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To download a copy of the Ruth lessons go to TheGoodTeacher.com and click on “Bible Classes”. The Book of Ruth “A worthy woman who can find?”. Book of Ruth in the Old Testament. Ruth Among the Twelve. Joshua = the possession of a nation Judges and Ruth = the oppression of a nation

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To download a copy of the ruth lessons go to thegoodteacher com and click on bible classes l.jpg

To download a copyof the Ruth lessons go toTheGoodTeacher.comand click on “Bible Classes”


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The Book of Ruth“A worthy woman who can find?”



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Ruth Among the Twelve

Joshua = the possession of a nation

Judges and Ruth = the oppression of a nation

1 and 2 Samuel = the stabilization and expansion of a nation

1 and 2 Kings = the glorification and deterioration of a nation


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Ruth Among the Twelve

1 and 2 Chronicles = the preparation and destruction of the temple

Ezra = the reconstruction of the temple

Nehemiah = the reconstruction of the city

Esther = the protection of the people


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Ruth Among the Twelve

  • The story of Ruth is a continuation of the story of the Judges (Ruth 1:1)

  • The story of …

    • Decline through idolatry (Judges 17-18)

    • Debasement through immorality (Judges 19-21)

    • Devotion through fidelity (Ruth 1-4): light in the midst of darkness; goodness in the midst of adversity


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Time Period in OT History

Creation

The Flood

Patriarchs

Bondage in Egypt

Wilderness Wanderings

Conquest of Canaan

(1390 – 1090 B.C.) Period of the Judges (Judges – Ruth)

United Kingdom

Divided Kingdom

Captivity and Exile

Return and Restoration


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Book Background

Title: “Ruth” is title of the book because Ruth’s worthy character is the focus of the book (3:11).

Authorship: Anonymous. Jewish tradition assigns the book to Samuel, but the author may have lived after the death of Samuel and during the reign of David (Ruth 4:17,22; 1 Sam. 25:1)

Date: The story takes place during the time of the Judges (Ruth 1:1)


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Book Background

Audience: Israel in the land of Canaan under a united monarchy (David) is reminded of how individual faithfulness can exist in the midst of national faithlessness (the time of the Judges).

Time: The story of Ruth covers a period of about 11 years (1:4; 1:22; 2:23; 4:13-16)

Location: The book open with Ruth and Naomi in Moab (Ruth 1). The book closes with Ruth and Boaz in Bethlehem (Ruth 2-4).


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The Story of Ruth

Naomi returns to

Bethlehem in Judah

with Ruth (1:6-22)

Bethlehem

Naomi travels with

her family to Moab

(1:1-5).


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Keys to the Book

Key word: “kinsman” (Heb. goel) = one who redeems (2:1; 3:2,9,12,13; 4:1,3,6,8,14)

Key theme: devoted love (1:16-17; 2:23; 3:5; 4:15)

Key character: Ruth, a worthy woman (3:11)


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The Story of Ruth and Jesus Christ

Boaz, as a kinsman-redeemer, is parallel to the work of Jesus Christ (3:11-13; 4:9-10; see chart)

Ruth is a part of the genealogy of Christ (4:18-22; Mt. 1:3-6)

Bethlehem-Ephrathah would be a new beginning for Ruth (4:11) and for Jesus Christ (Mic. 5:2; Mt. 2:1)




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Outline of the Book

  • Sacrificial Love Demonstrated (Ruth 1-2)

    • Ruth’s decision to stay with Naomi (1:1-22)

      (Death of a family)

    • Ruth’s devotion to care for Naomi (2:1-23)

  • Sacrificial Love Rewarded (Ruth 3-4)

    • Ruth’s request for redemption by Boaz (3:1-18)

    • Ruth’s reward of redemption from Boaz (4:1-22)

      (Birth of a family)


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Ruth 1Lessons for Today

Like Ruth, we need to be lights shining in the midst of darkness. Ruth is an example of individual faithfulness in a time national faithlessness (1:1; Phil. 2:15).

Bad times can often bring out the best in people (1:1; Rom. 5:3-4; Jas. 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 1:6-7).

When hardships enter our life we must continue to rely upon the Lord (1:1-5; Phil. 4:19; Heb. 13:5; 1 Pet. 5:7).


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Ruth 1Lessons for Today

The Lord deals kindly with his people (1:6-9; Mt. 5:45; Acts 14:17; Jas. 1:17).

The one true God needs to be our God (1:16; Acts 17:23-24; Eph. 4:4-6).

“Generations gaps” need not occur between the young and old (1:16-17; 1 Tim. 5:1-2; 1 Pet. 5:5).

