BibleProject - Old Testament - Lesson 11

Ruth - BibleProject

In this lesson, you'll gain a deep understanding of the Book of Ruth, its historical and cultural context, and authorship. You'll explore the literary features, such as style, language, structure, and outline. Delving into the themes and messages, you'll learn about loyalty and faithfulness, redemption and restoration, and the role of the kinsman-redeemer. Finally, you'll discover the significance of Ruth in the Old Testament, its contributions to a larger understanding of the Old Testament, and its impact on the original audience.

Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject - Old Testament
Lesson 11
Watching Now
Ruth - BibleProject

BP100-11: Ruth

I. Background and Context of Ruth

A. Introduction

B. Historical and Cultural Context

C. Authorship and Purpose

II. Literary Features of Ruth

A. Style and Language

B. Structure and Outline

III. Themes and Message of Ruth

A. Loyalty and Faithfulness

B. Redemption and Restoration

C. The Role of the Kinsman-Redeemer

IV. Significance of Ruth in the Old Testament

A. Contributions to a Larger Understanding of the Old Testament

B. Impact on the Original Audience

  • By watching this video, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Old Testament, including its literary design and flow of thought. You will learn about the different sections of the Old Testament, including the Pentateuch, Historical Books, Wisdom Literature, Major Prophets, and Minor Prophets. You will also gain insights into the stories, themes, and messages of each of these sections and how they contribute to the overall narrative of God's relationship with humanity.
  • By studying Genesis, you will gain a deeper understanding of the Old Testament and its key themes and characters, as well as the literary features of the book, such as its structure, style, and genre. The creation story is a key part of the book, as are the stories of Abraham and the patriarchs, the fall and sin, the flood and Noah, and God's covenant with Israel. Additionally, Genesis introduces readers to the Old Testament and sets the stage for the Pentateuch and Books of Moses, while also introducing many themes and motifs that continue throughout the Bible.
  • Discover the captivating stories of the patriarchs in Genesis Part 2, exploring themes of covenant, God's sovereignty, human responsibility, faith, and obedience.
  • Explore the Bible's book of Exodus to gain insight into God's rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the significance of the covenant and law, and its connection to the New Testament.
  • Gain insight into the book of Exodus and its themes of salvation and redemption, revealing God's character through his interactions with Israel, with significant influence on Jewish and Christian traditions and connections to the New Testament through its foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.
  • By studying Leviticus with The Bible Project, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical and literary context, themes, and structure of this important book in the Old Testament. You will also learn about the significance of Leviticus for understanding the Torah and its relevance for Christians today.
  • By studying The Bible Project's lesson on Numbers, you'll comprehensively understand its structure, themes, and significance, gaining insight into the journey of the Israelites in the wilderness, God's guidance, rebellion, priesthood, and offerings, as well as its historical, theological, and contemporary relevance.
  • Explore Numbers' authorship, context, structure, and theology to gain a comprehensive understanding of its significance to the Pentateuch and the Old Testament, as well as its relevance to the Christian faith today.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the book of Joshua, including its historical context, literary genre, and summary. You will learn about the book's themes, such as God's faithfulness, obedience, and judgment, and its significance in foreshadowing Christ's work and providing historical and theological implications.
  • Explore the historical and cultural context, literary design, and theological significance of the book of Judges in the Old Testament, and learn how it fits into the broader biblical storyline, including its relevance for today.
  • Explore the Book of Ruth to understand its historical context, literary features, themes of loyalty and faithfulness, redemption, the kinsman-redeemer's role, and its Old Testament significance.
  • Studying the Book of Samuel provides insight into the rise of the Israelite monarchy, the lives of Saul and David, and the importance of obedience to God, covering themes of leadership and kingship with the presence of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • By exploring the story of Absalom in 2 Samuel and the broader context of the Old Testament Historical Books, you will gain insight into the themes and messages of these books, as well as their historical and modern-day significance.
  • Through the study of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, you will gain a deeper understanding of the history of Israel and Judah, as well as valuable spiritual lessons from these Old Testament books.
  • By studying this lesson, you understand the historical and literary aspects of 1 and 2 Chronicles, emphasizing God's sovereignty, covenant faithfulness, worship, and obedience.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the historical context, key themes, and modern applications of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, enriching your understanding of faith, community, and commitment to God's Word.
  • You will gain an understanding of the book of Esther, a narrative in the Hebrew Bible that tells the story of a Jewish woman named Esther who becomes queen in the Persian court and, with the help of her cousin Mordecai, saves the Jews from genocide orchestrated by the villain Haman. The story highlights God's sovereignty and providential care, and the feast of Purim celebrates the Jews' victory.
