Ruth is the book heroine and the title character of the Book of Ruth. She was known to have lost her husband and decided to go back to Israel with her mother-in-law who had lost her husband as well. Let us know more about Ruth and the major events in her life.
Family: Elimelek (Father-in-Law), Naomi (Mother-in-Law), Orpah (Sister-in-Law)
Nickname: Ruth is derived from a Hebrew word (re’ut) meaning friend
Major Events in Ruth’s Life
During the time when judges ruled, there was a great famine in Israel and a lot of people relocated to foreign islands to be able to find food for their families. Elimelek, a man from Bethlehem, together with his wife Naomi and his two sons Mahlon and Kilion went to Moab to find food. They ended up staying there to live.
Unfortunately, Elimelek died but Naomi continued to live with her two sons. Her sons both married Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth. However, both of her sons also passed away, leaving her with two foreign daughter-in-laws.
The Lord helped the people of Israel and food had been provided for them. When Naomi knew about this, she decided to go back to Bethlehem in Judah. She told Orpah and Ruth to stay in Moab and find new husbands. Orpah returned to her mother’s home, but Ruth went with Naomi. She told her that she will stay with her and that Naomi’s God and people will also be her God and people.
When they got to Bethlehem, Ruth decided to go to the field during the barley harvest to get some leftover grains. She worked behind the harvesters in a field belonging to a man named Boaz who was a relative of Elimelek. When Boaz knew about Ruth gleaning over grain, he went to her and told her that she could work safely in his fields and get a drink of water from the jars when she gets thirsty. Ruth questioned Boaz’s kindness but he responded that it’s because he heard about her kindness towards Naomi and that the Lord God of Israel would bless her and reward her.
Ruth worked very hard in the fields so that she could provide enough barley to sell and to keep some for Naomi and her. Naomi eventually encourage Ruth to find a new husband and suggested Boaz. She told Ruth to go to him after the work day was over and he had laid down to rest. Ruth was to lay down at his feet and wait for him to tell her what to do.
When Boaz woke, he noticed Ruth and he blessed her for her kindness and noble character. He then gave her six measures of barley for her to take home to Naomi. Boaz had also decided to marry Ruth.
To be able to marry Ruth, Boaz went before his friends and elders to purchase the land which belonged to Elimelek which now belonged to Naomi. He purchased the land so that he could also acquire Ruth and Naomi.
When they got married, Boaz and Ruth has a son named Obed, and a grandson named Jesse who would be the father of King David, the most famous king Israel ever had. And after a thousand years later, Jesus was born in Bethlehem from the same family.
Ruth’s story shows how loyal, hardworking, loving, and compassionate she is. Even when her husband died, she never left her mother-in-law behind.