Ruth Commentaries

RUTH RESOURCES
Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals

For Ruth Resources part 2/2 (Devotionals) click here.

RUTH: GOD PROVIDES
A KINSMAN-REDEEMER

Ruth 1 Ruth 2 Ruth 3 Ruth 4
Ruth's Decision:
Return with Naomi
Ruth's Devotion:
Provide for Naomi
Ruth's Request:
Redemption by Boaz
Ruth's Reward:
Relative of Messiah
Ruth
and Naomi
Ruth
and Boaz
Death of
Naomi's Family
Ruth Cares
for Naomi
Boaz Cares
for Ruth
God Blesses
with New Birth
Location:
Plains
of Moab
Location:
Fields
of Bethlehem
Location:
Threshing floor
of Bethlehem
Location:
Little town
of Bethlehem
Time Lapsed:
About 30 Years

Key Verses: Ruth 1:16, Ruth 3:11

Key Words: Redeem (Ruth 3:13, 4:4, 4:6, 4:14), Rest (Ru 1:9, 3:18, 4:15, Ru 3:1 = root of "security" is rest) Relative, Close relative (Hebrew = Ga'al/Goel ~ Kinsman Redeemer) (Ruth 2:20, 3:9, 12, 4:1, 4:3, 4:6, 4:8)

Introduction/Overview: Ruth by John MacArthur, Ruth by James Van Dine

I. A Famine - Ruth 1

A. A Disturbed Family - Ruth 1:1-5
B. A Decided Future - Ruth 1:6-14
C. A Declared Faith Ruth 1:15-22

II. A Field - Ruth 2

A. Expecting Grace Ruth 2:1-3
B. Experiencing grace Ruth 2:4-17
C. Expressing grace Ruth 2:18-23

III. A Floor - Ruth 3

A. Preparation Ruth 3:1-5
B. Presentation Ruth 3:6-13
C. Proclamation Ruth 3:14-18

IV. A Family - Ruth 4

A. Arrangements (redeemed) Ruth 4:1-8
B. Announcements (respected) Ruth 4:9-17
C. Accomplishments (related) Ruth 4:18-22

RUTH COMMENTARY — VERSE BY VERSE
Commentary notes onsite

 

 

 

PAUL APPLE
Commentary on Ruth
Recommended
48 Pages

Excerpts-

BACKGROUND NOTES

Malick: Purposes of the Book of Ruth:

A. To provide a biographical sketch of the pious ancestors of David the King (which the books of Samuel do not provide)

B. To contrast the reproach brought upon Bethlehem in Judges 17--21 with the account of the righteous in Bethlehem

C. To emphasize the fulfillment of God’s covenant promises through Judah at a time when the nation Israel had lost her first king--Saul from the line of Benjamin

D. To demonstrate how YHWH supplies for the enormous needs of his people bothindividually and nationally in accordance with his covenant promises

Brian Bill: Many people have said that the Book of Ruth is the most beautiful short story ever written. It’s an account of anxiety, fear, love, and commitment that inflames the imagination and soothes the soul. It begins with despair and ends with delight. (See his sermon - Ruth- A Loyal Love Story)

Biblical.com: Redemption is a key concept throughout the account; the Hebrew word in its various forms occurs 23 times. The book is primarily a story of Naomi’s transformation from despair to happiness through the selfless, God-blessed acts of Ruth and Boaz. She moves from emptiness to fullness (Ruth 1:21; 3:17; see notes on Ruth 1:1,3,5–6,12,21–22; 3:17; 4:15), from destitution (Ruth 1:1–5) to security and hope (Ruth 4:13–17). Similarly, Israel was transformed from national desperation at the death of Eli (1Sa 4:18) to peace and prosperity in the early days of Solomon (1Ki 4:20–34; 5:4) through the selfless devotion of David, a true descendant of Ruth and Boaz. The author thus reminded Israel that the reign of the house of David, as the means of God’s benevolent rule in Israel, held the prospect of God’s promised peace and rest. But this rest would continue only so long as those who participated in the kingdom—prince and people alike—reflected in their daily lives the selfless love exemplified by Ruth and Boaz. In Jesus, the great “son of David” (Mt 1:1), and his redemptive work, the promised blessings of the kingdom of God find their fulfillment

Roy Hession: “I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty." -- The first chapter of the book of Ruth is a very important one. Every preacher knows, or should know, he has to begin by awakening a sense of need in his hearers. He cannot plunge in too quickly with the positive side of his message. He must first convince the people that they are in just that state of need which requires the provision he proposes to speak about. So it is, before we are introduced to the subject of redemption in the book of Ruth, we have

Comments on Ruth 1...

Oswald Chambers: The majority of us begin with the bigger problems outside and forget the one inside.

Wiersbe: How do you walk by faith? By claiming the promises of God and obeying the Word of God, in spite of what you see, how you feel, or what may happen. It means committing yourself to the Lord and relying wholly on Him to meet the need. When we live by faith, it glorifies God, witnesses to a lost world, and builds Christian character into our lives.

Watson: Elimelech, seeing his possessions melt away, has decided to leave Judah for a time so as to save what remains to him till the famine is over, and he chooses the nearest refuge, the watered field of Moab beyond the Salt Sea. It was not far; he could imagine himself returning soon to resume the accustomed life in the old home.

Block: It seems, however, that Elimelech designed his own solution instead of calling on God for mercy and repenting of the sins that plagued the nation during the dark days of the judges. How did the Israelites feel about the Moabites??

1) contemptible origins in the incestuous relationship of Lot and his daughter (Gen 19:30-38)

2) their resistance to Israelite passage through their territory when they came from Egypt (Numbers 22-24)

3) Moabite women’s seduction of the Israelites and the latter’s subsequent punishment (Nu 25:1-9)

4) Israel’s constitutional exclusion of Moab from the assembly of the Lord (Deut. 23:3-6)

5) the recent oppression of the Israelites by Eglon the king of Moab (Judges 3:15-30)

Block: to be buried in an unclean foreign land was considered the ultimate punishment (Amos 7:17)

ALBERT BARNES
Commentary on Ruth

ART IN THE BIBLE
on Ruth

JOSEPH BENSON
Commentary on Ruth

RICHARD BERNARD
Commentary on Ruth
Delivered In Several Sermons

BRIAN BELL
Sermons on Ruth

BIBLE.ORG RESOURCES
Resources that Reference Ruth
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BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR
Joseph Exell, Editor
Commentary, Sermons, Homilies on Ruth

EDWARD BOONE
Commentary on Ruth

ALAN CARR
Sermons on Ruth

CAMBRIDGE BIBLE FOR SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
Commentary on Ruth

RICH CATHERS
Sermon Notes on Ruth

ADAM CLARKE
Commentary on Ruth
(Click caveat)

CENTURY BIBLE
Commentary on Ruth
Brief comments

THOMAS CONSTABLE
Commentary on Ruth

 

