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Bible Commentaries

Gann's Commentary on the Bible

Ruth 1

Verse 1




Author: The 4 chapter book of Ruth does not contain the name of its author. Therefore, we cannot speak with any certainty, but most scholars think Samuel penned the book


Situation: The book is another important part of Jewish history. It gives a link in the seed-line of the coming Christ. Perhaps this part of Jewish history pertaining to the coming Christ is most memorable because it is presented as a love story. There is pictured a loving husband, Elimelech, in a time of famine (Ruth 1:1), a loving wife who was supportive of her husband’s move (Ruth 1:4), two loving sons, Mahlon and Chilion (Ruth 1:1-2) who became husbands (Ruth 1:4), and two loving daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth (Ruth 1:6-14).

However, the primary love story has to do with the love of Ruth for her mother-in-law (Ruth 1:14-22). The love was repaid with a husband, Boaz, and the blessing of bearing a child who would be in the seed-line of the Christ (Ruth 4:17-22). How this brief bit of history must have thrilled the Jews when they heard and read it.

When Written: The events of the book of Ruth took place during the period of the Judges (verse 1 says "when the judges ruled") and hence it’s location in the Old Testament following that book. Ruth 4:17-22 gives an abbreviated genealogy from Pharez to David. David was the second of Israel’s kings under the united kingdom (1 Samuel 9:27; 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 15:1, 1 Samuel 15:12-13). Thus David had been born at the time the book was written down. With these facts we can date the writing of the book of Ruth to around 1100 BC. The last verses of the book date its composition in the days of Samuel whom we believe to have penned it by inspiration.

Why Written: There is no stated purpose within the book itself, however, we see one thing that is most important--information about the lineage of the Christ. God’s providence is seen in His care for the seed through which Jesus would come. (Compare Matthew 1:5-6, "And Boaz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; and Jesse begat David the king." Matthew goes on to show that Christ came through that line (cf. Matthew 1:16). What God has promised He is able and faithful to do.

New Testament Ties: Matthew 1:5 refers to Ruth 4:13-17 and so does Luke 3:31-32. The principles of family ties exemplified in Ruth are magnified in the second covenant. It serves as an example of God’s love for the Gentiles also.

Ruth 1.1

Verse Comments

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Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Ruth 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. 2021.