Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Ruth 4

Expositor's Dictionary of TextsExpositor's Dictionary

Verses 1-22

Ruth 4:6

The revolutionary school always forgets that right apart from duty is a compass with one leg. The action of right inflates an individual, fills him with thoughts of self and of what others owe him, while it ignores the other side of the question, and extinguishes his capacity for devoting himself to a common cause.


The desire to raise the pyramid of my existence the base of which is already laid as high as possible in the air absorbs every other desire, and scarcely ever quits me.

Goethe to Lavater.

Reference. IV. 8. B. D. Johns, Pulpit Notes, p. 44.

Ruth 4:16

It would seem as if there was already a kind of joyous foretaste of the birth and infancy which in after-times was to be for ever associated with the name of Bethlehem. It was the first appearance on the scene of what may by anticipation be called even then the Holy Family, for that child was Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David.


Ruth 4:17

There is no tradition in the Hebrew literature which is at first sight more purely composed of universal human elements than the story of Ruth. Hartley Coleridge, in verses commenting on the mysterious 'tale of bloodshed' which constitutes the history of Israel, has called this story an oasis of human beauty in 'the wild and waste of Bible truth'. Yet the cause of its preservation and consecration among the chronicles of the nation is scarcely the loveliness of the rural picture of the young gleaner in the harvest fields of Bethlehem followed by the kindly eye of the rich farmer bidding his young men drop ears on purpose for her from the sheaves; nor even the mere devotedness of heart which made Ruth 'cleave' to Naomi. It is, on the one side, the exultation in the providential reward which was allotted to an alien woman of Moab for her abandonment of her country and gods in order to embrace the faith, and identify herself with the fortunes, of Israel; on the other side, the fact that David, the great King of Israel, was descended so directly from her, which made this beautiful narrative so precious to the Jews.

R. H. Hutton, Literary Essays, pp. 256, 257.

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Ruth 4". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/ruth-4.html. 1910.
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