March 18th

 

Ruth 1-4

  • 1:3-5 – A woman’s only source of wealth and protection were her male relatives. With Naomi’s husband and sons having died, she was extremely vulnerable.
  • 1:16-17 – Though it was normally a bad thing for Israelites to intermarry, Ruth seems to be the exception to the rule. Instead of influencing her husband and his family to her Moabite gods, she becomes to loyal to Naomi and Naomi’s God.
  • 2:1-2 – The Israelites were commanded to not go through their fields and pick up the leftovers but to leave them for widows and travelers. This is exactly what Ruth is taking advantage of.
  • 2:8-10 – Boaz essentially guarantees Ruth’s safety and provision.
  • 3:6-18 – Though the language is somewhat suggestive that Ruth and Boaz had a sexual encounter, the language is just uncertain enough that you can’t say either way with any confidence. Maybe she did simply sleep at his feet all night after a kind, generous conversation. Either way, it was scandalous in their culture that she stayed the night with a man who was not her husband.
  • 4:1-6 – Women, like land, were considered property. Ruth came along with the land since she had no male relative to marry.
  • 4:7 – The phrase, “now this was custom in former times,” makes it clear that this story was told to people years later when customs had changed.
  • 4:11-12 – Rachel, Ruth and Boaz, Perez, Tamar, and Judah are all part of Jesus’ lineage listed in the first chapter of Matthew.
  • 4:17 – This lineage is listed to show Ruth’s connection to David and eventually to Jesus. It is significant that Ruth was not an Israelite so we know that gentiles were part of Jesus’ background. (fun fact: Rahab, the prostitute from Jericho, is also part of Jesus’ lineage)

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