J N DARBY
Commentary on Ruth

RON DANIEL
Sermon Notes on Ruth

WARREN DOUD
Commentary Notes on Ruth

JOHN DUMMELOW
Commentary on Ruth

CHARLES ELLICOTT
Commentary on Ruth

EXPOSITOR'S BIBLE COMMENTARY
Commentary on Ruth
R A Watson

EXPOSITOR'S DICTIONARY OF TEXTS
Commentary on Ruth

DON FORTNER
Complete Book on Ruth

MAX FRAZIER
The Romance of Redemption
Devotional Commentary on Ruth

 

  • Ruth 1:1: No Bread in Bethlehem
  • Ruth 1:2-7: Elimelech's Mistake
  • Ruth 1:8-9: God at Work in Godless Moab
  • Ruth 1:8-13 A Mother Prays for Her Daughters-in-law
  • Ruth 1:14-18: Two Pictures of Love
  • Ruth 1:19-22: A Changed Name
  • Ruth 2:1-3: A Willing Heart
  • Ruth 2:4: The Importance of a Greeting
  • Ruth 2:5-13: Motivated by Kindness
  • Ruth 2:4-13: More Acts of Kindness
  • Ruth 3:1: An Unselfish Act
  • Ruth 3:2-4: New Clothes for a New You
  • Ruth 3:6-15: A Very Unusual Wedding Proposal
  • Ruth 4:1-22: What is a Redeemer

A C GAEBELEIN
Commentary on Ruth

JOHN GILL
Commentary on Ruth

GOTQUESTIONS
Book of Ruth

L M GRANT
Commentary on Ruth

DAVE GUZIK
Commentary on Ruth

JAMES HASTINGS
Great Texts of the Bible
From Ruth

ROBERT HAWKER
Commentary on Ruth

SUSIE HAWKINS
Study on Ruth
Primarily Audio
See Audio Links on Right side of Page

MATTHEW HENRY
Commentary on Ruth

WILLIAM HESLOP
Commentary on Ruth

SELWYN HUGHES
Devotional Commentary
Ruth

 

 

 

ALFRED HUNT
Ruth the Moabitess
A Short Commentary, Critical and Expository,
on the Book of Ruth
1884

JAMIESON, FAUSSET, BROWN
Commentary on Ruth

UNABRIDGED VERSION

KEIL AND DELITZSCH
Commentary on Ruth

James Rosscup writes "Keil, C. F. and Franz Delitzsch. Commentary on the Old Testament. 25 volumes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1950. This is the best older, overall treatment of a critical nature on the Old Testament Hebrew text verse by verse and is a good standard work to buy. The student can buy parts or the whole of this series. Sometimes it is evangelical, at other times liberal ideas enter." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

JOHN KITTO
Studies on Ruth
The Pictorial Bible on the Old Testament

Spurgeon comments - "Exceeding meritorious. Refer to it frequently....They are not exactly a commentary, but what marvelous expositions you have there! You have reading more interesting than any novel that was ever written, and as instructive as the heaviest theology. The matter is quite attractive and fascinating, and yet so weighty, that the man who shall study these volumes thoroughly, will not fail to read his Bible intelligently and with growing interest."

WOODROW KROLL
Lessons on Living:
From the book of Ruth

PAUL KRETZMANN
Ruth Commentary

LANGE'S COMMENTARY
Ruth Commentary

DAVID LEGGE
Sermons on
Book of Ruth

J VERNON MCGEE
Thru the Bible Commentary
Ruth Commentary on Mp3

Following Are Individual Mp3's

F B MEYER
Ruth
Devotionals

F B MEYER
Ruth
Through the Bible Commentary

MISCELLANEOUS RESOURCES
on the Book of Ruth
Conservative, Evangelical
Indexed by Scripture

THE THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL LIBRARY on Galaxie.com

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BEST COMMENTARIES

CYRIL BARBER - The Minister's Library Volume 2,  The Minister's Library Volume 3

  • *Barber, Cyril John. Ruth: An Expositional Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press, 1983. "Emphasizes the theme of Ruth as exemplifying the grace of God. The author has given us an extremely satisfying exposition of this OT book.... [He] has deduced from it many lessons that are pertinent to us in our late twentieth century circumstances. The references in the appendix indicate the extent of his research and the breadth of his reading, and we are consequently his debtors. Here is a book that deserves to be readand then re-read. I wholeheartedly recommend it" (Frederick A. Tatford). James Rosscup, in his Commentaries for Biblical Expositors, wrote: “[This is] a well-organized conservative exposition arising out of much study and skill in showing how alive biblical passages are…. Barber uses captivating headlines for sections, a vivid flow, arousing descriptions, analogies, illustrations, and applications. He deals with many problems awarely, using notes that sometimes are lengthy and meaty…. He is competent, thoughtprovoking, and often sharp in exposing the timeliness of the book for life today.”
  • Block, Daniel. Judges, Ruth. Vol. 6: New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1999. An exceedingly valuable exegetical and theological exposition. Based on the NIV, though Block gives evidence of working from the Hebrew text. Readers will find this a learned, discerning discussion that readily explains the meaning and message of these twin books. Recommended.
  • Campbell, Edward R, Jr. Ruth. The Anchor Bible. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday and Co., 1975. A stimulating and exacting study. It is fully abreast of the latest MS evidence and makes appropriate use of comparative Semitic studies (particularly Ugaritic). Recommended.
  • *Cox, Samuel, and Thomas Filler. The Book of Ruth. Minneapolis: Klock & Klock Christian Publishers, 1982. Combines Cox's devotional studies from The Expositor with Fuller's sermons on chapters 1-2. Includes useful appendixes on Christ as the menuchah of the World and Christ as the true goel of men. Excellent
  • Goslinga, C. J. Joshua, Judges, Ruth. Bible Students Commentary. Translated by R. Togtman. Grand Rapids: Regency Reference Library, 1987. Brief, perceptive comments on each verse of these canonical books. Adheres to the standard evangelical interpretation of major critical issues. In applying the text to life, Goslinga follows a typological approach. As a commentary, this work serves as a handy guide to laypeople studying these books for the first time. Pastors and lay preachers may find the outlines helpful.
  • Gray, John. Joshua, Judges, Ruth. New Century Bible. Revised ed. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1986. Based upon the text of the RSV. This is a complete revision of the author's earlier commentary. In this work Gray incorporates some new conclusions which he has reached since his 1967 study appeared. He now includes a section in which he puts forth his thesis that there was a gradual growth on the part of the people of Israel from the militant core of worshippers of Yahweh which became localized in Ephraim, to a wider group including an underprivileged proletariat attracted by the social ethic of the "new faith." The fact that this thesis cannot be maintained from evidence within the books of Joshua and Judges does not stop Gray from presenting his ideas as if they were some new revelation

Ruth - Best Commentaries by Genre-Jim Rosscup

Detailed Exegetical

  • 1. F. Bush
  • 2. D. Block
  • 3. E. Campbell (Lib)
  • 4. A. Cundall/L. Morris
  • 5. D. Atkinson

Expositional Commentary

  • 1. Paul Enns
  • 2. J. J. Davis
  • 3. E. J. Hamlin
  • 4. R. Hubbard, Jr.
  • 5. A. B. Luter
  • 6. C. Goslinga
  • 7. J. Reed (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Devotional Commentary

BIBLICAL TRAINING

HENRY MORRIS

Defender's Study Bible- Excellent, conservative, literal study Bible notes from a leading creationist commentator, Dr Henry Morris. In the box labeled "All these words" type in the name of the book and the chapter number and click "Advance Search." Scroll down to see Dr Morris' notes.

