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Ruth

RUTH (ר֑וּת; LXX ̔Ρουθ; meaning unknown; a contraction of r’ūt, “fellow-woman,” commonly supposed, is rejected by Noth [Israel. Personennamen, p. 10, citing Noldeke]; no Heb. stem can be convincingly identified). A Moabitess, great grandmother of King David. Ruth married into a Heb. family which had emigrated from Bethlehem to Moab to escape famine. Elimelech, the father, had died since the move; his sons Mahlon (Ruth’s husband) and Chilion died, childless, within ten years. His widow, Naomi, decided to go home; on the road she advised her daughters-in-law to return to their own families, but Ruth would not be persuaded, and declared her determination to stay by her mother-in-law and trust in the Lord. They reached Bethlehem at harvest time; Ruth went gleaning, as the poor had a right to do. She was led to a field belonging to Boaz, a relative of Elimelech, who made her welcome, having heard of her loyalty to Naomi. After the harvest, Naomi instructed Ruth to approach Boaz to ask fo