From Help for Shepherds
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Commentary

Book Number 08
Testament Old
Number of Chapters 4
Percentage Online {{#expr: 4/4*100 round 0}}%
"/4*100round0}}%" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 4.
Literary Genre Wisdom
References Used Bibliography: Ruth

Ruth is a short story, or novella, based on the life of an Israelite family that happened during the time of the Judges. Basically, this story focuses less on historical issues and more with the themes and issues the author wishes to convey with telling the account. With Esther, the book of Ruth is unique in that the central protagonists are female. This is rare in early Israelite culture as the men were expected to do anything worthy of retelling.

The story itself it written very simply, but beautifully. It is an excellently told story that can stand up to deep study as well as a quick read.

The dating of the events fall anywhere within the time of the Judges, with no real consensus as to exactly when they occurred. Dating the writing of the book is even less precise. The Talmud (ancient Jewish interpretation) has it written by Samuel (Childs 526). The use of “in the days of the Judges” as the opening, however, indicates a date of writing removed from the original events. Other interpretations place the writing of this book post-exilic, interpreting Ruth as a contrast to Ezra/Nehemiah's focus on ethnic purity and seperation. Nearly every time frame in between these two have also been suggested.

There are many themes within this book. The obvious one, of course, is that of race. Ruth was a Moabite, someone no good Israelite should marry, but out of her came king David's line. This book focuses on faith and trust as keys to living right with God instead of bloodlines. The good Israelites wavered, and the Moabite stood firm.

Other themes involve service over duty and God's providence. The later is especially key to explore because the book of Ruth so rarely makes God an overt player in the story. Instead, God works through providence and behind the scenes guidance to bring about the wonderful ending.

Listed Below are the chapters of this book that already have commentary on them. If you do not see the chapter you are wanting to contribute to, please add it by using the box below.

Chapters With Commentary

Ruth 1, Ruth 2, Ruth 3, Ruth 4