Outline of Ruth
1. NaomiThe mother-in-law of Ruth More Travels to Moab Full and Returns Empty (RuthThe great-grandmother of David More 1:1-22)
A. Naomi Loses Her Family (Ruth 1:1-5)
The book begins with a famine in Bethlehem during the terrible time described in the book of Judges. Elimilech takes his wife Naomi and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion to the enemy territory of Moab. The sons marry Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. Elimelech and his sons die, and Naomi is left a childless widowA widow is a woman whose spouse has died, often plunging her into poverty and putting her in a vulnerable position in society. Jesus, in his concern for the poor, regards widows with compassion and concern. More.
B. Ruth Swears Loyalty to Naomi (Ruth 1:6-18)
Orpah returns to her Moabite home as Naomi instructs her, but Ruth swears loyalty to Naomi and follows her home to Bethlehem.
C. Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem (Ruth 1:19-22)
The women of Bethlehem hardly recognize Naomi. Naomi laments that she is now to be called Mara (bitter) because the Lord has brought her home empty.
2. Ruth Meets BoazHusband of Ruth and great-grandfather of David. More (Ruth 2:1-23)
A. Ruth Gleans in the Field of Boaz (Ruth 2:1-18)
Because Naomi and Ruth have no income, Ruth decides to glean in the fields, that is, she collects the remnants of grain left for the poor. She “happens upon” the field of Boaz, a wealthy farmer who is related to Naomi. Boaz treats Ruth with kindness, blesses her, shares a meal, and tells her to continue to glean in his field.
B. Ruth Brings Bounty to Naomi (Ruth 2:19-23)
When Ruth returns with her gleaningGleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been harvested. In some ancient cultures, like Israel, gleaning was a form of welfare. The book of Ruth contains an account of gleaning in which Ruth met her future husband, Boaz. More and food and tells Naomi about Boaz, Naomi recognizes God’s blessingBlessing is the asking for or the giving of God’s favor. Isaac was tricked into blessing Jacob instead of his firstborn Esau. At the Last Supper Jesus offered a blessing over bread and wine. To be blessed is to be favored by God. More in the attentions and kindness of her relative.
3. Ruth Meets Boaz at the Threshing FloorA threshing floor is a location where farmers thresh grain. Threshing is the process of beating grain, such as wheat and oats, to separate out the chaff. Some of the action in the book of Ruth takes place on a threshing floor. More (Ruth 3:1-15)
Naomi devises a risky scheme that depends on Boaz seeing Ruth as a relative in need. Naomi sends Ruth to meet Boaz secretly on the threshing floor where the men gather to separate the good grain from the useless chaff. Boaz recognizes that Ruth’s action in lying beside him is an act of kindness and loyalty. He assures her that, even though there is a closer relative who might claim her, he will make certain everything will turn out well. He sends her home with good grain from the harvest.
4. Ruth Again Brings Bounty to Naomi (Ruth 3:16-18)
Ruth once more delivers food from Boaz to Naomi, and Naomi now understands completely that she is no longer empty.
5. Boaz at the GateGates are openings in walls or fences for entrance and departure. In the Bible (as in Ruth and the prophets) the city gate was a commercial center where business and social transactions took place. In Amos the gate is the location of the law court… More (Ruth 4:1-12)
Boaz goes up to the gate to meet with the town eldersElders are leaders who exercise wisdom or leadership by virtue of their age and experience. In the New Testament elders, along with the chief priests and scribes, constituted the primary opposition to Jesus when he taught in Jerusalem. More. He tempts the unnamed next of kinThe next of kin is a person’s closest living relative, and is usually defined as the closest living blood relative. In the book of Ruth, which deals with family relationships, Naomi (after the death of her husband and sons) returns home to live with Boaz,… More with the offer of property and then declares that marrying the Moabite Ruth is part of the bargain. The nearest kin refuses the arrangement, so Boaz claims Ruth, whom the women then bless.
6. The GenealogyGenealogy involves the study and tracing of families through the generations – in short, family history. One genealogy in Genesis traces the nations descended from Noah. In the New Testament Matthew traces the ancestry of Jesus back to Abraham, while Jesus’ genealogy in Luke goes… More of DavidSecond king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More (Ruth 4:13-22)
Boaz marries Ruth who then gives birth to Obed. The women proclaim that Ruth’s love for Naomi makes the child worthy. Obed becomes the grandfather of David.