 

  • Ruth 1:2 Ephrathites. Ephrata (meaning "fruitful") was the same town as Bethlehem (Genesis 35:19; Micah 5:2). In a spiritual analogy, one could note that the Messiah's home was both the house of bread and the field of the fruit of the vine, as the Messiah would become both "the bread of life" in His broken body and "the true vine" in his redeeming blood (John 6:48; 15:1). Bethlehem-Ephrata was thus an appropriate "place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. Lo, we heard of it at Ephrata; we found it in the fields of the wood" (Psalm 132:5, 6).
  • Moab. The country of Moab was the place of the Moabites, who were descendants of Lot, and such enemies of Israel that they had been banned from the "congregation of the Lord" (Deuteronomy 23:3). Yet, as a measure of God's grace, upon repentance and faith in the true God, Ruth the Moabitess not only found a place in the congregation of the Lord, but a place in His genealogy (Matthew 1:5).
  • Ruth 1:4 of the other Ruth
  • Ruth 1:8 deal kindly
  • Ruth 1:16 - thy God my God. Naomi was such a faithful witness and godly mother-in-law that both Moabite daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, loved her dearly even after their husbands were dead. However, when Orpah had to choose, she returned to her pagan nature-gods (centered in Chemosh, "the subduer"). Ruth, evidenced true conversion to the God of creation, not only by taking God as her own Savior but by going with the people of God and entering the family of God's people.
  • Ruth 2:1 name was Boaz
  • Ruth 2:3 gleaned. The custom of gleaning (collecting what had been missed by the officially employed reapers) was a divinely ordained provision for the poor of the land (see Leviticus 19:9, 10; Deuteronomy 24:19).
  • hap. To outward appearances, Ruth just "happened" to glean in the field of Boaz, but the entire context makes it clear that this was God's providential leading. God is altogether sovereign; He is not a God of chance. A faithful believer, seeking honestly to know and do the will of God, especially in relation to His already revealed will in Scripture, can be confident that the circumstances around him are not dictated by the laws of probability but by the will and purpose of God (Romans 8:28).
  • Boaz. Boaz was considered a relative of Elimelech, the father of Ruth's first husband. This suggests that Boaz was old enough to be Ruth's father (see also Ruth 3:10). Both, however, were more concerned with having a God-honoring marriage than one based on physical considerations, so age was secondary.
  • Ruth 2:16 handfuls of purpose. The same Hebrew word, basically meaning "take a spoil," is used twice in this verse, once translated "let fall" and once as "of purpose." The word for "handfuls," used only this once in the Bible, evidently refers to a hand's grip. Boaz is saying in effect to his servants, "Grab from the bundles of sheaves as though you were taking a spoil for her, from the bundles of sheaves, but then leave them as a spoil for her." Ruth was not to know that this was Boaz' gift to her, so she could assume she was gleaning it all on her own.
  • she may glean them. Ruth, in gleaning the sheaves deliberately left by Boaz, becomes a type of the believer gleaning food for the soul in the fruitful field of Scripture. Our heavenly "Boaz" has paid the price to take the spoil for us. As we kneel down to glean each morsel, we "rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil" (Psalm 119:162).
  • Ruth 2:17
  • ephah. Compare Exodus 16:16, 36. An ephah was ten omers, and an omer of manna was adequate for the daily needs of one man. Boaz' generosity is measured by the fact that the "handfuls of purpose" he had left for Ruth were ten times her daily need.
  • Ruth 3:7 merry. There is no suggestion here that Ruth was taking advantage of Boaz in a drunken state. The term "merry" only suggests a feeling of satisfaction with a job well done, followed by a good meal and a sense of thankfulness for God's blessing.
  • laid her down. This was not an immoral act on the part of Ruth, but one in full accord with customs and procedures associated with the rights and obligations of the "kinsman-redeemer." A widow could request in this way the nearest kinsman of her deceased childless husband to perform the duty of marriage to the widow and raising up children to "the name of the dead upon his inheritance" (Ruth 4:5).
  • Ruth 3:9 thy skirt
  • Ruth 3:11 virtuous woman. Here Boaz adds his own testimony, based on personal knowledge, to the general awareness of all who knew her, that Ruth was, indeed, a virtuous woman; there had been nothing immoral about her approaching Boaz in the way she did. In fact, he considered it a blessing that she came to him instead of a younger man (Ruth 3:10).
  • Ruth 3:13  the kinsman's part. "The part of the kinsman" is described in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. Although specifically expressed in relation only to brothers, it apparently extended to other male relatives as well, when no living brothers were available to raise up children of the childless relative. Tamar (like Ruth an ancestor of the Messiah) was rewarded in requesting her father-in-law to be her kinsman-redeemer when no brothers were available (Genesis 38:11, 14, 26). Ruth went to Boaz when both sons and their father were dead. Although such a Levirate marriage (from the Latin levir, "brother") was not an actual requirement of the law, it was ordained by God as the honorable thing to do.
  • Ruth 3:18 Sit still. Sometimes, when a believer has done all he knows to do according to God's word, he must be content simply to "sit still," and wait for God to work (compare to Exodus 14:13; Isaiah 30:7).
    finished. Compare Genesis 2:1-3; John 19:30.
  • Ruth 4:1 to the gate
  • Ruth 4:5 buyest the field. The right of a kinsman-redeemer to redeem the property of a dead relative, thereby preventing it from passing outside the family, is set forth in Leviticus 25:25-34. These events described in the book of Ruth indicate that this right of property redemption was also directly linked to the responsibility of raising up children to preserve "the name of the dead upon his inheritance" (Ruth 4:10).
  • Ruth 4:6 cannot redeem it. The redeemer must not only be a kinsman (Leviticus 25:25), but must also be willing, free and have the necessary price. As our great Kinsman Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ indeed fulfills all the conditions (see notes on Revelation 5:1-10).
  • Ruth 4:8 drew off his shoe
  • Ruth 4:18 Pharez. Pharez was the son of Judah, so this genealogical summary clearly shows that David is descended from Judah, and thus able to fulfill Jacob's prophecy (Genesis 49:10) of the sceptre.
  • Ruth 4:20 Salmon. According to Matthew 1:5, Salmon married Rahab the converted harlot, sometime after the fall of Jericho, and therefore Boaz was their son. (See introductory notes concerning gaps that may have occurred between Salmon and Boaz.)
  • Ruth 4:22 David was evidently born near the end of the judges period and Salmon near the beginning. The four generations between Salmon and David thus seem to have spanned the entire period "when the judges ruled" (Ruth 1:1), although it is possible that there are gaps in this genealogy. Note also that ten names are listed in the genealogy from Pharez to David. Deuteronomy 23:2 says that an illegitimate son could "not enter into the congregation of the Lord" until "the tenth generation." Pharez, of course, was the illegitimate son of Judah and Tamar, but this genealogy indicates that David was free from this exclusion, even if there are no gaps in the genealogy.

