by:Sangam Shrestha, M.Div.
Ruth Chapter 1
- The Book of Ruth
- Background of Moabites
- Historical Background
- Geographical Background
- Heroines of Old Testament
- Exegetical Outline
- Word Study
- Theological Outline
- Preaching Outline
The Book of Ruth
Ruth and Noami lost everything as same time. They had lost husband. The Book of Ruth relates that Ruth and Orpah, two women of Moab, had married two sons of Elimelech and Naomi, Judeans who had settled in Moab to escape a famine in Judah. The husbands of all three women die; Naomi plans to return to her native Bethlehem and urges her daughters-in-law to return to their families. Ruth and Naomi lost everything, except their care for each other
Background of Moabites
In the Bible, the Moabites are said to have descended from Moab, the son of Lot and his oldest daughter (Genesis 19:37). The kingdom of Moab stretched “north and south of the Arnon River” with its capital at Dibon. The Moabites worshiped the god Chemosh, who may be depicted in the Balua‘Stele (dated to the end of Late Bronze Age). The most famous Moabite king—from the archaeological record at least is Mesha. The large inscription he left behind is the longest Moabite text. Dating to the ninth century B.C.E. Moabite, member of a West-Semitic people who lived in the highlands east of the Dead Sea (now in west-central Jordan) and flourished in the 9th century BC. They are known principally through information given in the Old Testament and from the inscription on the Moabite Stone. The Moabites’ culture is dated by scholars from about the late 14th century BC to 582 BC, when, according to the Jewish historian Josephus (1st century AD), they were conquered by the Babylonians.
Moabites were not God’s people: Deuteronomy 23:3, “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD forever:”
In this book time was around judges’ time. This time was very bad in Israel history. That time people do sinful work. “The story is set in the time of the judges, a time characterized in the book of Judges as a period of religious and moral degeneracy, national disunity and frequent foreign oppression.”
The book of Ruth reflects a time of peace between Israel and Moab (contrast Jdg 3:12–30). Like 1Sa 1–2, it gives a series of intimate glimpses into the private lives of the members of an Israelite family. It also presents a delightful account of the remnant of true faith and piety in the period of the judges, relieving an otherwise wholly dark picture of that era.
1.Bethlehem: Bethlehem, Arabic Bayt Laḥm (“House of Meat”), Hebrew Bet Leḥem (“House of Bread”), town in the West Bank, situated in the Judaean Hills 5 miles (8 km) south of Jerusalem. According to the Gospels (Matthew 2; Luke 2), Bethlehem was the site of the Nativity of Jesus Christ. Christian theology has linked this with the belief that his birth there fulfills the Old Testament prophecy of Israel’s future ruler coming from Bethlehem Ephrathah (Micah 5:2). Some modern New Testament scholars believe parts of the Gospel accounts to be later accretions and hold that Jesus was born in Nazareth, his childhood home, but normative Christian belief has sanctified Bethlehem as Jesus’ birthplace for almost two millennia.
2.Moab: Moab, kingdom, ancient Palestine. Located east of the Dead Sea in what is now west-central Jordan, it was bounded by Edom and the land of the Amorites. The Moabites were closely related to the Israelites, and the two were frequently in conflict. The Moabite Stone, found at Dibon, recorded the 9th-century-BCE victories of the Moab king Mesha, especially those over Israel. Moab was conquered by the Babylonians in 582 BCE.
Ruth, biblical character, a woman who after being widowed remains with her husband’s mother. The story is told in the Book of Ruth, part of the biblical canon called Ketuvim, or Writings. Ruth’s story is celebrated during the Jewish festival of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks,50 days after Passover.
The Book of Ruth’s author is not at all mentioned. Some think it was Samuel the Prophet, but the text indicates nothing of the author.
Heroines of Old Testament
In the dark history of Israel there was a beautiful flower whose name was Ruth. Ruth is one of the most famous women of the Bible – which is strange when you realize she was not an Israelite at all, but a Moabite woman, a foreigner, an outsider. Ruth was a Moabite woman, from a country that was one of Israel’s traditional enemies.
A Moabite woman who marriage with Israel person. After her husband was death. So Ruth was a young widow. After her husband’s death, she chose to continue living with her former mother-in-law, Naomi, also widowed. Who believed in the God of Israel (Yahweh). Ruth was a Moabitess a foreigner who did not follow and believe the Hebrew God.
Exegetical Outline and Idea
Ruth Chapter 1
- A sojourn in Moab and Tragedy with Family. (Ruth 1:1-5)
- Family who went to Moab because of famine (1-2)
The time of Judges the Family of Jews Naomi and her husband and two sons were from Bethlehem. Because of a famine, they relocated to Moab, a neighboring country where there was food. “The total straight line distance between Bethlehem and Moab is 2919 KM (kilometers) and 700 meters. The miles based distance from Bethlehem to Moab is 1814.2 miles”
- Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died. (3)
They were there, Naomi’s husband died. Bible didn’t record why her husband was die, but Bible say her husband died.
