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Ruth and Naomi: Follow Their Path from Bethlehem to Moab on a Biblical Journey

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Footsteps of Ruth and Naomi in the Sand of Israel

An authentic Bible tour is exemplified by putting yourself in the shoes of Biblical people who once walked on the very same ground. Travel the distance from Bethlehem to Moab in the Footsteps of Ruth and Naomi and experience the Biblical narrative come alive as you take the same journey!

As you travel on an Israel tour from Bethlehem to Moab, a mountainous strip of land in Jordan, you can imagine Ruth and Naomi traveling the same 50 miles of rugged and steep terrain. Although it is a short trip today, it would have taken Ruth and Naomi 7-10 days on foot. We know from the Book of Ruth that they took this trip 2 times. Once in haste with their husbands, to find bread in Moab and once alone in Naomi’s bitterness, after both of their husbands died in Moab (along with Naomi’s other son).

What does “Mara” Mean?

After Naomi lost both of her sons and husband in Moab, she says in Ruth 1:20, “Don’t call me Naomi, call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.” The word Mara is a form of Marah , meaning “a bitter place in the desert.” We see in the Word that Moses threw wood into the bitter water of Marah and it was made sweet (Exodus 15:22-26). It is the same with Jesus. Through his death on the cross, a bitter soul is made sweet through redemption.

Footsteps of Ruth Along the Dead Sea Shore

Explore the Biblical Passage of Ruth On-Site in Israel

So, as we make our way from Bethlehem to Moab on an Israel tour, we can take a moment to visualize the journey of Ruth and Naomi. We can also dwell in thankfulness that when we say our name is “bitter,” God says there is a Redeemer. His name is Jesus Christ.

Have any questions about what to expect on a Living Passages trip or need help finding the perfect tour or cruise? Call us at 1-888-771-8717 or write us at [email protected] for more information!

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The Book of Ruth 1300 BC Timeline, maps, chronology, sermons of Ruth

The Book of Ruth

(Harmony of Judges, Othniel, Ehud, Ruth)

Other related outlines:

1.       Harmony of Othniel, Ehud, Judges 17-18, Judges 19-21 and Ruth

2.       Book of Ruth : Ruth and Boaz lived in the time of Ehud: 1300 BC

3.       Chronology of the book of Judges solved

Introduction:

1.        The book of Ruth is the story of a sinful lost family who is falling away from the one true God who shows mercy and grace and brings them back from oblivion and condemnation to the honour of being a direct ancestor of Christ.

2.        Naomi and her husband Elimelech and their two sons each owned considerable farmland in Bethlehem area. A famine caused by a drought, forces them to leave Israel and move to pagan Moab.

A.     Dating and Authorship:

1.        The date and author of the book is unknown and anything beyond this is speculation.

a.        However, we speculation it was Solomon who wrote Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.

b.       Just as Solomon had to "eat crow" in writing the book of Song of Solomon wherein he gets dumped by the hottie Shunamite for a shepherd boy, so too the story of pure monogamous love between Ruth and Boaz his grandfather, stands in sharp contrast to his polytheism.

2.        The book was clearly written as a way of establishing the history of David and therefore was likely written sometime during the reign of David or Solomon. (1021-924 BC)

a.        It makes sense that Solomon wrote it in order to validate his throne and ancestor through his father.

b.       Therefore the date that the book of Ruth was written would be between 964 - 924 BC

B.     We have five methods to determine when Ruth lived:

1.        If we use averages in numbers of 14 generations we arrive at 1295 BC for the general time of Ruth. Calculations as follows:

a.        "Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ." (Mt 1:18)

b.       Abraham to David are 13 actual generations, Hebrew inclusive counting started with Abraham as 1, rather than 0:

                                                               i.        Birth of Abraham: 2160 BC - Birth of David: 1034 = 1126 years for 13 generations

                                                             ii.       87 average years per generation

                                                            iii.       times 3 generations back to Ruth: 87 years x 3 generations = 261 years before David is born.

                                                           iv.       David born in 1034 BC + 261 years for three generations = 1295 BC

c.        So using the average number of years between generations, amazingly brings us to the time of Ehud in 1295 BC.

d.       It may surprise the reader to learn that the average age when children were born to parents was 87 years. However, this may be more an insight into male fertility at an old age, than of women. These older men apparently had younger wives who bore them children.

2.        We know that Ruth is the great-grandmother of David.

a.        Three generations from Ruth/Boaz to David:

                                                               i.       "and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed ,

                                                             ii.        and to Obed was born Jesse ,

                                                            iii.       and to Jesse, David ." (Ruth 4:21-22)

b.       Ruth was David's great grandmother

c.        Ruth + Boaz get married 1283 BC

d.       Obed, son of Ruth in 1207 BC

e.       Jesse, son of Obed, father of David

f.         David, son of Jesse, Great grandson of Ruth

3.        Ruth was young when she married and Naomi was old when Obed was born: Ruth 4:13-15: "So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive , and she gave birth to a son. Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. "May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age ; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him." (Ruth 4:13-15)

a.        Naomi stated she was too old to have a husband at the time she left Moab for Bethlehem. Therefore, Naomi was likely 45-60 years old at this time. Given Ruth was young, likely 15-25.

b.       Ruth is described as a young woman twice by Boaz when he asks "whose young woman is this?" and then later he praised her that she did not go after young men.

c.        Ruth is a young woman when she married her Moabite husband and was without any children when she returned to Bethlehem with Naomi.

d.       In 1283 BC Ruth would be 20-25 years old she marries Boaz.

e.       We have no idea when Obed was born, but it would be sometime in Naomi's old age before she died

f.         If Naomi lived to be 120, which was certainly not unusual for the time, then Obed would have born 1207 BC when Ruth was 90. Remember the average for 13 generations is 87 years.

g.        We have an indication that Ruth gave birth in her old age is the phrase in 4:13 "And the LORD enabled her to conceive".

                                                               i.       This indicates that her womb had been closed.

                                                             ii.       This may explain why she had no children from her first husband.

                                                            iii.       All the great women of history (Sarah, Rachael, Hanna) had historically important children in their old age because God had closed their wombs.