  • By studying the Book of Job, you will explore the complexities of human suffering, the search for divine wisdom, and the tension between God's sovereignty and human limitations within a unique literary structure.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Psalms, including its background, structure, authorship, and theology. You will also learn about the various themes and motifs present in the Psalms, which will help you better understand and appreciate this important book in the Old Testament.
  • By studying Proverbs, you will understand the definition and purpose of wisdom, the fear of the Lord, and the personification of wisdom in the book. You will also gain insights into the literary structure of Proverbs and the themes of the book, including the importance of listening to wisdom, the power of words, and the value of hard work.
  • In the Ecclesiastes lesson, you gain insights into the book's structure, themes, and significance, while exploring the search for meaning, vanity, and the importance of fearing God and enjoying life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the literary features, interpretation, theology, and application of the book Song of Songs, including its authorship, historical and cultural context, allegorical and literal interpretation, and its teachings on God and human love, sexuality, and relationships.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Isaiah's historical context, literary features, major themes, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover how Isaiah's prophetic message of judgment and hope for Jerusalem evolves, as it predicts the fall of Israel's kingdom and envisions a new, purified Jerusalem where God's kingdom will be restored through a future messianic king, uniting all nations in peace.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain understanding of the book of Jeremiah, including its historical and cultural context, literary features, major themes and message, and significance in the Old Testament.
  • In this lesson, you learn about the Book of Lamentations, its structure, themes, and the role of God in the midst of suffering and divine judgment, while ultimately highlighting His faithfulness and mercy.
  • In the book of Ezekiel, you follow the story of a priest named Ezekiel who has a vision of God's glory riding on a royal throne chariot, and is commissioned by God to accuse Israel of rebellion and warn them of their impending destruction due to their covenant violations and rampant social injustice, while also providing a small glimmer of hope for the future.
  • By viewing this lesson on Daniel, you will gain understanding of its structure, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, gaining knowledge about living as faithful exiles in a hostile culture, God's sovereignty and faithfulness in times of trial, and remaining faithful to God even in difficult circumstances.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the complexities of Hosea, discovering the book's themes, messages, and its role in the Old Testament, emphasizing the relationship between Israel's unfaithfulness and God's unwavering love.
  • By studying the book of Joel, you will gain insight into the historical and cultural context of Judah, the literary features of prophetic literature, and the themes of repentance, restoration, and the Day of the Lord. Joel's prophecy also has significance in the New Testament as it is quoted by Peter at Pentecost, emphasizing the fulfillment of Joel's vision through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
  • In the Amos lesson, you explore its historical context, literary features, and themes, enhancing your understanding of justice, the Day of the Lord, and God's sovereignty within the Old Testament.
  • By studying Obadiah, you will gain insight into the historical context and literary features of this prophetic oracle. You will learn about the pride of Edom, their judgment, and the hope for Israel. Through understanding the significance of Obadiah in the Old Testament, you will have a deeper appreciation for the themes and message of this book.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Jonah's themes, including God's mercy, human rebellion, repentance, and the significance of mission, while also understanding its connections to other biblical narratives.
  • Studying the book of Micah will give you an understanding of its historical context, literary genre, prophetic message of judgment and restoration, and insights into God's character and how He interacts with His people.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the historical context, structure, and themes of the book of Nahum, learning about God's sovereignty, justice, and the relevance of these concepts in today's world.
  • Studying Habakkuk will deepen your understanding of how to wrestle with difficult questions about God's character and the problem of evil and respond with faith and trust in God's sovereignty.
  • In this lesson, you explore the book of Zephaniah, gaining insights into its background, context, literary features, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, including the central message of the Day of the Lord and the promise of future hope.
  • You will gain an in-depth understanding of the Book of Haggai, including its historical and cultural context, literary structure, purpose and themes, individual sections, and theological significance in relation to the Exile, Restoration, and Messiah.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into Zechariah's historical context, structure, themes of restoration, the coming Messiah, God's sovereignty, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover the last book of the Old Testament and its themes, such as God's love for Israel, the importance of worship, and the coming of the messenger and the day of the Lord, as well as its connection to the New Testament, which prophesies the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus and calls for a return to God.