We must remain faithful to the Lord regardless of the circumstances he gives us (1:19-21; Job 1:20-22; 2:7-10; Heb. 12:7-13).


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Ruth 2Lessons for Today

Employers and employees who serve the Lord make good businesses (2:4; Eph. 6:5-9).

A good reputation is the best kind of introduction (2:11; Mt. 5:13-16; 1 Pet. 2:12).

We learn to show kindness after receiving kindness (2:18; Mt. 5:7; 6:14).


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Ruth 2Lessons for Today

The Lord blesses his people, rewards his people, protects his people, and shows kindness to his people (2:4,12,20; Gen. 15:1; Psa. 34:7; Prov. 30:5; Rom. 8:28).

Steadfast commitment, faith, love, loyalty, self-sacrifice, and hard work are all qualities that are much needed today (1:16-18; 2:2,11,23; Mt. 6:33; 1 Cor. 15:58; Gal. 6:9; Rev. 2:10).


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Ruth 3Lessons for Today

A good name (reputation) is better than great riches (3:10-11; Prov. 22:1).

A worthy woman who can find? Her price is far above rubies (3:11; Prov. 31:10ff). A woman’s inward character is more impressive to a godly man than outward beauty (3:11; 1 Tim. 2:9-10; 1 Pet. 3:1-6).


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Ruth 3Lessons for Today

Steadfast commitment, faith, love, loyalty, self-sacrifice, and hard work are all qualities that are much needed today (3:5,10-11; 4:15; Mt. 6:33; 1 Cor. 15:58; Gal. 6:9; Rev. 2:10).

Men of character are much needed today in the world and in the Lord’s church (3:10-18; 4:9-10; 1 Tim. 2:8; 3:1-13; 4:12; Tit. 1:5-9; 2:2,6-8).


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Ruth 4Lessons for Today

We must not be slothful to carry out God’s law and to do what is right (4:1,9; Rom. 12:11).

The Lord deals kindly with his people (4:11,14; Mt. 5:45; Acts 14:17; Jas. 1:17).

Men and women who seem unimportant by the world’s standards can play an important role in God’s plan (4:11-12,18-22; Mt. 1:3-6, 18-25).


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Chemosh – Lord of Moab

Chemosh was the national deity of the Moabites whose name most likely meant "destroyer," "subduer," or "fish god."  While he is most readily associated with the Moabites, according to Judges 11:24 he seems to have been the national deity of the Ammonites as well.  His presence in the Old Testament world was well known, as his cult was imported to Jerusalem by King Solomon (1 Kings 11:7).  The Hebrew scorn for his worship was evident in a curse from the scriptures:  "the abomination of Moab."  King Josiah destroyed the Israelite branch of the cult (2 Kings 23). Information on Chemosh is scarce, although archaeology and text can render a clearer picture of the deity.  In 1868, an archaeological find at Dibon provided scholars with more clues to the nature of Chemosh.  The find, known as the Moabite Stone or Mesha Stele, was a monument bearing an inscription commemorating the c. 860 B.C. endeavors of King Mesha to overthrow the Israelite dominion of Moab.  The vassalage had existed since the reign of David (2 Samuel 8:2), but the Moabites revolted upon the death of Ahab.  Consequently, the Moabite Stone contains the oldest existing inscription of a Semitic alphabet.  Mesha, by way of textual example, attributes his victory over the Israelites and their god to Chemosh stating "And Chemosh drove him before my sight." (2 Kings 3:5) Source: www.ancienthistory.about.com


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The Moabite Stone

The Moabite Stone is a priceless source of information concerning Chemosh.  Within the text the inscriber mentions Chemosh twelve times.  He also names Mesha as the son of Chemosh.  Mesha made it clear that he understood Chemosh's anger and the reason he allowed the Moabites to fall under the rule of Israel.  The high place on which Mesha oriented the stone was dedicated to Chemosh as well.  In summary, Mesha realized that Chemosh waited to restore Moab in his day, for which Mesha was grateful to Chemosh. Chemosh seems to have also had a taste for blood.  In 2 Kings 3:27 we find that human sacrifice was part of the rites of Chemosh.  This practice, while gruesome, was certainly not unique to the Moabites, as such rites were commonplace in the various Canaanite religious cults, including those of the Baals and of Moloch.  Mythologists and other scholars suggest that such activity may be due to the fact the Chemosh and other Canaanite gods such as the Baals, Moloch, Thammuz, and Baalzebub were all personifications of the sun, or of the sun's rays.  They represented the fierce, inescapable, and often consuming heat of the summer sun (a necessary but deadly element in life; analogs may be found in Aztec sun worship). Source: www.ancienthistory.about.com


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The Moabite Stone

Photo by Chris Reeves * 05.03.10 * The Louvre, Paris