                                                           iv.       Therefore, the phrase that God enabled her to conceive is a clear indication she had the child in her old age.

h.       So Ruth was young when she got married and old when she had Obed.

i.          This places Obed's birth about 1207 BC.

4.        But the clincher that nails Ruth's marriage to Boaz around 1283 BC is the fact that Rahab the Harlot was Boaz's mother!

a.        " 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 the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah." (Matthew 1:5-6)

b.       Rahab the Harlot was a young prostitute in 1406 BC when Joshua sent spies to Jericho in Joshua 2.

c.        This is means that our date of 1280 BC for Ruth and Naomi moving back to Bethlehem from Moab is reasonable.

5.        The migrations of Naomi to Moab and back must coincide with a period of oppression followed by a period of liberation by a judge.

a.        After Ehud liberated Israel from Moab by killing Eglon, there was 80 years of peace followed by 20 years of oppression by Jabin, king of Hazor, until Deborah.

b.       Deborah liberated Israel from Jabin in 1184 BC.

c.        This is just too late for Rabab to be Ruth's mother in law.

d.       Therefore, the only liberation that fits the book of Ruth is Ehud in 1283 BC.

C.      Summary of dates and events:

1.        What we know for certain from these events and reasonable sure on the general dates:

a.        The oppression of Eglon, king of Moab was 1302-1284 BC

b.       We know Naomi left Bethlehem when Israel was under the curse of famine and Eglon was oppressing Israel.

c.        We know that Naomi lived in Moab for ten years when her two sons died and it was then, the returned to Bethlehem.

d.       We know Naomi returned to Bethlehem when the famine was over, because Israel had repented and Eglon was killed by Ehud. Naomi's two sons killed in the Ehud liberation against Moab in 1283 BC. (Judges 3) The ten years Naomi was in Moab ended when Eglon and her two sons were killed.

e.       We know there was an 80-year period of peace after Moabite oppression ended.

2.        Summary of dates:

a.        1350 Joshua dies

b.       1350-1342 BC oppression by Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia

c.        1342 Othniel defeats Mesopotamia and liberates Israel for 40 years.

d.       1342-1302 BC Peace in Israel for forty years.

e.       1340 BC Micah's idolatry is transplanted from the hills of Ephraim to Laish (Judges chapters 17-18)

f.         1302 BC oppression by Eglon, King of Moab begins for 18 years with his palace occupying the eastern third of Benjamin's land at the city of Palms near Jericho.

g.        1302 Famine in Bethlehem because of moral decay and idolatry. (Ruth 1:1)

h.       1294 Elimelech, Naomi and her two sons move from Bethlehem to Moab to escape the famine, even though they own considerable farmland. (Ruth 1:1; 4:9)

i.          1290 BC, Judah goes to war against Benjamin for sodomite depravity. (Judges 18-21) The famine in the land was because Israel was under a curse for the moral decay seen in Gibeah by the Benjaminites and for Idolatry.

j.         1290 BC, Naomi's two sons, Mahlon & Chilion marry Moabites in violation of the law of Moses. (Ruth 1:4). The Moabite wives (Ruth and Orpah) influenced their Jewish husbands to worship their idol gods and adopt Moabite custom and allegiance. We know this because when Orpah left, Naomi said: "Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods" (Ruth 1:15)

k.        1290 BC Elimelech dies, likely stricken by God for abandoning his inheritance, allowing his two sons to marry Moabites and not joining the battle against Benjamin in Judges 20. The entire town of Jabesh-Gilead were annihilated in Judges 21:8, for failing to join Israel in the war against Benjamin. Elimelech therefore probably suffered the same fate as the Jabesh-Gilead for the same reason, except it was God that killed him, not man.

l.          1283 BC Israel repents after the slaughter of Benjamin in Judges 18-21, the famine is ended and God then sends Ehud who kills Eglon King of Moab in his palace in the city of Palm trees near Jericho.

m.     1283 BC, the two Moabite wives, Ruth and Orpah influenced their Hebrew husbands to fight for Moab against Ehud and Israel and are "killed in action" as they fought for Eglon, King of Moab. Mahlon & Chilion have not only lost their faith in YHWH, they are no fighting against the one true God and are traitors.

n.       1283 BC Naomi decides to move back to Bethlehem since her husband and two sons are dead and the famine is over.

o.       1283 BC. It is at this point that Ruth has a major conversion to YHWH. She realizes that the gods of Moab are false gods and sees the virtue of faith never lost in Naomi.

p.       1279 BC Boaz, son of Rahab the harlot, marries Ruth (Ruth 4:13)

q.       1207 BC Obed, David's grandfather, was born to Ruth and Boaz. Ruth would be about 90, Naomi would be about 120 years old.

D.     Why the famine of Ruth 1:1 in Bethlehem must be a period of apostasy:

1.        There are a whole series of passages that directly link a lack of rain, failed crops and famine to Israel worshipping idols and moral decay. Notice that Elimelech, Naomi and their two sons had considerable farm land, but had to move to Moab where there was food.

a.        "Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land . And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi; and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. Now they entered the land of Moab and remained there. Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left with her two sons. They took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. And they lived there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and the woman was bereft of her two children and her husband. Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the LORD had visited His people in giving them food ." (Ruth 1:1-6)

b.       "YHWH visited His people indicates Israel had repented!

c.        Therefore, the ten years spent in Moab in book of Ruth must overlap a period of oppression and repentance during the period of the Judges. Only Ehud fits this and is the only possibility, considering that Rabab the harlot was the mother of Boaz.