BP100-11 Ruth

The book of Ruth. It's a brilliant work of theological art and it invites us to reflect on the question of how God is involved in the day-to-day joys and hardships of our lives. There are three main characters in the book: Naomi, the widow, Ruth, the Moabite and Boaz, the Israelite farmer. And their story is told in four chapters that are beautifully designed. Let's just dive in and see how this all unfolds. Chapter one opens with this line: "In the days when the judges ruled." And it reminds us of the very dark and difficult days from the book of Judges. And here we meet an Israelite family in Bethlehem struggling to survive through a famine. And so, in search of food, they move on to the land of Moab, Israel's ancient enemy. And there, the father of the family dies and the sons marry two Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah. And then the sons, they die too and so they leave only Naomi and these new daughters-in-law. And so Naomi, she has no reason to stay anymore. And so she tells her new daughters-in-law that she's moving back home. And Naomi, she knows that the life of an unmarried foreign widow in Israel is going to be very hard. So she compels the women to stay behind. Orpah agrees but Ruth does not. She shows remarkable loyalty to Naomi and she says, "Wherever you go, I'm going to go. Your people will become my people and your God will become my God." And so the two of them return to Israel together and the chapter concludes with Naomi changing her name to Mara, which means "bitter" in Hebrew, and she laments her tragic fate. Chapter two begins with Naomi and Ruth discussing where they're going to find food and it just so happens to be the beginning of the barley harvest. And so Ruth goes out to look for food and it just so happens that she ends up picking grain in the field of a man named Boaz, who just so happens to be Naomi's relative. We're told that Boaz is a man of noble character and he notices her. So after finding out more about her story, he shows remarkable generosity to her. He makes these special provisions so that the immigrant Ruth can gather grain in his field. And in doing so Boaz is actually obeying an explicit command in the Torah to show generosity to the immigrant and the poor. Boaz is so impressed by Ruth's loyalty to Naomi, he prays for her that God will reward her for her boldness. So Ruth comes home that day and Naomi finds out that she met Boaz and she is thrilled. She says Boaz is their family Redeemer. Now this "family redeemer" thing, this was a cultural practice in Israel where if a man in the family died and he left behind a wife or children or land, it was the family Redeemer's responsibility to marry that widow, to take up the land and protect that family. So Naomi, she begins to hope that perhaps there might still be a future for her family. Chapter 3 begins with Naomi and Ruth making a plan to get Boaz to notice their situation. So Ruth is going to stop wearing clothes of a grieving widow and she's going to show signs that she is available to be married. And so Ruth goes to meet Boaz on the farm that night and as she approaches, Boaz wakes up. And he's totally startled. And Ruth makes her intentions very clear. She asks if Boaz will redeem Naomi's family and marry her. Boaz is once again amazed by Ruth's loyalty to Naomi and her family and he calls Ruth a woman of noble character. It's the same term used to describe the woman in Proverbs 31. So Boaz tells Ruth to wait until the next day and he will redeem both Ruth and Naomi legally before the town elders. And so the chapter ends with Ruth returning to Naomi and they marvel together at all of these recent events. In chapter four it all comes together. It turns out, at the last minute, Boaz discovers there is a family member who's closer to Naomi than he is and he's actually eligible before him to redeem the family. But at the last second this family member finds out that he's going to have to marry Ruth the Moabite. And so he declines. But Boaz, remember, he knows Ruth's true character, and so he acquires the family property of Naomi and he marries Ruth. And so just as at the beginning, how Ruth was loyal to Naomi's family, so now Boaz is loyal to Naomi's family as well. The story concludes with a reversal of all of the tragedies from chapter one. So the death of the husband and the sons is reversed as Ruth is married again and gives birth to a new son, granting joy to Naomi. And this symmetry between the opening and the closing, its even more remarkable. So, remember the opening tragedy was followed by a great act of loyalty on the part of Ruth and that is now matched by Boaz's act of loyalty that leads to the family's final restoration. And this symmetry, it highlights the design of the internal chapters as well. Each of the chapters begins with Naomi and Ruth making a plan for the future. And that's followed by a providential meeting between Ruth and Boaz. And each chapter concludes with Naomi and Ruth rejoicing at what's taken place. This story is beautifully designed and that design actually connects with the really interesting feature of the story and that's how little God is mentioned. The characters talk about God a few times but the narrator actually never once mentions God doing anything directly in the story and that its brilliance-- because God's providence is at work behind every scene of the story, weaving together the circumstances and choices of all these characters. So Naomi, her tragedy leads her to think that God is punishing her but actually the whole story is about God's mission to restore her and her family. And he's doing so through Ruth, through her boldness and loyalty, which brings healing to Naomi's life. But not without Boaz, who's a no-nonsense farmer who's full of generosity and loyalty. And so God uses his integrity combined with Ruth's boldness to save Naomi and her family. So this story brilliantly explores the interplay of God's purposes and will with human decision and will. God weaves together the faithful obedience of his people to bring about his redemptive purposes in the world. And that leads to the real end of the story. The Book of Ruth concludes with the genealogy showing how Boaz and Ruth's son, Oved, was the grandfather of King David, from whom came the lineage of the Messiah. And so all of a sudden these seemingly mundane, ordinary events in the story are woven into God's grand story of redemption for the whole world. And so the book of Ruth invites us to consider how God might be at work in the very ordinary, mundane details of our lives as well. And that's what the book of Ruth is all about.