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And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

Summary of the Book of Ruth

By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
  1. Introduction (1:1-5)
    1. Events occurred "when the judges ruled" (1:1)
    2. The author is uncertain, but may have been Samuel
    3. The book probably was written during the time of David
    4. Famine in the area of Bethlehem (1:1)
    5. Migration to Moab (1:1)
      1. Elimelech and his wife, Naomi (1:2)
      2. They had two sons, Mahlon and Chilion
      3. They were Ephrathites of Bethlehem-judah
      4. They were of the tribe of Judah
    6. Elimelech died in Moab (1:3)
    7. After the death of Elimelech, his two sons married Moabite women (1:4)
      1. One of the sons married Orpah (1:4)
      2. The other son married Ruth (1:4)
      3. This was in violation of the Law of Moses (Deut 7:3; 23:3; Ezra 9:2)
      4. After 10 years both Mahlon and Chilion died (1:5)
      5. Naomi was without husband or sons (1:5)
  2. Devotion of Ruth to Naomi (1:6 to 2:23)
    1. Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem-judah (1:7)
      1. Both Orpah and Ruth accompany Naomi part of the way (1:7)
      2. Naomi urges her daughters-in-law to remain in Moab (1:8-13)
      3. Orpah tearfully agrees to remain in Moab (1:14)
      4. Ruth refuses to leave Naomi (1:14-18)
        1. Ruth’s famous statement: "Entreat me not to leave thee, and 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: Jehovah do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me."
        2. Ruth was "steadfastly minded" to remain with Naomi, so the mother-in-law ceased her protest
    2. They arrive at Bethlehem (1:19)
      1. Women of Bethlehem surprised to see Naomi so sad and desolate
      2. Naomi asks them to call her "Mara," instead of Naomi (1:20)
      3. Naomi blames Jehovah for her sad plight (1:21)
      4. Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem at harvest time (1:22)
    3. Ruth’s care for Naomi (2:1-23)
      1. Boaz, a powerful, wealthy kinsman of Elimelech (2:1)
      2. Ruth ask Naomi to permit to glean the harvest fields (2:2)
      3. Ruth gleaned in the field of Boaz (2:3)
      4. Boaz observes and meets Ruth (2:4-7)
      5. Boaz provides for Ruth (2:8-23)
  3. Ruth’s Devotion to Naomi is Rewarded (3:1-18)
    1. Naomi advises Ruth on how best to remind Boaz of his duty (3:1-9)
      1. Ruth follows Naomi’s instructions (3:6-8)
      2. Boaz discovers Ruth at his feet (3:9)
      3. Ruth makes request for Boaz to fulfill the Levirate law (Deut 25:5)
    2. Boaz desires to become Ruth’s husband (3:10-18)
      1. There was a problem (3:12)
      2. Gift to Ruth and Naomi (3:15)
      3. Ruth returns to Naomi with good news and a gift (3:16-17)
      4. Naomi correctly surmises that Boaz will act quickly (3:18)
    3. Boaz marries Ruth (4:1-22)
      1. Boaz secures from a nearer relative the right of redemption (4:1-12)
      2. Boaz and Ruth marry (4:13)
      3. Obed is born to Ruth and Boaz (4:14-17)
      4. Brief genealogy showing David was descended from Ruth and Boaz (4:18-22)

H. A. "Buster" Dobbs, email:
P. O. Box 690192
Houston, Texas 77269-0192
(281) 469-3540

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