Women in the Bible: Ruth

Ruth is a widow and foreigner who remains faithful to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Ruth leaves her family to follow Naomi to Israel. The reason for Ruth’s loyalty to her mother-in-law is a mystery, since Naomi is a bitter woman at this time. However, Ruth also expresses a devotion to God.

When they return, Ruth goes out to glean grain, at great physical risk, so she and Naomi will have some food. Ruth finds favor with Boaz, who knows of her fine reputation.

Naomi sets about to find another husband for Ruth, targeting Boaz and developing a strategy to bring that about. The result is capturing Boaz’s attention. He sets out to make Ruth his wife, deftly dealing with another possible suitor.

Boaz and Ruth marry. Ruth has her first child, Obed. Obed is the father of Jesse, the father of David. That makes Ruth, the great grandmother of King David and a direct ancestor of Jesus.

Ruth’s loyalty to her mother-in-law and to God is rewarded. Ruth marries again, is saved from poverty, and has a son. She is later honored by Matthew who includes Ruth in the family tree of Jesus, one of only four women mentioned.

[Read about Ruth in the book of the Bible bearing her name.]

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