Observations On Ruth 1

I’ve started an inductive Bible study on Ruth.  “Inductive” simply means that I’ll be breaking the study down into three detailed parts.

  1. Observation – everything you can pick out in the book that might be helpful in terms of understanding what is going on
  2. Interpretation – what are the important messages being discussed?
  3. Application – how do I apply this to my life?

So here’s some bullet point observations on Ruth 1 (it might help to read the chapter before reading down this list)

  • Time: “days when Judges governed” – no king, cycle of rebelling/repenting
  • Famine in the land – harder for widows to find food
  • Elimelech – a man of Bethlehem in Judah (two sons and wife Naomi)
  • Sons took Moabite women as wives – who were the Moabites?
  • Sons died, so two wives were only tied to Naomi through marriage
  • Heard that there was food in Judah (famine), so they went back there
  • “May the LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” Wants them to find husbands of their own to care for them.
  • Both express desire to return with her.  Only one means it.  Does the other feel guilty leaving her?  But she does have to look out for herself.
  • Orpah kissed her, but Ruth clung to her
  • Gives Naomi her oath – “Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” – doesn’t give Naomi a chance to deny her.
  • “call me Mara” (which means bitter)
  • She laments her ordeal but continues to maintain that God is in control
  • Ruth identified for the first time as “the Moabitess”
  • Returned to Bethlehem at the time of the barley harvest
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