Leslie S. Rainey

The Book of Ruth derives its name from the chief personality in the narrative, “The Rose of Moab.” It is devoted to the history of a Gentile woman who married a Hebrew named Boaz, their union culminating in the birth of a babe. Ruth is one of five women who appears in the genealogoy of Matthew’s Lord. Three of the five had bad records, Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba. Two of the five were Gentiles, Rahab and Ruth.

Keyword: Rest; Key Verses (1:9; 3:1).

The setting of the Book is in the time of the Judges. It covers a period of about ten years. The widowed Naomi, faithful Ruth, and noble Boaz stand out in sharp contrast against the black landscape of the days of the Judges. It was a time of gross idolatry, grievous immorality and godless anarchy. In the midst of such evil there were still noble souls who lived in faithfulness before God and witnessed to their generation concerning the God of Israel. Here family life is seen at its best whereas in the book of Judges it is revealed at its worst. Ruth is as a lovely lily in a stagnant pool. Instead of immorality and infidelity, there is purity and faith. Rebellion gives way to rest and the shout of the battlefield is exchanged for the serenity of the home. It is a beautiful pastoral idyll, an oasis in the desert, and the matchless story of a grand friendship between two women.

The purpose of the Book is threefold. (1) It traces both the history of the nation during the reign of the Judges, and the genealogy of David and David’s Greater Son. From the child born to Boaz and Ruth sprang Jesse, the father of David. Thus the Gentile Ruth becomes a forbearer of the Lord Jesus Christ, who ends all race and class distinctions. Ruth brings the promise of a coming king, David, whose righteous reign would bring strength and stability to the nation that had fallen into the bondage and oppression of the Philistines. Later on as a statesman, warrior, and poet, he utterly vanquished this enemy. Ruth proclaims the advent of His Greater Son, David’s Lord, who not only would redeem the nation, but would be the Saviour of the Gentiles; from the family of David, Christ was to be born. The Book tells out the Grace of God in reaching an outcast Moabite, and bringing her into the place of blessing. It teaches the great truth of Redemption for Ruth found rest through a Kinsman Redeemer, Boaz. The Book is worthy of our closest study and has a moral, historical, doctrinal, typical, ,dispensational, spiritual, industrial and spiritual value above many. Among the Jews it is linked with the Megilloth or Festal Rolls and usually read at festal seasons in the nation’s history.


1. The migration to Moab of the Elimelech Family (1:1-5).

2. The Return to Judah of Naomi and Ruth (1:6-22).

3. The Meeting of Boaz and Ruth (2, 3).

4. The Redemption by Boaz of Elimelch’s Inheritance (4).


Ruth’s Resolve (1)

Ruth’s Redeemer (2)

Ruth’s Rest (3)

Ruth’s Reward (4)