Why does this book receive its title rather from Ruth, than from Naomi or Boaz?

By whom is it supposed to have been written? N. B. The general consent of the learned ascribes it to Samuel. It forms a supplement to the book of Judges, in whose time the narrated events occurred, and a suitable introduction to the history of David which immediately follows.

What is the general scope of the book ? Ans: To exhibit a striking illustration of the doctrine of a particular Providence—to put on record an important part of the chain of the Messiah's genealogy—and in the conversion of a Moabitish woman to afford a preintimation of the calling of the Gentiles into the fellowship of the Gospel.

Where is the scene of the history principally laid? ch. 1.22.

What made this place afterwards still more illustrious? Mat. 2. 1.

Ruth 1

With the mention of what incident does the history commence?

How does this circumstance agree with the character given (Deut. 8. 7—9.) of the promised land? See Lev. 26. 19, 20. Ps. 107. 34.

At what time of the Judges is this famine supposed to have occurred ? N. B. As Boaz was born of Rahab, the conjecture is not improbable which places it about the time of the Midianitish oppression, related Judges 6.1—4. which was evidently attended with a grievous famine. This would make Boaz and Ruth contemporary with Gideon.

What family is here brought to view, of whom was it composed, and what is said of them?

Why are they called Ephrathites? Gen. 35. 19.

Was there any other Bethlehem, except that of Judah? Josh. 19. 15.

What do the names of Elimelech and his family signify? Ans. Elimelech, My God a King -Naomi, My pleasant one —Mahlon and Chilion,sickness and consumption.

Does the family appear to have been one of respectable note? v. 19. 21.

Is his conduct to be justified in fleeing from the famine? Lev. 25. 25. Ps. 37. 19.

What does the Prophet say of the more favored condition of the country to which he emigrated? Jer. 48. 11.

Are the wicked often exempted in this life from the calamities that befal the righteous? Ps. 73. 3—5.

Is it ever wise to attempt to shun the cross which God appoints for us? Mic. 6. 9.

Accordingly, what untoward events occurred to the family in the land of Moab? v, 3—5.

Was the marriage of the young men with the daughters of Moab unlawful? Deut. 7. 3. Ezra 9. 1.2.

What did Naomi do after the death of her two sons, and why?

What appears to have been her general character?

What did she say to her daughters-in-law, after they had accompanied her part of the way, and what tokens of affection did she shew them?

What did they reply, and what did she say further to dissuade them?

Should not Naomi rather have desired them to forsake a land of idolaters, to go with her, and join the nation of God's true worshippers? N. B. Compare with this the language of Joshua to the people of Israel Josh.24. 19—22.

What similar circumstance is related of our Saviour? Mat. 8. 19, 20.

What was the result in the case of the two young women? v. 14.

Is a conduct similar to Orpah's often witnessed under the Gospel? Mat. 19. 21, 22.

Does Naomi go on to put the faith of Ruth to a still severer test, and what reply does the latter make?

Is this a pattern of the resolves of every true convert to Christ?

Whither did they return, what was their reception, and what did Naomi say on the occasion?

At what season of the year did they reach Bethlehem?

Ruth 2

What rich relation had Naomi, and from whom was he descended? 1 Chron.2. 10—12. N.B. Boaz signifies, In him is strength.

Do the two women appear to have lived in very reduced circumstances?

What proposal, indicative of peculiar humility and industry, did Ruth make to her mother-in-law?

On what was this founded? Lev. 19. 9. 10.

Did she obtain her mother's consent, and whither did Providence conduct her steps?

When Boaz came to the field, what pious salutations were exchanged between him and his reapers?

Does such language appear to have been common in the harvest-fields of God's ancient people? Ps. 129. 7, 8

Does it afford a beautiful illustration of the effects of genuine religion, and ought it still to be retained among the pious ?

What conversation ensued displaying the kind and generous spirit of Boaz? v, 5—9.

What effect had it upon Ruth, and what did she say?

What did Boaz answer her? v. 11—14.

Did she partake of the proffered hospitality and what ensued? v. 15, 16.

What success had she in gleaning, and what conversation took place between her and Naomi when she returned home?

Ruth 3

By what means did Naomi entertain the idea of promoting the comfort and happiness of her daughter-in-law ? v. 1.2.

Why did she project a marriage with Boaz, rather than with any other person?

What answer did Boaz return to her respectful claim to be taken under his protection? v.10—13. N. B. The "spreading the skirt" was in itself rather an emblem of protection, than of affiance. Zech. 8. 23.

With what present did he dismiss her in the morning?

What did her mother say to heron her return?

Ruth 4

How did Boaz proceed accordingly in the fulfillment of his promise? N. B. in early times, before writing was much in vogue, and the memory of witnesses had to supply the place of written documents, it was Important that all contracts of consequence should be publicly entered into and ratified, and as the constant passing and re-passing through the gates of a town or city, besides its being a place of general resort for amusement or relaxation, would always furnish ready witnesses, matters of this nature and also legal transactions appear to have been usually conducted at the gate-ways of cities, which thence became "places of judgment."

How did he proceed to lay the business before the meeting? N. B. The expression—"Naomi selleth a parcel of land"—probably means, that she was now about to dispose of, or make over, the present right of redemption to the estate in question, and formal notice is accordingly given by Boaz to the Goel, or next of kin, that he might avail himself of his privilege, if he saw fit, according to the law of Moses.

Did the man at first seem willing to undertake it, and what deterred him?

Did he hereupon resign all his right of redemption, and by what ceremony was it confirmed? N. B. This was equivalent to the modern custom of a man's delivering up the key of a house which he has sold.

How did Boaz publish his purchase of the estate and his marriage-contract with Ruth? N.B. It is supposed that this or something very similar, was the customary mode of solemnizing marriage among the people of Israel.

Does the essence of marriage lie in the voluntary compact of the parties ?

Is it peculiarly proper that the entering into such a relation should be attended with religious ceremonies?

How did the people and elders reply, and what blessings did they invoke severally upon the woman and upon the man?

Why did they pray that "his house might be like the house of Pharez?" N. B. In the distribution of the tribes, Pharez, the grandson of Jacob, had the honor of having his house divided into two distinct branches, as Joseph's was into those of Ephraim and Manasseh, which became very numerous, and from one of which the Bethlemites themselves were descended, who of course knew very well the import of the blessing they invoked.

How, and why, was Naomi specially congratulated on the birth of Ruth's first-born? N.B. There was good reason for giving joy to Naomi on this occasion, as the house of her husband was now in a fair way to be rebuilt, and the extinction of his name in Israel prevented.

What kind offices did she perform towards the child, and what name was given it? N. B. Obed signifies servant, and was probably conferred with some allusion to the services with which he would by and by repay the care and attentions of his aged relative.

Who was the third descendant from Boaz and Ruth? V. 22.

What still higher honor at length accrued to this converted daughter of Moab? Mat. 1.16. N. B. Her becoming a true proselyte and being engrafted into the stock of Israel, is undoubtedly typical of the subsequent calling of the Gentiles into the Christian church.

What striking lesson are we taught by the tenor of this history? N. B. That those who from unfeigned humility and a conscientious submission to the will of God, are content with obscurity—cheerfully foregoing the notice and praise of men—and patiently performing the duties of their stations—are the fairest candidates for the honor which they have not sought, and are often made signally eminent in the providence of God.

What striking passage do we find in Solomon's Proverbs applicable to this narrative? Prov.15. 25.

< Previous | Index | Next >