What does the Bible say about Ruth?
The story of Ruth is one of the most beloved historical narratives in the Old Testament.
Yet, frequently, readers will confess that they have trouble understanding the doctrine or application of this particular book. Let’s see what Ruth has to teach us.
Christian quotes about ruth
“A “Ruth” is a woman who has experienced great loss and pain- Yet has remained loyal and faithful no matter what; She has found her strength in God.”
“Be a Ruth, loyal in all your relationships, willing to walk the extra mile & don’t quit when things get tough. Someday, you’ll see why it was all worth the effort.”
“A modern day Ruth is one who has been hurt but has persevered and continued to walk in love and faithfulness. She has found strength she didn’t realize she had. She gives of herself deeply from her heart and tries to help and bless others wherever she goes.”
Let’s learn from the Book of Ruth in the Bible
There was a famine in the land, other sources say that it was one of the worst recorded famines in that region. The famine was so fierce that Elimelech and his wife Naomi had to flee to Moab. The people of Moab historically were pagan and hostile to the nation of Israel. It was an entirely different culture and a different region. Then life got a lot worse.
Naomi had nothing. She was left destitute in a land that was not her people. She had no family left there. So she decided to travel back to Judah because she heard that crops were starting to grow again. Orpah, one of the daughters in law, decided to go back to her own parents.
1. Ruth 1:1 “In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.”
2. Ruth 1:3-5 “Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband.”
Who was Ruth in the Bible?
Ruth was a Moabite. Brought up a pagan in a culture hostile to the Israelites. Yet, she married an Israelite and converted to worship the one true God.
3. Ruth 1:14 “And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi.”
4. Ruth 1:16 “But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.”
5. Ruth 1:22 “So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. Now they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.”
What does Ruth symbolize?
Throughout the book of Ruth we can see God’s redemptive power. It teaches us how we should emulate our Redeemer. This wonderful book also serves as an illustration for how a marriage can be a reflection of God’s redeeming love towards His chosen children.
In the book of Ruth, we learn that Ruth was a Moabite. One of the historical enemies of Israel. She was not a Jew. And yet God graciously allowed Ruth to marry one of Naomi’s sons where she learned to serve the One True God. She then moved to Israel where she continued to serve the Lord.
This beautiful story mirrors God providing salvation to the people groups of the whole world, moreover, the gentiles and the jews. Christ came to die for the sins of all: both jew and gentile. Just as Ruth had faith that God would forgive her sins as she believed in His Promised Messiah, regardless of her being a Moabite, so we can have that same assurance of salvation by placing our faith in the Messiah Jesus Christ, even though we are Gentiles and not Jews. God’s plan of Redemption is for all types of people.
6. Ruth 4:14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!
7. Isaiah 43:1 But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!
8. Isaiah 48:17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.
9. Galatians 3:13-14 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
10. Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
11. Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace
12. Hebrews 9:11-12 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
13. Ephesians 5:22-33 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
14. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
15. Colossians 3:11 “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.”
16. Deuteronomy 23:3 “No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation.”
17. Ephesians 2:13-14 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.”
18. Psalm 36:7 “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
19. Colossians 1:27 “to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
20. Matthew 12:21 “And in His name the Gentiles will hope.”
Ruth and Naomi in the Bible
Ruth loved Naomi. And she sought to learn a lot from her and to help take care of her. Ruth went out of her way to work in order to take care of Naomi. And God blessed her by guiding her to the field of Boaz, her kinsmen redeemer.
21. Ruth 1:16-17 “But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
22. Ruth 2:1 “Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.”
23. Ruth 2:2 “And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.”
24. Ruth 2:19 “Where did you gather all this grain today?” Naomi asked. “Where did you work? May the LORD bless the one who helped you!” So Ruth told her mother-in-law about the man in whose field she had worked. She said, “The man I worked with today is named Boaz.”
Ruth and Boaz in the Bible
Boaz took notice of Ruth. And Ruth took notice of Boaz. He went out of his way to make sure that she was safe in his fields, well fed, and that she would return with extra bags of harvest. He was loving her sacrificially.
Boaz loved her in such a selfless way that he even went to the kinsmen redeemer who was closer related, and would have the first dibs on the land to make sure that he didn’t’ want to take Ruth for his own wife according to the law.
He wanted to obey God first. He wanted whatever God wanted – because He trusted God to provide what was best for him and for Ruth. Even if it meant that he would be unable to marry Ruth. That is selfless love.
25. Ruth 2:10 “Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”
26. Ruth 2:11 “But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before.”
27. Ruth 2:13 “I hope I continue to please you, sir,” she replied. “You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.”
28. Ruth 2:8 “Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens.”
29. Ruth 2:14 “And at mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over.”
30. Ruth 2:15 “When Ruth went back to work again, Boaz ordered his young men, “Let her gather grain right among the sheaves without stopping her.”
31. Ruth 2:16 “And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”
32. Ruth 2:23 “So Ruth worked alongside the women in Boaz’s fields and gathered grain with them until the end of the barley harvest. Then she continued working with them through the wheat harvest in early summer. And all the while she lived with her mother-in-law.”
33. Ruth 3:9 “He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”
34. Ruth 3:12 “Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I.”
35. Ruth 4:1 “Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, “Turn aside, friend; sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down.”
36. Ruth 4:5 “Then Boaz said, “The day you buy the field from Naomi, you must take Ruth, the Moabite woman, also. She is the wife of the dead man. You must keep alive the name of the dead man on his land.”
37. Ruth 4:6 “Then the redeemer said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”
Characteristics of Ruth in the Bible
Ruth had grown in renown as a godly woman. God blessed her love and obedience towards Naomi and grew her character and her standing in the community. She was loyal to her new God, and to Naomi. She lived a life of faith as she left the land, culture, and community she grew up in to go to Israel and start anew with Naomi. Her faith again shows up when she trusts God’s provision for a Kinsmen Redeemer. She acted honorably and humbly towards Boaz.
38. Ruth 3:10 “And he said, “May you be blessed by the LORD, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.”
39. Jeremiah 17:7 “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.”
40. Psalm 146:5 “Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.”
41. 1 Peter 5:5 “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
42. 1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you, be like-minded and sympathetic, love as brothers, be tender-hearted and humble.”
43. Galatians 3:9 “So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”
44. Proverbs 18:24 “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
The faith of Ruth
More than a person of noble character, we can see that Ruth was a lady of great faith. She knew that the God of Israel would not forsake her. She lived a life of obedience.
45. Ruth 3:11 “And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.”
46. Ruth 4:14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!
47. 2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
The Lord blessed Ruth with a son, and Naomi, even though she was not a blood relative, was able to take on the honorable role of grandmother. God blessed all of them. And it was through the lineage of Ruth and Boaz that the Messiah was born!
48. Ruth 4:13 “So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.”
49. Ruth 4:17 “And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.”
50. Matthew 1:5-17 “Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king. David was he father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa. Asa was he father of Jehosophat, Jehosophat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manesseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah.Josiah became the fathr of Jeoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim and Eliakim the father of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok. Zadok was the father of Achim, and Achim was the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazor, Eleazor the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation of Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.”
God is faithful. Even when life is completely chaotic and we can not see a way out – God knows what is going on and He has a plan. We have to be willing to trust Him and to follow Him in obedience.