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MS Word Documents - Lectures on Ruth

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Out from the darkness we have been studying, ''in the days when the judges ruled,'' there shines forth the sweet story of Ruth. In the midst of war and lawlessness and idolatry, there were still those, both rich and poor, who feared God and lived virtuous and simple lives to His praise.

The family of Elimelech were evidently among these, though they took the backsliding step of going down into the Land of Moab for succour. The name Elimelech means ''My God is King''; and if his faith had been strong enough to depend upon his King, much trouble might have been spared. ''There was a famine in the land,'' even in Bethlehem, ''the House of Bread,'' and they went to Moab in search of food, and, as often happens, ''they continued there.'' Trouble upon trouble followed this downward step. Elimelech died, his two sons married Moabitish women, and then the sons died also.

After about ten years, Naomi heard ''that the Lord had visited His people in giving them bread,'' and she arose to return to her own land [1:6]. And then follows the memorable choice of Ruth to cleave unto her mother-in-law in following her to an unknown land, and to what seemed a life of privation and toil. When Naomi saw that she was ''steadfastly minded'' to go with her, she left speaking to her.

There must have been something very beautiful in Naomi's life thus to win the devotion and love of Ruth, first to herself and then to her God; and it has been well to keep her name, which means ''Pleasant,'' instead of substituting her suggestion of Mara [which means ''bitter''].

They arrived at Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest, and proved it to be the House of Bread once more. The calm poetry of those harvest fields of Bethlehem, the eager gleaner among the maidens, the reapers, the lord of the harvest-- have all lived in golden sunshine in our imagination from our childhood.

''Her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging to Boaz.'' Behind our lives there is a guiding Hand which causes even insignificant things to be fraught with mighty issues.

In Boaz, the kinsman of Elimelech, ''a mighty man of wealth,'' we have another beautiful character. The simplicity of his life, the courtesy of his behavior to all with whom he came in contact, his generosity, his regard for the Law, above all his constant reference of every event to God, stand out in striking contrast against the dark background of his time.

The Goel.

It was to this man that Naomi bade Ruth appeal to fulfil the kinsman's part. The word used [for kinsman] is Goel, the redeemer, the one whose right and duty it was according to the Law to redeem the inheritance of the deceased relative, and marry his widow (see Lev 25:25-31, 47-55; Dt 25:5-10). As these rights belonged to the next of kin, Goel came to mean the nearest kinsman. To fulfill these rights was his bounden duty according to the Law of God, and it was the fulfillment of this Law that Naomi sought to bring about [Ruth 3].

The reply of Boaz was: ''It is true that I am a goel (redeemer), but there is a goel nearer of kin than I. If he will redeem thee, well, let him redeem thee; but if he is not willing to redeem thee, then will I redeem thee, as the Lord liveth.''

Then follows the quiet rest of faith on the part of Naomi and her daughter, and the dignified carrying out of the Law in the presence of the elders in the gate of the city, on the part of Boaz.

The next of kin was willing to purchase the land that belonged to Naomi, but he was not willing for what that purchase involved, to take Ruth to be his wife, lest he should mar his own inheritance. This left Boaz free to carry out his gracious purpose; and he bought the inheritance of Elimelech, and he purchased Ruth the Moabitess to be his wife, ''to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.''

The Royal Line.

''So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and she bare a son. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbors gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.''

The story shows how unselfish devotion to God and to duty is rewarded. Orpah, who was content with the outward profession of affection, and returned to her people and her gods [1:14,15], forfeited her place in Israel. The kinsman who failed to fulfill his duty because of his own interests has not even his name recorded in God's Book. Ruth, on the other hand, who gave up all to follow Naomi and Naomi's God, and Boaz, who unhesitatingly fulfilled the kinsman's part, have their names handed down to all time as worthy of praise, and as the ancestors, not only of David, but of David's greater Son [Mat 1:1-6].

The Precision of Prophecy.

One of the most marvelous proofs of the truth of the Bible is to be found in the prophecies concerning the birth of the Messiah. Every time prophecy predicts a fresh branch of the family as being the chosen one, a fresh risk, humanly speaking, is involved. But because God inspired the prophecies, the choice is made with unerring precision. Of Noah's sons, Shem is chosen; of Abraham's sons, Isaac; [of Isaac's sons, Jacob]; of Jacob's twelve sons, Judah is selected; and the promise is renewed to David. Again, Messiah must have a birthplace. Of three known continents Asia is chosen, and of its many countries, the Land of Promise. Of its three districts, Judea; and of its thousands of villages, Bethlehem is selected. ''The prophet puts his finger on one obscure village on the map of the world; but he speaks infallibly, for the Omniscient God was behind his utterances'' (Dr. Pierson).

The Kinsman Redeemer.

But the Key-note of the book of Ruth is The Kinsman Redeemer. In him, we see Christ, who has purchased the Church to be His Bride.

''Thirty times in this short book the word 'kinsman' is found, or 'redeemer,' 'near kinsman,' 'next of kin,' 'kindred,' --like words, all having reference to like things...

How plainly this book is intended to teach the doctrine concerning Redemption will be seen by examining Ruth 4:4-10. Here the word 'redemption' occurs five times in three verses; and in the tenth verse, Boaz declares that in redeeming the property he also purchases the widow of Mahlon to be his own wife. Nothing can explain the extreme minuteness of detail here, except a typical design on the part of the inspiring Spirit...

Our Lord Jesus had to become one with man in order to have the right to redeem. He is, therefore, our fellow-man; but if He had been involved in man's fall and identified with man's sin, He could not have acted as Redeemer. No sinner can redeem himself, much less can he redeem his brother (Psa 49:7). He is therefore, as the God-man, our Boaz [whose name means 'Strength' or 'Ability']; by that kinship and strength of ability, He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him'' (Pierson). [Heb 7:25]

''The Church which He hath purchased with His own blood'' (Acts 20:28).

''Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing'' [Eph 5:25-27].

The Christian Life.

For the individual believer, the book [of Ruth] is full of teaching.

- - First, the definite choice has to be made, the trust placed under the wings of the Lord God of Israel.

