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by Paul E. Kretzmann
The Book of Ruth
This short book, "the idyl of David's great-grandmother," tells the charming story of Ruth the Moabitess, who lived in the days when the Judges ruled in Israel, a more exact fixing of the time being almost impossible. "One of the sweetest stories in the Bible, showing that even in the blackest period God has men and women who love and serve Him. In Boaz we have the model rich man of his age; every act and word shows his deep faith in God. In Ruth we have an example of modesty and patience, coupled with a remarkable belief in the true God. In Naomi we have a specimen of a good woman, whose religion shows itself in fidelity to all her duties. " (Sell. ) "One chief purpose of the book seems to be the tracing of the genealogy of David to the Moabitess Ruth, whose name it bears. " (Robertson. ) "This information gains in significance if we remember that the genealogy of David is at the same time that of Jesus Christ. The story therefore goes to show how Ruth the Moabitess, by birth an alien to Israel, was chosen to become an ancestress of the Savior. Her reception into the communion of Israel also testified to the fact that even in the days before Christ Gentiles might be admitted to the kingdom of God if only they received the promises of the covenant in true faith. As the genealogy here recorded ends with David's name, it is improbable that the book should have been written before David had become a person of influence and renown among the people of the covenant. We find an additional reason for this assumption in Ruth 4:7, where the author explains a peculiar custom, which had fallen into disuse in his days. The author remains unknown to us; but it has been suggested that David himself might well have penned this account of a significant episode in his family history," and the record concerning Christ's ancestors was thus completed.
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18