This book is thought to have been written during the reign of David or Solomon and covers the period of the judges.
This heartwarming story of devotion and faithfulness records the life of Ruth, a Moabite widow who left her homeland to live with her widowed Jewish mother-in-law in Bethlehem during a time of famine in Israel.
Ruth, the heroine of this book, had several strikes against her. In this culture, people honored women with children; she had none. Women were dependent on their husbands; she was a widow. Communities were close-knit; she was a foreigner.
The theme of redemption permeates this book. Ruth was transformed from poverty to wealth, widow to wife, barren to fertile, and foreigner to Israelite.
Ruth, who had married one of the sons who died, decided to return to Bethlehem of Israel with her mother-in-law, Naomi.
For Ruth, this meant leaving the god of the Moabites (Chemosh) whose worship involved wild celebrations and even the rite of human sacrifice.
Boaz, a kinsman-redeemer who gave Ruth and Naomi a new life, is a key figure in the book.
The three men of the family died during the ten years spent in Moab.