Book of Ruth Under God's wings

The Book of Ruth is a story of famine, tragedy, loyalty and restoration. Every character's name has a meaning and the book may have an underlying meaning to it. In my take of the book, Naomi represents Israel in times of affliction; her sons names can be some of the reasons that Israel was punished; Ruth represents the faithful that were loyal to God, and then there is Boaz. He represents God's character to those who are loyal to the covenant, despite of their backgrounds. It is a beautiful story, no matter what point of view you see it from.

The majority of this story takes place in Bethlehem of Judah with Elimelech (our God is King) and Naomi (pleasant), and their two sons (Sickness and Spent). They move to the other side of the Dead Sea to the land of Moab, in time of famine, and they stay there for ten years. Their two sons married women that were not Israelites, they were Moabites, and after very little time all three men died. Naomi was left alone with her daughters-in-law. She decided to return to Judah as Mara (bitter) by herself, but Ruth (satiation), Naomi's daughter-in-law, resisted and set off with Naomi back to her land, despite their uncertain future as widows. A point that I find interesting is that Naomi may have wanted to go back by herself so that she may acquire the kinsman for herself.

Boaz was Elimelech's close relative and therefore needed to fulfill the law of Levirate marriage. This law stated that if a husband died before he and his wife can produce offspring for means of inheritance, then the deceased man's closest relative had to take the widow in and produce a child for the dead man. Boaz, being a righteous man, blessed Ruth on the first day of their acquaintance that she may find refuge under the Lord's wings (for all she had done for Naomi) and then he himself ends up covering her with his own cloak. Boaz, therefore, ends up being Naomi's redeemer and through their union, Ruth bears a child and names him Obed (worshiper).

This story is set in time of Judges, possibly three generations before King David. Ruth's child Obed, is Jesse's father, and Jesse is King David's father. The timeframe when this book was written is not certain. It would have been anywhere between King David's reign to the fall of the Northern Kingdom (950-722BCE). This is Biblical story-telling at its best; weaving Israel story in with character, tragedies and redemption.

Created By
Alejandro Canizales
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