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Ruth 1 - 4

Short, but very interesting book. After reading all the disgusting practices going on during the Judges, we get to read something nice that actually happened during that time.

Ruth is a beautiful story about redemption and faithfulness. This book is a great example of how a Gentile (non-Israelite) came to a knowledge of God as the One True God. God's whole purpose has always been for His message to be pronounced to ALL nations.

Ruth starts out somewhat disheartening. Naomi loses her husband, and two sons. There are no children to continue the name of Elimelech, and Naomi is very broken hearted.

Given the choice to remain or go back to her Moabite home, Ruth clings to her mother-in-law. What incredible faithfulness! And her words are some of the strongest words of commitment. "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people wil be my people and your God my God."

The law allowed women who lost a husband to death, left without heirs, and faced loss of property to have a close relative, or "kinsman redeemer" save them. This redeemer had to meet three criteria:

1 - Must be a blood relative
2 - Be willing to redeem
3 - Be able to pay the redemption price

Boaz fit this and was willing to become the redeemer. This is also a beautiful example of Christ, our ultimate redeemer.

In the end, Naomi is restored to joy and happiness as Ruth and Boaz have a baby boy, Obed. And eventually, Christ is born through this lineage. How cool is that?


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It is awesome, and you are right .. it points to how Jesus redeemed us and are willing to walk with use if we would only let Him do that ..


I know this is a day late, but these are my notes from a lesson I prepared for my Sunday School class on Naomi

How is Naomi like your mother?  How is Naomi like the “ideal” mother?  What mistakes did Naomi make?  What did Naomi do right?
Naomi is a character in the book of Ruth.  She had some very set characteristics.  She was a God-fearing woman.  She was a law-abiding woman.  She shows concern for her daughter-in-laws.  But she was depressed upon her return to Israel. (Ruth 1:13, 20-21) . And in her depression she accused God, of judging her.
Naomi’s life story in a nutshell:
1. Married Elimelech
2. Bore him two sons
3. Elimelech moved the family to Moab
4. Elimelech died
5. Her two sons married Moabite women
6. Her two sons died.
7. She returned to Israel
8. Only one of her daughter-in-laws came with her.
9. Naomi accused God of targeting her personally
10. She and Ruth are ignored by Elimelech’s family
11. Naomi tells Ruth how to make Boaz release he hasn’t done his duty as kinsmen
12. Ruth marries Boaz
13. Ruth’s firstborn is hailed as Naomi’s rest

1. Elimelech is from Bethlehem. And is a descendent of Judah, the same as David and Jesus.
2. God has commanded us to be fruitful and multiply.  But not only that, Children are a blessing from God.  Prior to moving from the Holy Land, this was a good family, as evidenced by children (and her own account v21), they were blessed by God.
3. She went along. When her husband made a wrong decision, Naomi didn't try to stop him. "There was famine . . . and a certain man of Bethlehem - Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons" (Ruth 1:1).  She was being holy in doing this, while her husband was not, and after her sons became of age, they were not being holy, because they remained in Moab.
4.  Her husband died.  He left Israel, like he was supposed to NOT do, and he died.  Death is a punishment for disobedience, especially in the OT.
5.Her two sons married Moabite women.  This in and of itself was not wrong, provided that the women wanted their offspring to become Jews, but if this was the sons intent, why did they stay in Moab?
6.God gave them a number of years (10) and then they died to.  Remember, God wanted the Jews in Israel, away from heathen influences, worshipping Him.
7.Now that the men in her life are dead, what does she do?  She obeys God and returns to Israel.  Remember, prior to the men dying, she was obeying God by staying.
8.When she first started to leave, both daughters were going with her, but Naomi told them no, stay home.  Why would she do this?  Do you think she was happy doing this?
9.Now we come across Naomi’s big sin.  She accuses God.  This is a common trait to Jews of this period, they slander God, and say that He is singling them out and making their life miserable.  How often do we do that today? Is it slander?  Is God really singling us out?  Was He singling Naomi out?
10.Now according to Jewish law, the next closet relative to Elimelech should have come forward and married Ruth.(Duet 25:5-10)  But none did.   Boaz notices her in his fields, and starts to give her things, because he does know her, and knows he hasn’t done his duty to her (v. 3:11).
11.Naomi tells Ruth how to go about getting their kinsmen to redeem the bloodline.  As a good mother should, she instructs her daughter in her duties, rights, and responsibilities to her family and to God.  What strategy did Naomi give Ruth? "Now do as I tell you - take a bath and put on perfume and dress in your nicest clothes . . . but don't let Boaz see you until he has finished his meal" (Ruth 3:3 LB).
12.Thanks to Naomi, Boaz is rebuked and settles the problem of kinsmen redemption.
13. In the end, God through Naomi and Ruth, gave them both what they needed, kinsmen to carry the bloodline on.

What does this story tell you about Naomi?
Should Naomi have acted any differently?  
What decisions affected the outcome of the story?  
Could she have acted better? Worse?
Who is more important in this book, Naomi or Ruth? Why?


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Thanks for the insight and notes.  Please feel free to post your notes at any time.  I like having the questions at the end as well.

Boy!  There were some other things I totally forgot to mention in what I wrote yesterday.  I'll try to make them short.  

Depending on what translation you have, 3:9 may read something like "spread the corner of your covering over me."  This is actually a figure of speech for marriage, and represents the refuge marriage provides.  This takes us back to 2:12 where Boaz tells Ruth, "May you be richly rewarded by the Lord under whose wings you have come to take refuge."  And now for the really cool part.  The Hebrew word used here for wing and covering is the same word 'kanaph' which can be translated as EITHER wing or corner (of garment).  In fact, my New King James translated it as wing and my NIV used covering. It all points to the shelter/refuge we have under God's wings.

The other thing is, did you catch who named Ruth's son?  OK, this son is actually a replacement for Naomi's children, but that's not the point.  I think the NIV is a little weak in the translation, but it's Naomi's neighbor's.  Is that strange or what?  Would you rely on your neighbors to name your child?    

And this points out why the closest kinsman-redeemer did not want to take that role.  The boy takes the inheritance of the one redeemed.  His worry was if Ruth was to have only one son, he would have no sons to carry on his name.  Hmmm, does that make sense?  I don't know if I'm getting my words out clearly.