AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF RUTH
The Book of Ruth is a love story. It took place during the turbulent period of the Book of Judges. The author is unknown. Ruth, the main character, was a heathen girl from Moab who had married one of the sons of Elimelech and Naomi. However, Elimelech and both of his sons had died in Moab. Ruth decided to return with Naomi to Bethlehem, and eventually came to believe that Yahweh was the only true God. Boaz was a close relative to Elimelech. According to the Law of Moses (Lev.25v25-28; Deut.25v5-10), Boaz had the right to be a kinsman-redeemer and marry Ruth to perpetuate the family of Elimelech. Through the providence of God, Boaz, who was the son of Rahab, a former prostitute in the pagan city of Jericho (Josh.2v1), did marry Ruth, a young woman who had no opportunity to know the God of Israel in her childhood. This marriage produced a son named Obed who fathered Jesse, and Jesse became the father of King David. Therefore, the great-grandparents of the royal Messianic line had roots outside Israel. How fitting it is that Jesus, the Son of David, descended from such a family (Matt.1v5-6)!
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