2.        Here are some of the passages that link Israel's apostasy and sin with famine and curse:

a.        "'If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. 'Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. 'I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down with no one making you tremble. I shall also eliminate harmful beasts from the land, and no sword will pass through your land. 'But you will chase your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword; five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword." (Leviticus 26:3-8)

b.        "'But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments, if, instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant, I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that will waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you will sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies will eat it up." (Leviticus 26:14-16)

c.        "It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. "He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. "Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them. "Or the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you." (Deuteronomy 11:13-17)

d.       "Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. "Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl." (Deuteronomy 28:4-5)

e.       "The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow." (Deuteronomy 28:12)

f.         "Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. "Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock." (Deuteronomy 28:17-18)

g.        "The LORD will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed. "The LORD shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. "Your carcasses will be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away." (Deuteronomy 28:24-26)

Conclusion:

1.        In the period between 1340 - 1284 BC we have three different stories that focus on Bethlehem:

a.        1340 BC: Levite Jonathan, grandson of Moses is a Bethlehemite who moves north to accept a job with Micah in the hill country of Ephraim as the priest of a pagan shrine in rebellion to YHWH

b.       1294 BC Elimelech, Naomi and their two sons move from their drought-stricken land in Bethlehem to Moab for ten years then return.

c.        1290 a harlot wife from her home town of Bethlehem is raped and killed by the sodomite men of Benjamin in Gibeah which leads to the near extinction of the tribe of Benjamin.

2.        It is clear that these stories come as a shock and surprise to those who read the book of Ruth that was written by Solomon 964 - 924 BC and the book of Judges that was written in 720 BC after the Assyrian captivity.

3.        Although Bethlehem is a small and insignificant town, it produced Boaz and Ruth, David and eventually, Jesus Christ.

4.        The book of Ruth is not so much a beautiful love story between Ruth and Boaz, as much as it is a story of a prodigal family coming to repentance and God bringing them back from destruction to the center of spiritual importance.

  Other related outlines:

By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections .

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The Story of Ruth in the Bible: A Tale of Loyalty and Love

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  • June 23, 2023

ruth's journey from moab to bethlehem

The story of Ruth in the Bible is one of love, loyalty, and redemption. Ruth, a Moabite woman, becomes the great-grandmother of King David and an ancestor in the lineage of Jesus. Her journey from a foreigner to a key figure in biblical history is both inspiring and captivating.

Ruth’s unwavering support for her mother-in-law Naomi, along with her eventual marriage to Boaz, showcases her faith and courage.

This tale is not just about personal devotion but holds deeper messages about compassion and divine providence.

In today’s world, where themes of loyalty and overcoming adversity are prevalent in the news, Ruth’s story resonates deeply and provides timeless lessons.

If you’re intrigued by stories of overcoming hardship and finding hope, the story of Ruth offers a powerful narrative.

Learn more about her incredible journey and the important messages it carries by exploring this helpful resource .

Dive into Ruth’s world and discover what makes her story an enduring one.

Background and Setting

A barren field with a backdrop of a small town, depicting the setting of the biblical story of Ruth

The story of Ruth takes place during the time of the judges in Israel, right after the conquest of Canaan and before the establishment of kings.

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This era was chaotic, with tribes often at odds and lacking a central leader.

A famine hits Judah, forcing Naomi and her family to move to Moab.

In Moab, Naomi’s sons marry Moabite women, including Ruth.

Tragedy strikes as Naomi’s husband and sons die, leaving the women widowed.

Key Points:

  • Setting: Time of the judges (~1050 BC)
  • Location: Moves from Judah to Moab and back

The narrative is also deeply tied to the covenant themes in the Bible, particularly about land and family.

Ruth’s dedication to Naomi and her decision to follow her to Judah is noteworthy, highlighting loyalty and faith.

Relate to Current Events: In today’s world, stories of loyalty and faith continue to inspire through various hardships, much like Ruth’s tale.

If you’re interested in exploring more about such timeless stories and how they relate to us now, check this resource to learn more.

Ruth’s Loyalty to Naomi

Ruth walking alongside Naomi, carrying a sheaf of wheat, with a look of determination and loyalty on her face

Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi is a touching story of love, commitment, and faith.

In today’s world, where relationships can often feel fleeting, Ruth’s story is more relevant than ever.

Naomi’s Loss

Naomi faced immense sorrow.

She moved to Moab with her husband, Elimelek, and their two sons due to a famine in Bethlehem.

Tragically, she lost her husband and both sons, leaving her with her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth.

Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, feeling that the Lord had turned against her.

Her grief was deep, and she urged Orpah and Ruth to stay in Moab.

Orpah left, but Ruth’s loyalty stood strong.

Journey Back to Bethlehem

Ruth’s decision to accompany Naomi back to Bethlehem was extraordinary.

She made a solemn vow to stay with Naomi, saying, “Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay.

Your people will be my people and your God my God.” This journey was not just a physical trip but a spiritual one too.

They traveled during a dangerous time, with uncertain futures.

Ruth’s commitment underlined her deep love and unwavering loyalty, as she left behind her homeland and familiar life.

Ruth’s Commitment

Ruth’s loyalty was not just words; her actions spoke loudly.

She worked hard in the fields to provide for Naomi, gleaning leftover grains during the harvest.

This was backbreaking work but essential for their survival.

Ruth’s dedication garnered the attention of Boaz, a wealthy landowner, who admired her for her sacrifices.

Boaz eventually became her husband, and through this union, Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David.

Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi set into motion the lineage that would lead to Jesus, illustrating how faithfulness can shape history.

For deeper insights into this remarkable story, you can explore more through this helpful resource .

Ruth and Boaz

ruth's journey from moab to bethlehem

Boaz notices her and shows kindness, offering her protection and extra grain">

The story of Ruth and Boaz is one filled with kindness, loyalty, and divine intervention.

You’ll learn about how they met, their unique courtship, and the significant role they play in Biblical history.

Meeting Boaz

Ruth met Boaz under ordinary circumstances but with extraordinary outcomes.

It began when Ruth, a Moabitess, decided to glean in the fields to support her mother-in-law Naomi.

Boaz, a wealthy landowner and cousin to Naomi’s late husband, noticed Ruth’s dedication and work ethic.

He admired her loyalty to Naomi and took steps to make sure she was protected while working in his fields.

Their initial meeting was characterized by mutual respect and admiration.

Boaz extended kindness beyond expectation, ensuring Ruth had enough food and could work safely.

This act of kindness from Boaz piqued the interest of those following the story, drawing attention to themes of faithfulness and divine provision.

Gleaning in the Fields

Gleaning was a practice where the poor could collect leftover crops from the fields.

Ruth’s choice to glean demonstrated her willingness to work hard despite her challenging circumstances.