- Both Mahlon and Chilion took wives of the women of Moab and they died. (4-5)
And also Noami two sons married women from Moab, one of whom was named Ruth. And then, after 10 years, both Naomi’s sons died. There also Bible din’t give reason why they died.
- Conversation between three widows. (Ruth 1:6-18)
- The three widows head back to Judah.(6-7)
The book of Ruth tall about three widow. 1. Noami 2.Ruth and 3.Orpah. They are husband was died in Moab. They are living same condition and same felling that time.
- Naomi petitions her daughters-in-law to go back to Moab.(8-13)
After some time Naomi heard there was food again in Bethlehem, and Naomi decided to go back home. Because Naomi said this so that they would not have any problems in Bethlehem.
- Orpah stays in Moab; Ruth continues on with Naomi. (14-18)
Ruth was committed to going with Naomi. Ruth could not be talked into it. She said to her mother-in-law, “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16-17)
- Returned from the country of Moab. (Ruth 1:19-22)
- Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem.(19)
“So Naomi and Ruth returned in Bethlehem, who returned from the country of Moab
- Naomi thought God is against with her (20-21)
That time Naomi think or thought God is against her. So that he say “Call me Mara” Mara Means Bitter.
- Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.(22)
When they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.
Tragedy with family then after three widows returned from the country of Moab.
- Even in difficult situations like life, I will trust only God and put God at the center of my life. I will trust in God’s help, not in difficult situations.
- Like Ruth, I will make the best plans to live in God’s presence all my life and only glorify God.
- The problems in the ministry will be with God, not with the people. I will put him at the center of my life.
v.16 But Ruth replied,
“Stop urging me to abandon (עזב) you!
- Therefore the words (עזב) qal perfect 2nd person Feminine singular, also the meaning is leave. “do not urge me to abandon you to turn back from after you.” Most English versions, following the lead of the KJV, use “leave” here. The use of עזב(ʿazav, “abandon”) reflects Ruth’s perspective.
- V16-God, Here, “My God” in Hebrew אֱלֹהָֽי׃ means also My God. This is personal relationship with God. First person, Masculine, Conjunctive Perfect אֱלֹהָֽי (Elohim) means also Divine One true God.
- Lord punished Elimelech family also. (Ruth 1:1-5)
The book of Ruth time was Judges. At that time the people, especially the Israelites, lived a very corrupt and wicked life. They did not live according to God’s Word. They only sinned. So God sent feminine on Israel. They were also in that predicament.
- Lord sent feminine in Bethlehem (1-2)
That time was Judges. At that time the Israelites, lived a very corrupt and wicked life. They did not live according to God’s Word. They only sinned. So God sent feminine on Bethlehem.
- Lord gives tragedy Naomi’s family. (3-5)
Naomi and her family was Moab. They live Bethlehem and live in Moab. So Lord gives tragedy Naomi’s family. Naomi husband and her two son died. Bible didn’t give reason why they are died but we think that is Lord Tragedy for Naomi’s family
- Lord’s blessing in Bethlehem. (Ruth 1:6-18)
Naomi heard the Lors’s blessing in Bethalehem. We know our Lord giving blessing all time. If we doing sinful word he give us to punishment and also he love us.
- Lord towards Bethlehem continuing to bless. (6-13)
We know our Lord is Judgment Lord. The Lord’s Blessing and Love never end. He continuing giving blessing to Bethlehem.
- Lord started planning on Ruth family. (14-18)
God does not leave His people alone or in distress, but He raises His people from hardship and suffering. It restores its people again. Because he loves his people. So God was making a great plan for Ruth and Noam’s family.
- Lord called his people to Bethlehem. (Ruth 1:19-22)
God will restore His people. So God sent Noami and Ruth back to their own country. God has played an invisible role in this.
- Lord safely keep on Ruth. (19)
He protects everyone who fears God. God saves us from every danger and embarrassment. In the same way, God has protected his servant Ruth. Even though she is a Moabite woman, God has shown mercy to her.
- Naomi realizes Lord is against her family. (20-22)
God lets us go through difficult times because we are still strong. But here Noami blames God. It tells me that God has made my life miserable. He is blaming God here. But what God really does in our lives is for the good.
Lord is always wait his people who believe him.