- - Then the diligent gleaning in the field, the beating out of the corn and the feeding upon it, which represents the diligent feeding of our souls upon the Word. The soul thus fed has food to pass on to others (Ruth 2:18).

- - The work in the harvest field is also a picture of the wider service of the ingathering of souls in God's great harvest field of the world [Mat 9:37,38], and we may well ask ourselves evening by evening, ''Where hast thou gleaned today?''

Union with Christ.

Though the union of Ruth with Boaz is typical of the Church as a whole, yet there is for the individual believer, the blessed experience of union with Christ set forth under so many figures, such as the abiding of the branch in the Vine [John 15]. If there has been in our lives any of the failure Israel experienced in Judges, a turning unto our own way, the remedy for us is to seek a closer union with Christ. Lest we be discouraged, God has placed the Book of Joshua and the Book of Ruth on each side of the Book of Judges, as if to show us that the Victory of Faith and the Rest of Faith is the experience we are to look for as followers of an Almighty Saviour.

JODI HOOPER

ROBERT HUBBARD

HYMNS

DONALD LEGGETT

NATHAN LEWIS

DAVID MALICK

BILL MCRAE

MIDDLETOWN BIBLE

MONERGISM

G CAMPBELL MORGAN

WILLIAM NEWELL

ON SITE

PLYMOUTH BRETHREN

WIL POUNDS

PRECEPTAUSTIN

RBC BOOKLETS

REFORMATION STUDY BIBLE

KEN RISTAU

NICOLE C SMITH

  • My Redeemer Lives - WATCH THIS GOD GLORIFYING VIDEO - YOU WILL WILL WANT TO WORSHIP OUR GREAT REDEEMER WHO IS ALIVE! If you can keep a dry eye at the 3 minute mark I will be amazed - and you'll love the end of the story! Hallelujah!

I STEELE

W. T. P. WOLSTON

SERMONS ON
THE BOOK OF RUTH

J. G. BELLET

BRIAN BILL

ANDREW BONAR

CLOVIS G. CHAPPELL

BOB L. DEFFINBAUGH

BRUCE GOETTSCHE

GOSPEL COALITION

SCOTT GRANT

S LEWIS JOHNSON

JOHN KITTO

Spurgeon's Comments on Kitto: "Then, of course, gentlemen, you will economize rigidly until you have accumulated funds to purchase Kitto’s Pictorial Bible. You mean to take that goodly freight on board before you launch upon the sea of married life. As you cannot visit the Holy Land, it is well for you that there is a work like the Pictorial Bible, in which the notes of the most observant travellers are arranged under the texts which they illustrate. For the geography, zoology, botany, and manners and customs of Palestine, this will be your counselor and guide....A work of art as well as learning."

JOHN MACARTHUR

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

HENRY MAHAN

SERMON CENTRAL

SERMON CENTRAL

RAY STEDMAN

J B STONEY

RICHARD L. STRAUSS

CHUCK SWINDOLL

COMMENTARIES ON
THE BOOK OF RUTH

BRETT W AVANTS

EVAN BALTZ

ALISTAIR BEGG

BIBLOS

EDWARD BOONE

PAULUS CASSEL

His commentary is very original, fresh, suggestive, abounding in historical examples and parables . . . The grammatical notes on The Book of Ruth . . . will be found very valuable, and this part of the work . . . will be regarded as a rich treasure. (The Evangelical Repository and United Presbyterian Review)

GORDON CHURCHYARD

MARK COPELAND

SAMUEL COX

This is a most admirable little treatise, full of thought and the results of research, communicated in the most pleasant and attractive guise. Mr. Cox's gifts in the way of exposition are very marked. Few men have a greater power of giving a complete and distinctive view, unembarrassed by minor references. In his treatment of the Book of Ruth no point of interest is missed . . . There is not a dull sentence in it. (British Quarterly Review)

WILLIAM BRADEN

Mr. Braden rightly judgest that the true Gospel to men—the Lord—is that which ennobles the holiness of all relationships and of common things. He has made the Book Ruth the occasion of discoursings on the relations of family life, and the beauty of holiness of family affections, more especially of marriage. This he has done with much ingenuity, with neatness and felicity of illustration, and often with great intellectual beauty; while a gentle spirit of beautiful piety suffuses the whole. It is a very charming little book, and should be a household volume. (British Quarterly Review)

JOHN DUMMELOW

A C GAEBELEIN

L M GRANT

ROBERT HAWKER

ALFRED LEEDES HUNT

JOHN ANGELL JAMES

KEIL AND DELITZSCH

James Rosscup - "Keil, C. F. and Franz Delitzsch. Commentary on the Old Testament. 25 volumes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1950. This is the best older, overall treatment of a critical nature on the Old Testament Hebrew text verse by verse and is a good standard work to buy. The student can buy parts or the whole of this series. Sometimes it is evangelical, at other times liberal ideas enter." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

KEIL AND DELITZSCH

WILLIAM KELLY

PAUL E KRETZMAN
LUTHERAN PERSPECTIVE

JOHN MACGOWAN

The discourses are good reading.—Charles Spurgeon

MAY FIELD MCKEAN

A poetic interpretation of the Book of Ruth. In five short chapters, he offers readers a simple approach to this book of the Bible, while emphasizing the book’s essential theme: love. McKean illustrates the importance of not just loving, but being loveable and winning others to Christ through it.

J VERNON MCGEE

JAMES NISBET
CHURCH PULPIT COMMENTARY

PETER PETT

MATTHEW POOLE

AUBREY C PRICE

This volume is a compilation of seven lectures delivered to Rev. Aubrey Price’s congregation. It analyzes the lessons and events of the book of Ruth and shows how they apply to modern-day life and experiences. Each lecture focuses on a key character in Ruth and what they represent.

CHARLES J. ROLLS

HENRI ROSSIER

HAMILTON SMITH

JOHN STEVENSON

ROB SALVATO

ANDREW THOMSON

Thomson's aim is to “remove its obscurities, unravel its difficulties, to state some of the many lessons of religion, morality, and prudence that are scattered over it like its own rich harvest gleanings, and to show the manifold application of these to our own circumstances and times.”

