Our List of 300 Religious Subjects

Book of Ruth

General Information

The Book of Ruth is the eighth book of the Old Testament of the Bible. A short story, it tells how Ruth, the Moabite widow of a Bethlehemite, with her mother - in - law Naomi's assistance, married an older kinsman Boaz, thereby preserving her deceased husband's posterity and becoming an ancestor of King David. The plot is artfully constructed and exhibits a pronounced belief in the comprehensive but hidden providence of God that works quietly in ordinary events. The legal customs concerning levirate marriage, redemption of property, and gleaning in the fields are relatively ancient, and the vocabulary and style are consistent with a date between 950 and 750 BC. The Davidic genealogy is a secondary appendix, written between 500 and 350 BC, which served to increase the importance of the book for postexilic Jews.

Norman K Gottwald

Y I Broch, The Book of Ruth (1975); E F Campbell, Ruth (1975); R M Hals, The Theology of the Book of Ruth (1969).


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