Expanded Biblical Comments / Ebc08 - Ruth

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::Ruth - General::

The story of the book of Ruth gives us a little glimpse into the affairs of the Israelites, showing us that there was a deep spirit of religion underlying the surface of wars and captivities. The opening was at Bethlehem, "the city of David," where, centuries later, Jesus was born. The religious sentiment of the family is shown by the significance of their names. R5614:1

The book of Ruth is valuable to us in various ways: (1) It furnishes an important link in the chronological chain leading down to King David and, hence, a part of the chronological line leading down to the man Christ Jesus. (2) It gives a glimpse of the habits and customs of the Israelites in general as an agricultural people-in contrast to Judges, Kings and Chronicles, which deal more particularly with rulers, generals and wars. (3) It is a very beautiful lesson of fidelity, sympathy and love amongst the people at that time. R3110:2, R4089:3

::Ruth 1:1::

When the judges ruled -- Somewhere about Gideon's time. R3110:3

Famine in the land -- As a judgment of the Lord upon his people for some measure of unfaithfulness to him. R3110:3

How many forget that God will supervise the affairs of all his covenant people and cause all things to work together for good to them. R3110:6

And a certain man -- Making the common mistake of choosing temporal prosperity rather than suffering affliction with the people of God. R4089:6

Of Bethlehem-Judah -- "The city of David." R5614:1

Went to sojourn -- Thus leaving the privileges of association with God's people, and failing also to contribute toward their comfort and encouragement in time of distress. R4089:6

Country of Moab -- The Moabites were descendants of Lot, but were not to be considered the children of Abraham. R3110:3

It would not have been proper to try to convert the Moabites, for God had only called Israel. R5614:2

And his wife -- Naomi, however, was not to blame; the responsibility rested with her husband. R3110:5

::Ruth 1:2::

Elimelech -- Meaning, "My God is King." R5614:1

Naomi -- Meaning, "Loveable, pleasant" or "The pleasure of Jehovah." R3111:4, 5614:1

The religious sentiment of the family is shown by the import of their names. R5614:1

His two sons -- Mahlon "Sickly one" and Chilion "Pining one." R5614:1

Continued there -- It was unwise to take two boys into a heathen land where they were likely to be contaminated. Many Christians have made the same mistake. R5614:2

::Ruth 1:4::

Women of Moab -- The Bible does not disguise the fact that Ruth was, by nature, a foreigner, a Gentile, and at one time an idolatress. R5614:5

::Ruth 1:6::

With her daughters In law -- Showing Naomi's character, to influence both daughters-in-law to prefer to leave their homeland and join her, though only Ruth finally made the journey. R5614:2

Might return -- She realized it had been a mistake to attempt to regulate their own affairs when they were specially under the Lord's protection and guidance. R3110:3

::Ruth 1:10::

Return with thee -- Though Naomi and her husband had erred in judgment they were still loyal to God and had let their light shine. Both daughters-in-law had been influenced by it. R4090:1

::Ruth 1:11::

Why will ye go -- As our Lord advised those who would become his disciples, first of all to sit down and count the cost. R3111:1

::Ruth 1:13::

Against me -- The hand of the Lord against her had a proper influence upon her and brought her back to the land of promise. R5614:2

::Ruth 1:15::

Is gone back -- Orpah concluding that after all it would be too much of a sacrifice for her to part with her kindred, etc. R3111:2

::Ruth 1:16::

Whither thou goest -- "Forget also thy father's house and thine own people." (Psa. 45:10) R4090:4

I will go -- The positiveness of her decision is worthy of note. A Christian does not become a Christian without just such a positive decision. R5614:4

Where thou lodgest -- All of the Lord's people can dwell together in love, in fellowship, seated together in heavenly places. R4090:5

Thy people -- Next to the Lord are his people. To love him is to love them and meet with them. R4090:4

Shall be my people -- Though a Gentile by birth, Ruth became a sincere Jewish proselyte. R4089:3

So surely as any of God's people are found, they are all brethren of one family. R5615:1

My God -- Ruth was converted to Judaism. This is a testimony to the faithful living of Naomi. R5614:3

We who by nature were Gentiles have by God's grace become spiritual Israelites; and should determine that henceforth former conditions, interests, pleasures and relationships are gone forever. R4090:2

::Ruth 1:20::

Call me not Naomi -- "Loveable, pleasant" or "The pleasure of Jehovah." R3111:4, R5614:1

Call me Mara -- "Bitter." R3111:4, R351:2*

::Ruth 1:21::

Testified against me -- Later on she came to see that the Lord's afflictions upon her had been for her good, bringing her back to the land of promise and to fellowship with her people. R3111:4

::Ruth 1:22::

With her -- Alone, unprotected, but without molestation; showing the general law and order prevalent among the Israelites. R3111:6

::Ruth 2:1::

BoaZ -- Whose mother was Rahab, also a Jewish proselyte (Josh. 6:25). R4089:3

::Ruth 2:2::

Glean -- The harvest work is going grandly on. R5950:1

Perhaps descriptive of harvest work after 1914. R5602:3

At first we were inclined to surmise that the Harvest proper closed in October 1914, and that the work going on was a gleaning work; but the facts seem not to bear this out. R5950:1

::Ruth 2:3::

Gleaned -- Gathering stray handfuls of grain missed by the men who were reaping. This was permitted by Jewish Law. (Lev. 19:9) R3111:5

::Ruth 2:4::

The LORD be with you -- How few employers in this day would be inclined to salute their laborers thus. R3111:6

The LORD bless thee -- How few farm laborers would in this day respond in such a manner. Evidently men were far from monkeys at that time! R3111:6

::Ruth 2:23::

Barley harvest -- The barley harvest commences about half a month after the vernal equinox (March 21) R4127:1

::Ruth 3:4::

Lay thee down -- Here again Naomi betrayed the weakness of her trust in God, but God in kindness overruled all for good. R4090:2

::Ruth 3:14::

She lay at his feet -- The advice of Naomi to Ruth concerning Boaz was not of unalloyed wisdom. Such a course today would brand any woman as a loose, if not disreputable, character. R4090:2

Let it not be known -- Boaz feared such reproach upon Ruth's character. R4090:2

::Ruth 4:4::

I will redeem it -- Representing "The Son of The Man," the Redeemer of Adam's lost possessions. E153

::Ruth 4:10::

Have I purchased -- "The redemption (deliverance) of the purchased possession." (Eph. 1:14) E153

To be my wife -- Boaz pursued the course of the Jewish Law; Ruth became his wife. Thus Ruth, the Gentile, became identified with the royal family as an ancestor, and with King David's greatest Son and Lord, Jesus. R5614:5, R3111:5

::Ruth 4:22::

Jesse begat David -- The chief object of the book of Ruth is to preserve an authentic record of our Lord's human ancestry. R4089:3