T N TOLLER

JOHN TRAPP

DANIEL WHEDON

LOUIS B WOLFENSON

RUTH 1

VERSE BY VERSE

WILLIAM HESLOP

VARIOUS SOURCES

DEREK W H THOMAS

BRYN MACPHAIL

JOHN PIPER

ROBERT NEIGHBOUR

J R MILLER

C H SPURGEON

SERMON OUTLINE

WILLIAM TAYLOR

BOB DEFFINBAUGH

THOMAS FULLER (1865)

OUR DAILY BREAD

ROBERT NEIGHBOUR

BRIAN BILL

JIM BOMKAMP

JOE TEMPLE

SELWYN HUGHES

EDWARD BOONE

ALAN CARR

LELAND JOHNSON

W A CRISWELL

DON FORTNER

ROBERT MORGAN

WARREN DOUD

DON ROBINSON

STEVE ZEISLER

ALBERT BARNES

STEVE ZEISLER

STEVE ZEISLER

SELWYN HUGHES

VERSE BY VERSE

ALAN CARR

DON FORTNER

VERSE BY VERSE

DON FORTNER

HORATIUS BONAR

SELWYN HUGHES

G CAMPBELL MORGAN

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

JAMES HASTINGS

G C MORGAN

C H SPURGEON

JAMES SMITH, 1856

OUR DAILY BREAD

BRYN MACPHAIL

JONATHAN EDWARDS

DON FORTNER

DAVID HOLWICK

WARREN DODD

DON ROBINSON

SELWYN HUGHES

JOHN MACDUFF

EDWARD BOONE

ALAN CARR

VERSE BY VERSE

DON FORTNER

SAMUEL RIDOUT

F B MEYER

EXPOSITOR'S BIBLE COMMENTARY

DON FORTNER

C H SPURGEON

RUTH 2

VERSE BY VERSE

ON SITE

WILLIAM HESLOP

JOHN PIPER

SERMON BIBLE COMMENTARY

THOMAS FULLER (1865)

DEREK W H THOMAS

BOB DEFFINBAUGH

SERMON

JIM BOMKAMP

JOE TEMPLE

WARREN DODD

EDWARD BOONE

STEVE ZEISLER

DON FORTNER

DON ROBINSON

ALBERT BARNES

ALAN CARR

SELWYN HUGHES

WARREN DODD

T. DE WITT TALMAGE

G CAMPBELL MORGAN

CHARLES KINGSLEY

JAMES HASTINGS

DON FORTNER

ALAN CARR

SELWYN HUGHES

VERSE BY VERSE

WARREN DODD

OUR DAILY BREAD

J HUDSON TAYLOR

CHARLES SIMEON

C H SPURGEON

J R MILLER

F B MEYER

DON FORTNER

SELWYN HUGHES

C H SPURGEON

STEVE ZEISLER

EDWARD BOONE

VERSE BY VERSE

C H SPURGEON

DON FORTNER

WARREN DODD

ALAN CARR

SELWYN HUGHES

DON FORTNER

RUTH 3

VERSE BY VERSE

JOHN PIPER

WILLIAM HESLOP

JIM BOMKAMP

DEREK W H THOMAS

JOE TEMPLE

EDWARD BOONE

SAMUEL COX

WARREN DODD

STEVE ZEISLER

WARREN DODD

DON FORTNER

ALBERT BARNES

BOB DEFFINBAUGH

W A CRISWELL

ALAN CARR

DON ROBINSON

SELWYN HUGHES

WARREN DODD

VERSE BY VERSE

DON FORTNER

ALAN CARR

SELWYN HUGHES

DON FORTNER

WARREN DODD

VERSE BY VERSE

G CAMPBELL MORGAN

F B MEYER

RUTH 4

VERSE BY VERSE

J. G. BELLET

JOHN PIPER

WILLIAM HESLOP

BOB DEFFINBAUGH

JOE TEMPLE

DEREK W H THOMAS

ALBERT BARNES

WARREN DODD

WIL POUNDS

W A CRISWELL

JIM BOMKAMP

WARREN DODD

ALAN CARR

STEVE ZEISLER

EDWARD BOONE

DON FORTNER

DON ROBINSON

SELWYN HUGHES

DON FORTNER

VERSE BY VERSE

OUR DAILY BREAD

WARREN DODD

F B MEYER

SELWYN HUGHES

VERSE BY VERSE

ALAN CARR

STEVE ZEISLER

SELWYN HUGHES

VERSE BY VERSE

G CAMPBELL MORGAN

HENRY MORRIS

Commentary on the Book of Ruth

Scroll Down page for Notes from Defender's Study Bible

TOM NELSON

Mp3 Sermon Series

Book of Ruth

NET BIBLE NOTES
on the Book of Ruth

Recommended: NETBible notes are in the right panel. You can also select the tab for "Constable's Notes." As you scroll the Bible text in the left panel, the notes are synchronized and will scroll to the same passage. This is a very helpful feature. Also has a nice parallel Bible feature (see Tab = "Parallel"). Select a different Bible translation (see Tab = "Bible"). Open Greek/Hebrew tab. Mouse over shows corresponding English word and has short definition at bottom of right panel.

JAMES NISBET'S CHURCH PULPIT COMMENTARY

Book of Ruth

OUR DAILY BREAD
Devotional Illustrations on Ruth

 

JOSEPH PARKER
The People's Bible
Ruth

Joseph Parker - People's Bible - Rosscup: This work, later called Preaching Through the Bible (Baker Book House), is rich in its applications and exhortations, though often not particularly helpful for the reader who is looking for exposition that stays right with the text. Treatment of the texts is sermonic. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An annotated bibliography of selected works)

PASTOR LIFE
Sermons
Book of Ruth

Ruth - Introduction Ruth 1 Ruth Donald Cantrell
God of our Mothers Ruth 1:1-12 Mother; Women; Ruth David E. Owen
Facing Danger in Moab Ruth 1:1-5 Backsliding Donald Cantrell
Desertion in Moving to Moab Ruth 1:1-5 Backsliding; Disobedience; Worldliness Donald Cantrell
Depression in Naming a Name Ruth 1:19-22 Decisions; Will, God's Donald Cantrell
Desperation in Facing their Funerals Ruth 1:6-18 Death; Bereavement; Commitment Donald Cantrell
Landing in the Right Fold Ruth 2:10-23 God, Hand of; Will of God Donald Cantrell
Looking for the Right Field Ruth 2:1-9 Will of God; God, Leadership of; Purpose Donald Cantrell
The Mighty Boaz That Supplied Redemption Ruth 3:10-18 Redemption; Salvation, Price of; Boaz Donald Cantrell
The Moabitesh Beauty That Sought Redemption Ruth 3:1-9 Seeker; Redemption Donald Cantrell
The Big Finish of Boaz Ruth 4:1-13 Redeemer, Kinsman; Salvation, Price of Donald Cantrell
The Bright Future of Bethlehem Ruth 4:14-22 Heritage; Family, Christian Donald Cantrell
True Love Awaits Ruth 4:9 Love; Redeemer, Kinsman; Salvation Steve Wagers

ARTHUR PEAKE
Commentary on Ruth

PETER PETT
Commentary on Ruth

JOHN PIPER
Sermons on Ruth

MATTHEW POOLE
Commentary on Ruth

PRECEPT MINISTRY INTERNATIONAL
Ruth

MS Word Documents - Lectures on Ruth

Material below is from the Louisiana Precept affiliate

Lesson One - The Setting of Ruth, Understanding "Redeemer", Promise of "Redemption"

Lesson Two - Redemption-OT; Redemption-NT

Lesson Three - Redemption- 2nd Coming; Blood Avenger (OT & NT)

