They are now living in Bethlehem-judah and are going to live out the rest of their lives there.