As she worked in Boaz’s fields, Boaz instructed his workers to leave extra grain for her to collect.

He also invited her to eat with his workers and allowed her access to the water supply.

These actions cemented Boaz’s role as a protector and provider.

Ruth’s dedication and Boaz’s generosity showcased a relationship built on mutual support and compassion.

This part of their story often resonates with modern readers, highlighting themes of community care and perseverance during difficult times.

Proposal at the Threshing Floor

Naomi, recognizing Boaz’s kindness and his position as a family redeemer, advised Ruth to propose to Boaz.

Ruth approached Boaz at the threshing floor, an area where grain was separated from chaff.

Following Naomi’s instructions, Ruth uncovered Boaz’s feet and laid down, a gesture indicating she was seeking his protection and provision as a kinsman-redeemer.

Boaz was moved by Ruth’s loyalty and her choice to seek him out.

He promised to do everything necessary to marry her and redeem Naomi’s land.

This event showed Ruth’s bravery and faith, as well as Boaz’s integrity and willingness to fulfill his family duties.

Marriage and Redemption

Boaz took formal steps to marry Ruth by discussing the matter with another relative who had a closer right to redeem Naomi’s land.

When the other relative declined, Boaz legally redeemed the land and married Ruth.

This marriage ensured the continuation of Naomi’s family line and restored her family’s fortunes.

Their union was blessed by the community, and Ruth bore a son named Obed, who became the grandfather of King David.

This act of redemption was a key event in Biblical history, foreshadowing the ultimate redemption through Christ.

To explore more about biblical themes of redemption and marriage, check out this resource .

Legacy and Significance

Ruth gleans in the fields, a symbol of loyalty and faithfulness in the face of adversity, her actions carrying significant weight in biblical history

Ruth’s story holds a special place in the Bible.

It’s a tale of loyalty and faith that continues to inspire many.

Her unwavering devotion to Naomi, even after her husband’s death, shows a deep commitment that transcends family ties.

Despite being a Moabite, Ruth is welcomed into the Hebrew community.

This inclusion highlights themes of acceptance and the breaking down of barriers.

Ruth’s legacy is also significant because she becomes the great-grandmother of King David.

This places her in the direct lineage of Jesus, underlining the idea of divine providence and redemption .

The symbolism in Ruth’s life is profound.

Her name means companion or friend , which fits her story perfectly.

She embodies qualities many aspire to, like compassion and loyalty.

Modern Christians find Ruth’s story compelling.

It resonates with themes in current events like immigration and acceptance.

In a world where cultures mix more than ever, Ruth’s story shows the power of love and acceptance.

Want to learn more about how Ruth’s story ties into modern faith? Click here for helpful resources!

Explore deeper into Ruth’s legacy and see how her narrative still echoes today.

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Casual English Bible

Casual English Bible

By Stephen M. Miller

Bible map for Ruth

Map of route from Bethlehem to Moab in Ruth's Bible story - Casual English Bible

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The Journeys of Ruth and Naomi

The book of Ruth begins with the line, “In the days when the judges judged’  (וַיְהִ֗י בִּימֵי֙ שְׁפֹ֣ט הַשֹּׁפְטִ֔ים, Ruth 1:1). The Book of Ruth, traditionally read as part of the service on Shavuot, opens by setting its narrative in the time of the Book of Judges, placing it against a backdrop of upheaval, insecurity and danger. The two books also connect thematically through their depictions of journeys. Travel occurs frequently in the Book of Judges: Gideon crosses the Jordan (Judges 8:4); Yiftach flees from his brothers (Judges 10:3); and Samson goes down to Timnah, where he takes a Philistine wife (Judges 14:1). The final chapters of the Book of Judges recount the journeys of unnamed characters in a series of malevolent incidents: a wandering Levite sanctions Micah’s idol worship (Judges 17:12-13); the traveling Danites then take these idols and set up their own shrine (Judges 18:30); and finally the heinous crime perpetrated on the concubine of Gibeah begins with a decision to go on the road instead of staying another night at her father’s house (Judges 19:10). Naomi and Ruth travel during a time of uncertainty in the land as a whole, but also against this backdrop of journeys that lead to tragic consequences.

Naomi and Ruth travel during a time of uncertainty in the land as a whole, but also against this backdrop of journeys that lead to tragic consequences.

Perhaps it is more meaningful to consider Naomi and Ruth on similar but separate journeys, as their situations differ in significant ways. Ruth is a foreigner coming ‘to a people that [she] does not know’ (תֵּ֣לְכִ֔י אֶל־עַ֕ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹא־יָדַ֖עַתְּ תְּמ֥וֹל שִׁלְשֽׁוֹם, Ruth 2:11); furthermore, she is seemingly unaware of the conventions that govern this society, most notably of the gleaning fields. From the onset, she is disadvantaged by her Moabite ancestry–the fact that she is from Moab is brought up frequently in the text when she is referred to by the other characters. In Torah law, Moabites are prohibited from joining Israelite society for two reasons: they refused food and water when the Israelites were leaving Egypt, and they conspired with Balaam to curse the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 23:4). However, Ruth proves capable of overcoming the misdeeds of her ancestors. She is the one who furnishes sustenance for her mother-in-law, behavior that Boaz praises by blessing her (Ruth 2:11-12). Unlike many of the journeys in the Book of Judges, Ruth’s ends joyfully with the celebration of her marriage to Boaz and the birth of a son that begins the Davidic dynasty.

However, Ruth proves capable of overcoming the misdeeds of her ancestors. She is the one who furnishes sustenance for her mother-in-law, behavior that Boaz praises by blessing her (Ruth 2:11-12).

If Ruth’s journey is precarious because she is heading to the unknown, Naomi’s is precarious for the opposite reason: she is heading to a place that she knows, but not one where she knows what to expect. The reasons for her departure from Bethlehem, as recounted in the opening verse of the Book of Ruth, are clear enough on the surface: there is a famine and the family travels to Moab to find food. However, the rabbis viewed this decision to leave as the first step in the downfall of Naomi, her husband, and their sons: 

And Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai would likewise say: Elimelech and his sons Mahlon and Chilion were prominent members of their generation and were leaders of their generation. And for what reason were they punished? Because they left Israel to go outside of Israel , as it is stated : “And all the city was astir concerning them, and the women said: Is this Naomi?” (Ruth 1:19). What is the meaning of the phrase: “Is this Naomi”? Rabbi Yitzhak says that the women said: Have you seen what befell Naomi, who left the land of Israel to go outside of Israel ? (Bava Batra, 91a)

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Naomi too chose to leave Bethlehem at a time of distress, so she is viewed by the villagers as equally at fault for the tragedies she has experienced.

