Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF RUTH\\

This book is called Ruth, not because she was the author of it, but
because she is the principal subject of it. In the Syriac and Arabic
versions, it is called the Book of Ruth the Moabitess, which describes
her by the country of which she was. Her name, according to Hillerus
{l}, signifies beautiful, of a good aspect, the same with Calliope in
Greek. As to the author of this book, some attribute it to Eli the
priest, who seems to have been too soon to give an account of the birth
of David; others to Gad or Nathan; some to Hezekiah, and others to
Ezra; but what the Talmudists assert, which is most generally received,
and most probable, is, that it was written by Samuel; so they say
Samuel {m} wrote his own book, Judges, and Ruth; and it is commonly
said that this book is an appendix to that of the Judges, and the
introduction to Samuel, and is fitly placed between them both.
According to Eusebius {n}, with the Hebrews, Judges and Ruth make one
book they call Shophetim, or Judges; the principal design of it is to
give the genealogy of David, whom Samuel had anointed to be king of
Israel, and from whom the Messiah was to come, and who therefore may be
said to be the aim and scope of it, as he is of all Scripture; and
whereby it appears that he sprung both from Jews and Gentiles, and is
the Saviour of both, and there is a good foundation for both to hope in
him; and the call and conversion of Ruth the Moabitess may be
considered as a shadow, emblem, and pledge of the conversion of the
Gentiles. Manythings besides may be learnt from this little book, as
the different circumstances of good people in this life, and the
particular providence of God respecting them. It furnishes out examples
of bearing afflictions patiently, of industry, courteousness, kindness
to strangers, and young converts; and none can doubt of the divine
authority of this book, that considers the use made of it in the
genealogies of Christ by the Evangelists Matthew and Luke.

{l} Onomastic. Sacr. p. 211.
{m} T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 13. 2.
{n} Eccl. Hist. 1. 6. c. 25.

\\INTRODUCTION TO RUTH 1\\

This chapter treats of a family that removed from the land of Canaan
to the land of Moab on account of a famine, where the father of it and
his two sons died, and each of them left a widow, \\#Ru 1:1-5\\ the
mother-in-law proposed to return to her own country, and set forward
with her two daughters-in-law, whom, when they had gone a little way
with her, she entreated to go back, and expostulated with them about
it, \\#Ru 1:6-13\\, upon which one of them did, but the other, Ruth,
the subject of this book, resolved to go the journey with her,
\\#Ru 1:14-18\\ and they both came to Bethlehem, the former residence
of her mother-in-law Naomi, who was greatly taken notice of by her old
friends and acquaintance, to whom she related her present
circumstances, \\#Ru 1:19-22\\.