The book of Ruth is part of the Old Testament and is located after the book of Judges in the bible Greek version of the Seventy (LXX), being part of the historical books according to the Christian canon. In the Hebrew bible it is located in the third and last part of the canon and belongs to the Written books (Ketuvim). It is one of the two books named after woman.
This book owes its name to Ruth, the main character of the story, who is a Moabite woman who stands out for her qualities of loyalty, kindness, and was a good woman. blessed by God.
The book of Ruth was originally written in Hebrew by an unknown author, even though biblical tradition attributes it to Samuel, but its style and narrative place it in the exodus of Babylon or at the time of the King Davidthat is, in the middle of the 11th century BC. C.
This book is a literary work of the ancient Hebrew narrative and has been catalogued as one of the most beautiful texts in style and content. It is a short book but full of teachings and example of loyalty, compassion and love towards others and God, where the protagonist Ruth is a woman with wonderful qualities: she is loving, kind, active, enterprising, bold, loyal and faithful. This book highlights love and God's redemption of all men, Jews and Gentiles, through faith and faithfulness to the Lord.
The book of Ruth is set in the time of the Judges, a period of Hebrew history full of conflicts and wars. It tells the story of Elimelech, who as an Israelite migrates with his wife Naomi and his two sons to Moab. His sons Chilion and Mahlon married two of his sons. women Orpah and Ruth, but they die without leaving offspring. Naomi and Ruth decide to return to Bethlehem, being widows and without inheritance.
For this reason, Ruth works in Bethlehem on a wheat property that belonged to Boaz, a relative of Elimelech; there they meet and marry and from this union Obed was born, who is the grandfather of the king. David and predecessor of Jesus. Ruth chose the God of Israel as her God and is part of Hebrew history for her faith, faithfulness and loyalty, making her example transcend to all mankind.
The characters of this story, apart from Ruth, present very well defined characteristics that give the story a moral and religious transcendence valid to this day. Naomi, who is the mother-in-law of Ruth, is a intelligent and noble womanAnd Boaz is a just, kind and determined man, respectful of the laws. The most important thing is that the protagonist Ruth, being a foreigner, was accepted in the People of God and that she is part of the genealogy of King David and Jesus Christ, all this gives the story a character of breadth and universality of a redeeming God who loves humanity and who expects from it faith, love and fidelity regardless of its origin.
The book can be summarized as follows:
- The family of Elimelech in Moab (1.1-5)
- Naomi and Ruth go to Bethlehem (1.6-22)
- Ruth in the field of Boaz (2.1-23)
- The kindness of Boaz (3.8-18)
- Wedding of Boaz and Ruth (4.1-17)
- David's ancestors (18)