When Naomi returns to Bethlehem, she publicly bemoans her state: 

“Do not call me Naomi,” she replied [to the women of the town]. “Call me Mara, for  Shaddai has made my lot very bitter. I went away full, and the LORD has brought me  back empty. How can you call me Naomi, when the LORD has dealt harshly with me,  when Shaddai has brought misfortune upon me!” (Ruth 1:20-21) 

This declaration is not the first to express the profundity of her despair. Naomi sought to send away her daughters-in-law while traveling–Orpah acquiesces to Naomi’s exhortation that she return to Moab (Ruth 1:14). It is hard to imagine that Naomi would have been so insistent if she envisioned an optimistic future awaiting in Bethlehem. Yet despite her fears, she is blessed in the end (Ruth 4:14), blessings that come from the same women who asked: ‘Is this Naomi?’ when she initially returned.

As our society takes the first tentative steps to reopening during this time of COVID-19, we also find ourselves embarking on a journey, one whose outcome is impossible to determine.

As our society takes the first tentative steps to reopening during this time of COVID-19, we also find ourselves embarking on a journey, one whose outcome is impossible to determine. In some ways, we will be treading on new ground as we re-establish our lives in ways that do not jeopardize the health of others–concerns that few of us have experienced before. Yet we will also be returning to patterns that we know, accompanied by disruption and incongruity given the sudden economic and societal changes that we have experienced. In other words, we are simultaneously Ruth and Naomi, in that we are heading to the unknown and to the known.

But if we can be brave enough to seek out what we need in our vulnerability–both from ourselves and from others–we too can establish a better future than we could currently imagine.

The blithe moral of this story, of course, is to say that we should all strive to be like Ruth: patient, generous, and selfless in our actions. But my guess is that we all are sometimes akin to Naomi in the opening chapter of this book: frightened by the voyage that we are taking; uncertain that we are on the best path; with our worry blinding us to the potential that the future holds. Naomi’s happy ending comes about not due to any dramatic act, but because she stopped trying to convince Ruth to leave her (Ruth 1:18). One of the many lessons from this book, then, is the importance of being vulnerable to those around us at a time when we are feeling most hopeless. As we recover from the challenges that social distancing instigated, it may be hard to imagine that our society can return to a place of normalcy. But if we can be brave enough to seek out what we need in our vulnerability–both from ourselves and from others–we too can establish a better future than we could currently imagine.

Zoë Lang is an active member of the Cambridge, MA Jewish community and the special events coordinator for the Cambridge-Somerville Open Beit Midrash. She holds a PhD from Harvard University and currently serves as the Systems Implementation Consultant at Maimonides School in Brookline, MA.

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ruth's journey from moab to bethlehem

Map of the Journey of Ruth

This map features Beit Lechem (Bethlehem) and the land of Moav, the places where the events of the Book of Ruth take place as described in Ruth 1.

  • Beit Lechem – Part of the land of the tribe of Judah (See our ancient map of Israel ), it is the place where most of the events in the Book of Ruth transpire. Elimelech moves his family from Beit Lechem when famine strikes (Ruth 1:1) , and Naomi returns to Beit Lechem with her daughter-in-law Ruth after losing her husband and two sons (Ruth 1:19) . In ancient times, Beit Lechem was full of fields of wheat and grains for harvesting. It is also the site of Rachel’s burial place (Genesis 35:19) .
  • Moav – Elimelech escapes famine in Israel by bringing his family to Moav (Ruth 1:1) . Here, his children marry Moavite women, most notably Ruth who becomes the mother of Jewish royalty.

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ruth's journey from moab to bethlehem

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The Book of Ruth

Ruth 2:12 - The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Women Gleaning from Tomb of Ramose

This colorful painting from the tomb of Ramose at the site of ancient Thebes reveals women gleaning at harvest time. In biblical times when barley fields or wheatfields were ready for harvest the reapers were hired to cut down the large stocks of grain and make bundles. According to the customs of the Israelites if a loose stock should fall to the ground they were to be left alone for the gleaners. The gleaning was performed by the poorest and most helpless of the land, the widows who were going to die of starvation. During harvest time in the ancient world you would clearly see a poor woman like Ruth walking through the fields and gleaning behind men picking up any loose stalks that might've fallen. Ruth was a widow and she was gleaning any field when she met Boaz the owner of the field.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Ruth Hebrew Name - Ruut "friend" Greek Name - Oiktos (Greek form of the Hebrew) Author - Samuel (According to Tradition) Date - From 1322 BC Approximately Theme - The beginning of the lineage of Christ seen in this faithful woman who was a Moabite Types and Shadows - In Ruth Jesus is the kinsman redeemer (Heb. Goel)

Moab and the Book of Ruth

This beautiful book is like a calmness in the middle of a turbulent storm, when reminiscing on all the violence and enemy invasions recorded in the books of  Joshua and Judges. The book of Ruth deals more with real life in ancient Israel and not necessarily the warfare in the previous book, although the events actually took place during the period of the Judges (Ruth 1:1). The date that the book was written is not given, and there is no mention as to who the author is, but it is most likely Samuel, who is the traditionally accepted author. The book of Ruth traces the messianic line of King David back to Ruth, who was a Moabitess, and the book gives us a beautiful understanding of how God rewards faithfulness and devotion. The events in Ruth's life may be summarized as follows :

Outline of the Book of Ruth 1) Due to a severe famine in the land of Judah, Elimelech, a native of Bethlehem, emigrated to Moab with his wife and two sons, who married two Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah. 2) At the end of ten years, all three of the women were left widows and Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. Despite Naomi's protests, Ruth determined to return to Bethlehem with her. Ruth's dedication to Naomi and to the religion of the God of Israel is stated in Ruth 1:16-17: "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: 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." 3) They arrived in Bethlehem at the time of the barley harvest. Ruth went out to glean in the fields of Boaz, a wealthy man whose relationship with his servants eloquently attests to his character (Ruth 2:4). According to Hebrew law, Ruth had a right to demand that a near kinsman of her late husband take her for his wife. Boaz had been related to Ruth's husband and was willing to marry her, but since there was another man of closer kinship, it was necessary to go through certain customary and legal measures before he could rightfully claim her. 4) This being done, the two were married with the blessings of their neighbors and eventually became the parents of Obed, the grandfather of David.