- A Time of Desperate Circumstances (1-5)
There may be times in our lives when we are depressed. At that time we may forget all of God’s mercy and compassion. Because in those cases, the biggest problem we have is with the cable itself. This is human nature. At this point, we are turning our backs on God by focusing on problems rather than God. But we don’t know the meaning of all the problems in our lives, but it is certain that there is a reason behind every problem and only God knows that reason.
- A Time of bitterness to Hope of God (6-7)
Who do you rely on when difficult situations arise in your life? In trouble or in God? Many people in the world today are more focused on problems than on God. They rely more on humans than on God. Problems in life are like clouds. Sometime they come and sometime later they fly away by themselves. That’s why it’s important to look at the problems we face in our lives. Are we looking at problems from a human point of view or from God’s point of view? Remember, we trust in God alone. He alone is the center of our hope. Look at the solution, not the problem, and that solution comes only from God. The David say “ I look up toward the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth.” (Plasm 121:1-2)
- A Time of Decision Of future (8-15)
What do you think we can do to build our own future? Some people say we can make our own future. It may be successful to some extent, but can it make the whole life or the future? Absolutely not. Because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but our God in whom we trust and trust knows what will happen in the future and what we will become. So he has a better future for us than we have now. Psalm 23:1 say “Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
- A time Of Decision to be taken with God (16-18)
What is you decision? Are the decisions you make in life in harmony with God’s will? Is it biblical? Like Ruth did. The decisions we make in life will be with God or away from God. God wants His people to always be close to Him. We must do the same as Ruth did. Even though he was a Gentile and an apostate, his decision was to stay in God’s house and in his own country. Psalm 84:10 “One day in the Lord’s courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.”
- A Time of to live a full life in Christ (19-22)
Many Christion show like they are Christion but reality they are not true Christian. They did not truly believed in Jesus Christ. The one who lives with Christ all his life is really a Christian. There are thousands and thousands people in the world who know Christ. Do they love Christ and obey him? Having believed and trusted in Christ, we must now live in Him for the rest of our lives, for He is our present and our future. Only he. Paul said ‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ Galatians 2:20.
Preaching Idea: Living in Christ means full life
- I will trust only God and put God at the center of my life.
- I will make the best plans to live in God’s presence all my life and only glorify God.
3.. I will put Jesus at the center of my life.
Ruth 1:16-17 Ruth claimed Israels God as her own God. She was a Moabite who did not believe in God. This Chapter main Conclusion is “Commitment to God often comes through commitment to His people” God is Our Future and he do all think good for us and he make new plan for us even we are not qualified his Love and giving blessing forever.
 “Ruth biblical figure” Accessed date September 10, 2021, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ruth-biblical-figure
 Philp Yancey, Tim Stafford, New International Version (United America: Zondervan, 1996) pg.291.
 Megan Sauter, “Who Were the Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites in the Bible?” Accessed Date September 10, 2021, Public Date April 16, 2021, https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-near-eastern-world/ammonites-moabites-edomites-in-the-bible/
 “Intro to Ruth” Accessed September 10, 2021, https://www.biblica.com/resources/scholar-notes/niv-study-bible/intro-to-ruth/.
 “The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica” Bethlehem, Accessed September 13, 2021, https://www.britannica.com/place/Moab-kingdom-ancient-Palestine. “The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica” Moab, Accessed September 13, 2021, https://www.britannica.com/place/Moab-kingdom-ancient-Palestine.
 “The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica” Ruth, Accessed September 13, 2021, https://www.britannica.com/place/Moab-kingdom-ancient-Palestine.
 “Bethlehem to Moab distance, location, road map and direction” Accessed date October 7, 2021, http://distancebetween2.com/bethlehem/moab.
 “ReversoContext” Accessed DateSeptember 28, 2021,https://context.reverso.net/translation/hebrew-english/%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%94%D7%99
“Bethlehem to Moab distance, location, road map and direction” Accessed date October 7, 2021, http://distancebetween2.com/bethlehem/moab.
“Intro to Ruth” Accessed September 10, 2021, https://www.biblica.com/resources/scholar-notes/niv-study-bible/intro-to-ruth/.
“Moabite people” Accessed date September 10, 2021, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Moabite.
“ReversoContext” Accessed Date September 28, 2021,https://context.reverso.net/translation/hebrew-english/%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%94%D7%99
“Ruth biblical figure” Accessed date September 10, 2021, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ruth-biblical-figure
“The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica” Bethlehem, Accessed September 13, 2021, https://www.britannica.com/place/Moab-kingdom-ancient-Palestine.
Yancey, Philp, Tim Stafford, New International Version (United America: Zondervan, 1996)
Yancey ,Megan Sauter, “Who Were the Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites in the Bible?” Accessed Date September 10, 2021, Public Date April 16, 2021, https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-near-eastern-world/ammonites-moabites-edomites-in-the-bible/