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Ruth study guide

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Preparation Participants should read the entire book prior to the study session.
Orientation Ruth is book #8 of 39 in the Old Testament. It is considered a book of History. For more information see the Bible Overview page.
Synopsis Set in the time of the Judges, Ruth and her family are driven from their home by famine. Soon all three men in the family are dead, and the widows destitute. Ruth appears to be cursed - she had no children, and now no husband. To make things worse, she was an outsider - not an Israelite. The surprise ending is that Ruth gives birth to Israel's most famous family line of kings - including King David, and Jesus himself.

This is an account of redemption and salvation. After Boaz and Ruth marry, she is redeemed from failure to success in many ways: widow to wife, from poverty to wealth, from childless to mother, from outsider to Israelite.

Major Characters Ruth, a young widow from Moab
Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law, an elderly widow from Bethlehem
Boaz, Ruth's second husband
Major Events Ruth stays with Naomi (1:1-22)
Ruth gleans leftover grain (2: 1-23)
Ruth proposes to Boaz (3: 1-18)
Ruth and Boaz have a son, Obed, starting a distinguished family line(4:13-22)
Activities 1. What is the book of Ruth doing in between the history books of Israel (Judges and 1 Samuel)?
2. Chart the relationship between Ruth, Naomi, Orpah, and the rest of the family. (1: 1-5 and 4:9-10)
3. Chart the genealogy from Ruth to David to Jesus (see Ruth 4:13-end, and Matthew 1:5)
Relevance 1. What scriptures in this book have application for my life? (perhaps 1:16-17?)
2. How does the redemption of Ruth provide an example to us today?
Connections 1. In Ruth 4;11 the elders compare Ruth to Rachel and Leah (Genesis 30).
2. Boaz/Ruth are listed in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:5.

For source citations see the home page. Revised Mar 15 2013

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