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The Twelve Tribes and the Judges

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Why Ruth decided to go in Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, Naomi.

ruth's journey from moab to bethlehem

A Tapestry of Loyalty, Redemption, and Grace: Unveiling the Story of Ruth and Naomi

The Book of Ruth, a captivating narrative nestled within the Hebrew Bible, transcends the boundaries of time and culture. It’s a story brimming with themes of loyalty, resilience, and God’s redemptive grace, offering a glimpse into the lives of two remarkable women – Naomi and Ruth.

A Journey Forged in Loss: From Bethlehem to Moab

The story opens in Bethlehem, Judah, during a time of famine. Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, decides to relocate his family to Moab in search of sustenance. Accompanied by their sons, Mahlon and Chilion, they embark on a journey fraught with uncertainty. Tragedy strikes when both sons marry Moabite women – Ruth and Orpah – but their happiness is short-lived. Mahlon and Chilion die, leaving Naomi and her daughters-in-law widowed and alone in a foreign land.

A Choice Rooted in Love: Ruth’s Unwavering Commitment

Facing hardship, Naomi decides to return to her homeland, Bethlehem. She urges Orpah and Ruth to remain in Moab and find new husbands. Orpah tearfully accepts her fate, but Ruth’s response exemplifies unwavering loyalty and love. The iconic verse, Ruth 1:16-17, captures her unwavering devotion:

“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 be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death separates me from you.'”

Touched by Ruth’s unwavering commitment, Naomi agrees to continue their journey together.

A Season of Hope and Gleaning: Ruth’s Diligence in a Foreign Land

Upon arrival in Bethlehem, Naomi and Ruth face a new set of challenges. As foreigners and widows, they struggle to make ends meet. Driven by her love for Naomi and resourcefulness, Ruth takes the initiative to glean – collecting leftover grains from the fields after harvest. This laborious task was a practice that allowed the poor to gather sustenance.

A Divine Connection: Ruth and Boaz

Ruth’s diligence and kindness catch the eye of Boaz, a wealthy landowner and relative of Naomi’s deceased husband. Boaz instructs his workers to leave extra grain for Ruth, demonstrating compassion and respect. He inquires about her story upon learning she is a Moabitess, and Naomi, recognizing Boaz as a potential kinsman redeemer, hatches a plan.

Following Tradition: The Redemption of Ruth

According to ancient Israelite law, a kinsman redeemer had the responsibility to marry a widowed woman and provide for her. Naomi advises Ruth to approach Boaz at the threshing floor after a celebratory feast. Following Naomi’s instructions, Ruth discreetly positions herself at Boaz’s feet, a symbolic gesture signifying her appeal for redemption.

Boaz, impressed by Ruth’s character and loyalty, acknowledges his responsibility as a kinsman redeemer. However, there’s another closer relative who has the first right to redeem Ruth. Boaz assures Ruth he will pursue the matter after the harvest.

A Joyful Resolution: Marriage and Redemption

Boaz discreetly addresses the issue with the closer relative, who relinquishes his right of redemption. Boaz then takes Ruth as his wife, fulfilling his role as a kinsman redeemer. Their union is blessed with a son, Obed, who becomes an ancestor of King David and ultimately, Jesus Christ.

Beyond the Narrative: Enduring Lessons from Ruth and Naomi

The story of Ruth and Naomi offers a wealth of timeless lessons:

  • Unwavering Loyalty and Love:  Ruth’s unwavering loyalty towards Naomi exemplifies the power of love and commitment in the face of hardship.
  • Resilience and Resourcefulness:  Despite facing adversity, both Naomi and Ruth demonstrate resilience and resourcefulness in overcoming challenges.
  • Compassion and Justice:  Boaz’s actions embody compassion and a commitment to upholding the principles of justice within the community.
  • God’s Redemptive Grace:  The story underscores God’s unseen hand working behind the scenes, weaving a tapestry of redemption through seemingly ordinary events.
  • Acceptance and Inclusion:  The inclusion of a Moabite woman, Ruth, within the lineage of the Messiah highlights God’s universal love and grace that transcends ethnic and cultural boundaries.

A Legacy of Faith and Hope

The Book of Ruth, with its captivating narrative and profound themes, continues to resonate with readers across generations. It offers a testament to the enduring power of faith, hope, and God’s unwavering love, reminding us that even in the midst of hardship, redemption and joy can be found.

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Ruth 1:15-22 meaning

Naomi now finds herself without a husband, and without any sons to care for her. One Moabite daughter-in-law decides to return to her family in Moab while Ruth chooses to remain with her. Ruth states to Naomi 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. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me. This is quite an amazing statement of commitment.

Naomi relented when she saw that she was determined to go with her.

Naomi and Ruth completed walking the journey of sixty or so miles from Moab until they came to Bethlehem. It seems clear that Bethlehem is a small village because when they had come to Bethlehem, all the city was stirred because of them. Two women showing up in town was big news. Although it had been ten years, since Naomi's departure, she was still remembered. Again, this indicates the village was small without much change. The women said, "Is this Naomi?"  

Naomi replied to the question by making a play on the meaning of her name. She said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. Instead of continuing to go by the name Naomi that means "pleasant," she now wants to be called Mara with the meaning of "bitter."

Naomi does not try to hide her loss. She tells the village women that she went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Naomi attributes her calamity to God, saying the Almighty has afflicted me.

Naomi chose to return to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.

ruth's journey from moab to bethlehem

A beautiful exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum explores what this ancient figure can teach us about loyalty and redemption.