PREACHER'S HOMILETICAL COMMENTARY
Ruth
Walter Baxendale, 1892
Excellent Resource

 

Ruth 1 Critical and Exegetical Notes

Scroll Down the preceding link for homilies below

  • Ruth 1:1 The Famine and Exile
  • Ruth 1:1 The Beginning of Sorrows
  • Ruth 1:1 The Departure from Home
  • Ruth 1:1 Family Changes
  • Ruth 1:2 Man Proposing, God Disposing
  • Ruth 1:2 The Sojourn in Moab
  • Ruth 1:3 The First Breach in the Family Circle
  • Ruth 1:3 And She Was Left with her two sons
  • Ruth 1:4 Marriage in Moab
  • Ruth 1:5 The Second Great Bereavement
  • Ruth 1:6 The Awakening in Moab
  • Ruth 1:7 The Homeward Pilgrimage
  • Ruth 1:8 The First Trial of Affection
  • Ruth 1:8-9 A Benediction and a Valediction
  • Ruth 1:9 And they lifted up their voices and wept
  • Ruth 1:10 The Promising Commencement
  • Ruth 1:11-13 The Second Trial of Affection
  • Ruth 1:8-9 A Benediction and a Valediction
  • Ruth 1:9 And they lifted up their voices and wept
  • Ruth 1:10 The Promising Commencement
  • Ruth 1:13 Resignation in Suffering
  • Ruth 1:14 The Crisis and the Contrast Once Again
  • Ruth 1:14 The Failure of a Merely Earthly Affection
  • Ruth 1:14 Orpah or the Mere Professor
  • Ruth 1:14 The Constancy of a Divinely Kindled Love
  • Ruth 1:15 The Third and Last Trial of Affection
  • Ruth 1:16-17 Sacred Moments and Solemn Vows
  • Ruth 1:16-17 The Choice of Youth
  • Ruth 1:19 Steadfast-Mindedness
  • Ruth 1:19 Companionship in Progress
  • Ruth 1:19 A City in Astonishment
  • Ruth 1:20 Spiritual Despondency and Depression
  • Ruth 1:21 Painful Remembrances
  • Ruth 1:22 The Wanderer Home Again

Ruth 2 Critical and Exegetical Notes

Scroll Down the preceding link for homilies below

  • Ruth 2:1 The Claims of the Weak Upon the Strong
  • Ruth 2:2 Humble Toil...
  • Ruth 2:3 Seeming Chances, Real Providences
  • Ruth 2:3 The Gleaner
  • Ruth 2:4 The Right Relationship Between Masters and Servants
  • Ruth 2:5-7 Attention to the Stranger at the Gate
  • Ruth 2:5-7 Introduction to a Future Wife
  • Ruth 2:8-9 Care for the Stranger at the Gate
  • Ruth 2:10 The Lowly Attitude of a Grateful Heart
  • Ruth 2:11 The Second Gracious Approval
  • Ruth 2:12 The Recompense of Reward
  • Ruth 2:12 The Wings of the Almighty
  • Ruth 2:12 The Sheltering Wing
  • Ruth 2:12 The Habit of Holy Communion
  • Ruth 2:13 The Heart Realizing a Ministry of Love
  • Ruth 2:13 The Outward Proof of Divine Reward
  • Ruth 2:14 Provision for the Stranger at the Gate
  • Ruth 2:15-16 Liberal Giving, Like God's
  • Ruth 2:17 Labor Until the Evening
  • Ruth 2:18 The Bread-Winner and Her Precious Burden
  • Ruth 2:19 Home Confidences, Mutual Confessions, and Enquiries
  • Ruth 2:20 Kindness to the Living and the Dead
  • Ruth 2:20, 21 Kinship the Ground of Redemption
  • Ruth 2:22 Constancy at Home and Abroad

Ruth 3:1-6 Critical and Exegetical Notes

Scroll Down the preceding link for homilies below

  • Ruth 3:1 One Seeking Rest for Another
  • Ruth 3:2-4 An Important Reminder
  • Ruth 3:5-6 Obedience in Innocence
  • Ruth 3:7-14 A Delicate Mission Defended
  • Ruth 3:9 A Cry for Shelter and a Claim for Help
  • Ruth 3:10, 11 Virtue Recognized and Blessed
  • Ruth 3:12-13 Care for the Claims of Others
  • Ruth 3:14 Caring for a Good Name
  • Ruth 3:18 Rest in Ourselves and Rest in Another

Ruth 4:1-10 Critical and Exegetical Notes

Scroll Down the preceding link for homilies below

  • Ruth 4:1-5 Friends in Council
  • Ruth 4:6 A Shortsighted Policy and its Merited Oblivion
  • Ruth 4:9 The Kinsman Redeemer
  • Ruth 4:10 The Bridegroom Redeemer
  • Ruth 4:11-13 Prayers for Posterity and Prosperity
  • Ruth 4:11 Manliness, its Fit and Proper Sphere
  • Ruth 4:14-15 Congratulations and Good Wishes
  • Ruth 4:15-16 Youth and Age
  • Ruth 4:19-22 Links in the Chain Christward

PULPIT COMMENTARY
on Ruth
Edited by H D M Spence and Joseph Exell

 

Ruth 1:1-5 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 1:6-14 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 1:15-22 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 2:1-9 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 2:10-17 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 2:18-23 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 3:1-18 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 4:1-22 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

ROBERT RAYBURN
Sermons on the
Book of Ruth

GRANT RICHISON
Verse by Verse Commentary on Ruth

DON ROBINSON
Studies in Ruth

SERMONS VERSE BY VERSE
Sermons on Ruth

Note: The links below are to the first verse in each chapter. Click the arrow to go to the next set of sermons. These are from the Biblical Illustrator.

SERMON BIBLE COMMENTARY
Commentary on Ruth

SPEAKER'S COMMENTARY
on Ruth

CHARLES SIMEON
Sermons on Ruth

NOTE: If you are not familiar with the great saint Charles Simeon see Dr John Piper's discussion of Simeon's life - you will want to read Simeon's sermons after meeting him! - click Brothers We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering (Mp3 even better)

CHUCK SMITH
Ruth Commentary

C. H. SPURGEON
All His Sermons on Ruth

C. H. SPURGEON
Devotionals on Ruth
Morning and Evening

JOHN STEVENSON
Ruth - Sermons

JOSEPH SUTCLIFFE
Commentary on Ruth

JOE TEMPLE
Sermons on Ruth
Abilene Bible Church

Related Topics

DEREK THOMAS
Sermons on Ruth

GEOFF THOMAS
Sermons on Ruth
Alfred Place Baptist Church

THIRD MILLENNIUM
Resources on Ruth

OUTLINE & REFERENCES

NOTES ON THE TEXT

Ruth 1

Ruth 2

Ruth 3

Ruth 4

T N TOLER
Expository Discourses on
The Book of Ruth
1848

JOHN TRAPP
Commentary on Ruth

R A WATSON
The Expositor's Bible Commentary
Ruth Commentary
(1900)

TODAY IN THE WORD
Devotionals on Ruth
Moody Bible Institute

PAUL VAN GORDER
on Ruth
The Old Testament Presents...
Reflections of Christ

The book of Ruth provides a postscript to the Judges. The story occurred during this time of strife and bloodshed. A famine swept through the land. Even Bethlehem, the most fertile of places, was affected. This beautiful narrative, involving a family, is a graphic picture of the gospel story-- the redemption provided in Christ Jesus.

