|Overview - Ruth 4|
|1||Boaz calls into judgment the next kinsman.|
|6||He refuses the redemption according to the manner in Israel.|
|9||Boaz buys the inheritance.|
|11||He marries Ruth.|
|13||She bears Obed, the grandfather of David.|
|18||The generations of Pharez unto David.|
Ruth 4:22 (King James Version)
And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
- 1 Samuel 16:1 ; Isaiah 11:1
- 1 Chronicles 2:15 ; Matthew 1:6 ; Luke 3:31 This book is evidently a supplement to the book of Judges, andan introduction to that of Samuel, between which it is placedwith great propriety. In the ancient Jewish canon, it formed apart of the book of Judges; but the modern Jews make it one ofthe five Megilloth, which they place towards the end of the OldTestament. This book has been attributed to various authors;but the best founded and generally received opinion, and inwhich the Jews coincide, is that which ascribes it to theprophet Samuel; before whose time it could not have beenwritten, as is evident from the genealogy recorded in ch.4:17-22. The time in which the events detailed in this bookhappened is involved in much obscurity and uncertainty.Augustine refers it to the time of the regal government of theHebrews; Josephus to the administration of Eli; Moldenhawer,after some Jewish writers, to the time of Ehud; Rabbi Kimichi,and other Jewish authors, to the time of Ibzan; Bps. Patrick andHorne to the judicature of Gideon; Lightfoot to the periodbetween Ehud and Deborah; and Usher, who is followed by mostchronologers, to the time of Shamgar. The authenticity andcanonical authority of this sacred book cannot be questioned;and the Evangelists, in describing our Saviour's descent, havefollowed its genealogical accounts. To delineate part of thisgenealogy appears to be the principal design of the book; it hadbeen foretold that the Messiah should be of the tribe of Judah,and it was afterwards revealed that he should be of the familyof David; and therefore it was necessary, to prevent the leastsuspicion of fraud or design, that the history of that familyshould be written before these prophecies were revealed. Andthus this book, these prophecies, and their accomplishment,serve mutually to illustrate each other. The whole narrative isextremely interesting and instructive, and is written with themost beautiful simplicity. The distress of Naomi; heraffectionate concern for her daughter-in-law; the reluctantdeparture of Orpah; the dutiful attachment of Ruth; and thesorrowful return to Bethlehem, are very beautifully told. Thesimplicity of manners, likewise, which is shown in the accountof Ruth's industry and attention to Naomi; of the elegantcharity of Boaz; and of his acknowledgement of his kindred withRuth, afford a very pleasing contrast to the turbulent scenesdescribed in the preceding book. And while it exhibits, in astriking and affecting manner, the care of Divine Providenceover those who sincerely fear God, and honestly aim atfulfilling his will, the circumstance of a Moabitess becoming anancestor of the Messiah seems to have been a pre-intimation ofthe admission of the Gentiles into his church. It must beremarked, that in the estimation of the Jews, it was disgracefulto David to have derived his birth from a Moabitess; and Shimei,in his revilings against him, is supposed by them to havetauntingly reflected on his descent from Ruth. This book,therefore, contains an intrinsic proof of its own verity, as itreveals a circumstance so little flattering to the sovereign ofIsrael; and it is scarcely necessary to appeal to its admissioninto the canon of Scripture, for a testimony of its authenticcharacter. Add to which, that the native, the amiablesimplicity in which the story is told, is sufficient proof ofits genuineness. There are several sympathetic circumstancesrecorded which no forger could have invented: there is too muchof nature to admit any thing of art.