T here’s something strange about leaving the Morgan Library and Museum’s Old New York study and entering its Thaw Gallery, where an exhibit on the biblical Book of Ruth brings you to a dusty field in Bethlehem. The first line of the Book provides an even starker contrast: “And it happened in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land, and a man went from Bethlehem in Judah to sojourn in the fields of Moab, he, his wife, and his two sons.” By the third verse, that man, Elimelech, has died. The story of hunger and flight continues; by the fifth verse, his sons have perished as well.

Three widows remain. Naomi, the wife of Elimelech, decides to return to Judah. Her sons’ Moabite wives, neither of whom have children, begin to accompany her, but Naomi insists that they remain. In an anguished moment, Orpah agrees to “return to her people and her gods.” Ruth, however, begs Naomi not to push her away:

Do not wound me by urging me to abandon you, to turn back from following you. Because where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people are my people, and your G-d is my G-d. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.

A portion of this speech—“your nation is my nation and your G-d is my G-d”—is featured in the original Hebrew on the cover of the Joanna S. Rose Illuminated Book of Ruth, the centerpiece of the Morgan Library’s “Book of Ruth: Medieval to Modern” exhibit. The words are also paired with the best among New York artist Barbara Wolff’s many superb illustrations: a striking image of an embrace between Ruth and Naomi. The Rose Book includes no faces; Ruth and Naomi are hidden by vividly colored, swirling robes, so that we don’t know which woman is which, or even, almost, where one begins and the other ends. It is a merger of souls and destinies.

The Morgan has been temporarily shuttered due to the coronavirus, but the question the exhibit poses about Ruth remains timely: What does it have to offer a modern audience? To answer this, the Morgan presents the Rose Book—a contemporary work written and illustrated by two Jewish scholars—“in conversation with twelve manuscripts, drawn from the Morgan’s holdings, that unfold the Christian traditions for illustrating the story of Ruth during the Middle Ages.” The Morgan has served as a museum for over 100 years , and this is only the third time it has featured Hebraica. The second instance, in 2015, also featured work by Wolff—an illuminated Passover Haggadah and Psalm 104. All three pieces were commissioned and donated by Joanna S. Rose, who seems to want to elevate Judaic scribal art by blending historical interest with artistic merit. Wolff’s work offers something unique: a combination of medieval artistry, careful scholarship, and the sort of creativity enabled by contemporary technology. Perhaps most striking, there is nothing transgressive in her work; she maintains great respect for the original text and its traditional meaning. The pious attitude of the medieval illuminators is reflected in her own art.

Part of the Rose Book’s message seems baked into its form: 18 feet of accordion-folded pages zigzag through the square gallery, in stark contrast to the medieval works decorously lining the walls. Each side of the manuscript is illustrated in a markedly different style; one contains Hebrew text in gold leaf alongside brightly colored paintings, while the other provides an English translation with black-pen drawings. There’s a never-ending quality to this modernized scroll; it is something more than just a book. And the illustrations often seem to offer a meditation on time.

Following their abrupt fall from grace, Naomi and Ruth eventually make the treacherous journey from Moab to Bethlehem, where they have little to look forward to but more hunger and uncertainty. Naomi is greeted with shock by the Bethlehem locals, who can’t believe she is the same prosperous woman who left Judah a decade ago:

The whole city buzzed with excitement over them. The women said, “Can this be Naomi?”

“Do not call me Naomi [pleasant one],” she replied. “Call me Mara [bitter one], for God has made my lot very bitter. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. How can you call me Naomi!”

Wolff’s illustration of this scene is subtle, depicting only the transition of a field of wheat from colorful, flowering plants to dry, straw-colored stalks ready to be harvested. Among other things, the image evokes Shavuot, the Jewish holiday on which the Book of Ruth is read publicly. Shavuot also marks the wheat harvest in Israel as well as the day on which the Hebrew Bible was given at Mount Sinai. In this way, Wolff’s painting hints at the unlikely signs of maturation and renewal.

The featured medieval artists, by contrast, are more inclined to emphasize Naomi’s grief and Ruth’s foreignness. For example, the Mirror of Human Salvation , a popular tract from the mid-1400s, presents an image of Naomi mourning her two sons alongside one of Mary mourning Jesus. Two 13 th -century Latin manuscripts from France feature Bethlehem locals peering curiously through their windows as Ruth carries grain home for Naomi. The museum’s commentary dwells on these images, noting that “Ruth is now the outsider. Suspicions run high.” It attempts to link Ruth’s journey to modern-day immigration concerns, an appeal that falls rather flat amid global lockdown policies. It also doesn’t reflect the text—Naomi and Ruth were surely impoverished and isolated, but there’s no indication they were treated with suspicion.

Ultimately, Ruth is welcomed by the Judeans. Boaz, a wealthy relative of Naomi’s late husband Elimelech, takes Ruth under his protection, encouraging her to glean exclusively in his fields and warning his workers not to bother her. Privately, he instructs his employees to deliberately scatter extra grain for her to collect. Naomi is heartened by the connection, and helps to arrange a marriage between Ruth and Boaz. They soon have a son, Obed, the grandfather of the messianic figure King David.

Wolff seeks to communicate the reality of Ruth’s life in these moments. Her marriage to Boaz is depicted through an ornate wedding belt based on the festive clothing of Bedouin and Yemenite women; the birth of her son is paired with a painting of a charming pull toy from the early Iron Age (which Wolff discovered in the Israel Museum). Wolff’s painstaking anthropological research is striking in all these drawings, which are often based upon layers of biblical and exegetical scholarship as well.

References to David, for example, appear throughout: in Wolff’s depictions of an ancient harp, a threshing floor modeled after David’s temple, and a sprig of myrtle. The latter is paired with the final few lines of Ruth, which contain a rundown of generations leading up to David. A fragrant evergreen that withstands drought and keeps its color long after it has been cut, myrtle grows wild in Israel and is linked to a number of religious traditions . To Wolff , it evokes “the continuity of life, strength, and vitality. . . . [T]he plant is a potent image of survival and renewal.” Ruth’s connection to David is also underscored by the Christian artists; a leaf from the 12 th -century Eadwine Psalter, for example, is largely devoted to an illustrated genealogical tree linking Jesse (the father of David) and Jesus. Similarly, a large, folio-sized Bible from the 13 th century concludes its illustrations of the book with the figure of Jesse.