Chapter 1:
 
The family, having left the ''house of bread,'' is in a far country.
They long to return.
Two words characterize chapter 1-- yearning and returning.
Chapter 2: Ruth is in a field, seeking and serving.
Chapter 3: Ruth is at the door. She has been received.
Chapter 4: What better place could Ruth be, than within the house,
chosen and rewarded?

Old Testament names often have great significance. The Hebrew language puts much importance upon names, both those of men and those of God. Following are the principal characters of Ruth and the meanings of their names. For further study, associate the meanings with the story and note the typology.

Elimelech... ''My God is King''
Bethlehem.. ''House of Bread''
Moab......... ''Under the Curse''
Naomi....... [''Pleasant'']
Mahlon..... ''Sick''
Chilion...... ''Pining''
Orpah....... ''Fawn''
Ruth........... ''Friendship,'' or ''Beauty''
Mara.......... ''Bitter''
Boaz......... ''Strength''

Ruth was a Moabitess, not an Israelite. God had commanded, ''[A] Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord'' (Dt 23:3). Moabites were cut off from the covenant relationship Israel had with God. This is also the position of Gentiles by nature, and it describes us before we were saved by grace. Paul wrote, ''That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world'' (Eph 2:12). Moab was under the curse of God.

Ruth Deciding (Ruth 1).Poignant words of Ruth to Naomi appear in verse 16, ''Entreat me not to leave thee, or to turn away from following thee; for where thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God.'' This is like the believing sinner's experience as stated in Romans 10:9,10, ''That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.''

Ruth Serving (Ruth 2).- Ruth went out into the field to glean ears of grain. Having made her decision to go with the people of God to Bethlehem, the ''house of bread,'' she now takes the place of service. Romans 6:22 says, ''But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.'' The apostle Paul declared to the believers at Corinth, ''For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake'' (2Cor 4;5).

Ruth Resting (Ruth 3). - What a beautiful scene! Ruth lay at the feet of Boaz, as was the Eastern custom. She was assured that he would do for her all that she needed. We read in Hebrews 4:10, ''For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his works, as God did from His.''

Ruth Rewarded (Ruth 4) What an amazing story of grace! Boaz took Ruth unto himself as his wife, but when he did, all the inheritance he had purchased became hers. From that precious union came children and much blessing. The New Testament picture? ''Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him, in love'' (Eph 1:3,4).

Naomi's words to Ruth are striking. ''Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall; for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day'' (Ruth 3:18).

Every Christian has this assurance from God's Word: ''Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ'' (Php 1:6). Ruth already had some measures of barley that were proof and pledge of the fullness that was to come.

The author of Hebrews said, ''Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth'' [Heb 12:6]. Naomi, who with her family had gone into the far country away from the ''house of bread,'' comes home, driven by loneliness and hunger. ''She had heard in the country of Moab how the Lord had visited His people in giving them food'' (Ruth 1:6). We are told that ''they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest'' (Ruth 1:22). In the far country, she had lost her husband in death. Her two sons became ill and died. How often God allows heartache, tragedy, and trouble to beset the path of His children who have strayed! He uses chastisement to bring them back to Himself.

It helps to become thoroughly familiar with the principles that were applied when Boaz redeemed the land that had belonged to Elimelech and restored it to Naomi and Ruth. I suggest that you read carefully the ''law of the kinsman-redeemer'' as stated in Leviticus 25.

The following observations are significant:

  • ''Free from the law, O happy condition;
  • Jesus has died and there is remission.
  • Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
  • Christ has redeemed us, once for all!''
  • RUTH
  • OUTLINE OF THE BOOK--
  • THE NAMES IN RUTH--
  • Let us now turn to a study of the typical teaching of this tender Old Testament story.
  • I. RUTH: A Portrayal of the Believing Sinner--
  • II. RUTH: A Picture of Christian Experience--
  • Review the brief chapter outline with the following scriptural corroboration in mind:
  • III. RUTH: A Portrait of the Fullness of Redemption--
  • Three great words may be placed over this brief Old Testament story: Pardoned! Purchased! Placed!
  • IV. NAOMI: An Example of Comfort for Backslidden Saints--
  • V. BOAZ: Picture of Christ, our Kinsman-Redeemer--
    1. Kinsman-redemption involved both person and inheritance. - The levitical law stated, ''After he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him'' (Lev 25:48). We read tremendous news in Galatians 4:4,5, ''But, when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.'' Boaz redeemed the parcel of land so that he might restore it to Naomi. He also removed all of the encumbrances that were necessarily upon her and Ruth.

    2. The redeemer had to be a relative. - ''Any that is near of kin unto him of his family may redeem him'' (Lev 25:49). The Lord Jesus took our nature upon Himself to redeem us. Although He is called ''the last Adam'' [1Cor 15:45], He was not tainted by Adam's transgression in any way. He had no sin in Himself, for He was ''holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners'' (Heb 7:26). Yet, He ''made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men'' (Php 2:7).

    3. The redeemer had to be able to redeem. - The law not only required the redemption of the property but also included the obligation to raise up seed to the deceased. As the kinsman-redeemer, Boaz was not only to buy back the property, but he was also to take Ruth as his wife so that she might bear children. In Ruth's case, the first one in line to do this was unable to redeem. [But Boaz, whose name means 'strength,' was able. In our case, the first Adam could not redeem us.] But there is One! ''Their Redeemer is strong, the Lord of hosts is His name'' (Jer 50:34). Here is what our great Kinsman-Redeemer said in John 10:11, ''I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.'' Look also at Jn 10:18, ''No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.'' Our Redeemer is able to redeem!

    4. The kinsman-redeemer had to pay the price in full.

We can only skim the surface [in this brief overview]. Christ is seen prominently in the book of Ruth as the Kinsman-Redeemer. In the words of one biblical commentator, ''Add a Ruth postscript to the living epistle of your life; make Jesus your Lord, and rest in Him.''

[By God's grace, Ruth became a link in the line through which our Kinsman-Redeemer entered the world (Ruth 4:13-22; Mat 1:1-6).]

DANIEL WHEDON
Commentary on Ruth

STEVE ZEISLER
Sermons on Ruth
Peninsula Bible Church

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DISCLAIMER: Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively (Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Any commentary, even those by the most conservative and orthodox teacher/preachers cannot help but have at least some bias of the expositor based upon his training and experience. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, "bibliocentric" commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil (Heb 5:14-note).