Wolff emphasizes the redemptive arc in Ruth in another way: through a continuous landscape bordering the top of one side of her manuscript. A partial reproduction of the landscape encircles the walls of the gallery, so that viewers can closely follow the journey from famine in Bethlehem to security in the land of Moab and back to the bountiful fields of Judah. The painting ends “with an image of Jerusalem, set on a hilltop amid the forests of the Judean mountains.”

The landscape appears on the colorful “Hebrew side” of the manuscript, which tends to focus on Ruth’s inner life while invoking broader narratives of biblical history. The depiction of an embrace between Naomi and Ruth, described above, appears there. Curiously, none of the medieval manuscripts feature that scene, considered by many to be the heart of Ruth’s story. This seems unnecessary: The moment is beautifully illustrated in the Morgan-owned Crusader Bible from around 1250, for example. But the Morgan chose not to display the folio containing that image .

Wolff’s manuscript also places great emphasis on the relationship between Naomi and Ruth—they are the only two human figures to appear in her work. This is at least in part due to the feminist appeal of their bond; the final page of Wolff’s manuscript is dotted with the names of other women in the Hebrew Bible, from widely admired figures like the matriarchs to lesser-known personalities like Vashti (a somewhat controversial presence in the Book of Esther). While it might be easy to shrug off an attempt to shoehorn Ruth and Naomi’s story into a modern feminist narrative, their connection undeniably guides much of the book. It is the story of both women.

When Ruth has her child, Naomi is the first to be congratulated by the townspeople:

And the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not withheld a redeemer from you today! . . . He will renew your life and sustain your old age; for he is born of your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons.” Naomi took the child and held it to her bosom. She became its foster mother, and the women neighbors gave him a name, saying, “A son is born to Naomi!”

The story essentially concludes there, proceeding immediately to David’s genealogy. In a sense, the script has been flipped. Where Ruth once insisted to Naomi that “your people are my people,” the Bethlehem neighbors now insist that Ruth’s son is one of their own. Wolff’s image, in which Ruth and Naomi are virtually indistinguishable, seems to encapsulate this idea.

Throughout the manuscript, Wolff provides depictions of plants—dried-out weeds in a wasteland, a sturdy caper bush thriving among stones, palm trees and grapevines weighted down with fruit—to illustrate desolation, hope, abundance. The story that begins with tragedy and ends with the establishment of the Davidic dynasty is, in Wolff’s telling, shot through with reminders of place and the natural progression of time. But more than anything, it hinges on a moment of loyalty—the centerpiece of her work. Wolff’s art and that of the Crusader Bible, among others, serve as a reminder of Ruth’s choice, which echoes through the ages.

ruth's journey from moab to bethlehem

Discovering Christianity

From Moab to Bethlehem: The Story of Ruth

by Sean the Baptist | May 23, 2023 | Notable Figures | 0 comments

Featured Image of Ruth

Ruth was a young woman from the land of Moab, who had lost everything. Her husband had died, and she was left alone with her mother-in-law, Naomi, in a foreign land. Naomi was also grieving, having lost her husband and two sons. She decided to return to her homeland, Bethlehem, and Ruth decided to go with her.

The journey was long and difficult, but Ruth was determined to stay by Naomi’s side. When they arrived in Bethlehem, Ruth began to work hard to provide for them both. She went to the fields to glean, picking up the leftover grain from the harvesters. It was hard work, but Ruth was grateful for the opportunity to provide for herself and Naomi.

One day, while she was gleaning in the fields, Ruth caught the eye of a man named Boaz. Boaz was a wealthy landowner, and he was impressed by Ruth’s hard work and her loyalty to Naomi. He spoke to her kindly and offered her extra grain to take home.

Over time, Boaz and Ruth grew closer. Boaz was impressed by Ruth’s faith and her courage in the face of adversity. He saw in her the qualities of a true leader, and he knew that she was destined for greatness.

Eventually, Boaz and Ruth were married, and they had a son named Obed. Obed would go on to become the father of Jesse, who would become the father of King David.

Ruth’s story is a testament to the power of love and faith. She was a woman who had lost everything, but she never lost her faith in God. She worked hard and stayed true to her values, and she was rewarded with a loving husband and a place in history. Her story reminds us that no matter how difficult our circumstances may be, we can always find hope and strength in our faith.

ruth's journey from moab to bethlehem

Biblical Reference

Ruth 1:1-22: This chapter introduces us to Naomi, her husband Elimelech, and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion. When they move from Bethlehem to Moab due to a famine in the land, both sons marry Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth. Tragically, all three men die within ten years.

Ruth 2:1-23: In this chapter, we see how Ruth goes out into the fields to glean grain for herself and Naomi. She ends up working in Boaz’s field; he is a relative of Naomi’s late husband.

Ruth 3:1-18: At Naomi’s urging, Ruth goes to Boaz at night on the threshing floor (a place where grain was separated from its husks) and asks him to marry her according to ancient custom. Boaz agrees but must first check with another relative who has closer ties to Naomi before he can officially become her kinsman-redeemer.

Ruth 4:1-22: In this final chapter, Boaz successfully redeems both Naomi’s property (which had been sold during hard times) as well as marrying Ruth thus becoming an ancestor of Jesus Christ.

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From Bethlehem to Moab, and Back Again: 5 Day Bible Plan

From Bethlehem to Moab, and Back Again: 5 Day Bible Plan

The first chapter of Ruth covers a lot of ground, literally and metaphorically. This plan looks at some of that journey and parallels it with the ups and downs in our own life journeys, reflecting on how God is always with us, and encouraging us to look for Him every day.

We would like to thank Authentic Media for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://www.authenticmedia.co.uk

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COMMENTS

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    and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter in law with her, which returned out of the country of Moab; to Bethlehem, the birth place of the Messiah, and who was to spring from her a Gentile; and which, that it might be the more carefully remarked, she is called a Moabitess, and said to return out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in ...

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