Ruth Bible Study Resources

by | Apr 2, 2020 | 02 Library, Resources by Book

Ruth Bible Study Resources

The story of Ruth occurred during the time of the judges ca. 1370 to 1041BC. By working backward from the date of David’s reign (approx. 1011–971 BC), the time period of Ruth would most likely be during the judgeship of Jair, ca. 1126–1105 B.C.

The story of Ruth covers about 11–12 years: 1) 10 years in Moab (1:1–18); 2) several months (mid-April to mid-June) in Boaz’s field (1:19–2:23); 3) 1 day in Bethlehem and 1 night at the threshing floor (3:1–18); and 4) about 1 year in Bethlehem (4:1–22).

Jump to: Background; ** Maps; ** Encyclopedias; ** Key Words; ** Commentaries; ** Articles; ** GotQuestions ** Next **

Ruth Basics

  • Setting: read in the light of judges: God is faithful in the midst of Israel’s apostasy
  • Genre: Short story; short prose narrative; limited number of characters; one central figure; limited chain of events over a limited time; nature of characters is revealed, not developed.
  • Purpose: To record the divine intervention that protected the family of Naomi; to show how a nation at risk will be preserved by YHWH’s initiatives; to show how a foreigner becomes part of the covenant; to provide the ancestry of David.
  • Main Themes: redemption; YHWH’s covenant faithfulness and love (e.g. the name of God appears 23 times in 85 verses).

Content of Ruth:

  1. The Lord’s faithfulness – Ruth 1:8-9
  2. Ruth’s faith in the Lord – Ruth 1:16-18; Ruth 2:10-12
  3. The turning point: the Lord’s kindness – Ruth 2:20
  4. Redemption of the land & levirate marriage
  5. The ancestry of David – Ruth 4:13-22

Genre: Understanding Narrative

Section 1: Background

Background & Outlines

Hebrew Calendar

Chart: Bible History at a glance

Blue Letter Bible: Old Testament Timeline

Biblehub: Ruth Timeline

BIblehub: Judges Timeline

Biblehub: Ruth Overview

Bible Atlas: Moab

Bible Atlas: Bethlehem

Ray C Stedman: Overview of the Book

John MacArthur: Author, Date, Background

NIV: Introduction to Ruth

ESV: Introduction to Ruth

ESV: Family of Ruth 

Charles Swindoll: Ruth (chart)

Section 2: Maps


Tyndale: Map of Divided Kingdom which shows Moab 

ESV: Map of Sojourn from Bethlehem to Moab

Blue Letter Bible: Timeline from Creation to 4thC AD

Maps from Holman Bible Atlas

The Tribal Allotments of Israel

The Division of the Land Among the Tribes

Levitical Cities and Cities of Refuge (1)

The Levitical Cities (2)

ESV Maps

Section 3: Encyclopedias

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

American Tract Society: Ruth

Easton’s Bible Dictionary : Ruth

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Ruth, Book of

Fausset Bible Dictionary:  Ruth

Holman Bible Dictionary:  Ruth

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Ruth

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Ruth, Book of

Hastings’ Dictionary of the NT: Ruth

Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia:  Ruth

McClintock and Strong:  Ruth; Ruth, book of

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia:  Ruth, Book of

Section 5: Commentaries


Best Commentaries on Ruth – Tim Challies

Top 5 Commentaries on the Book of Ruth by Keith Mathison

Best Commentary on Ruth – Best Commentaries Reviews

Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible:

Matthew Henry: Ruth

Albert Barnes Notes: Ruth

Reformation Study Bible Notes: Ruth

Geneva Study Bible: Ruth

Precept Austin Commentaries & Sermons: Ruth

Section 4: Key Words

Key Words in Ruth

redeem (11X/3V) – Strong’s H1350 in Ruth 3:13; Rth 4:4; Rth 4:6;

redeemer (1X) Ruth 4:14;

relative (6X) Ruth 3:9; Rth 3:12; Rth 4:1; Rth 4:3; Rth 4:6; Rth 4:8

relative (1X) – Strong’s H7138 in Rth 2:20

Precepts Austin: Kinsman Redeemer

Section 6: Articles

Journal Articles

An Adjusted Symmetrical Structuring Of Ruth – A Boyd Luter

The Book of Ruth and Hope in Hard Times – Timothy Paul Erdel

Literary Structure in the Book of Ruth – Reg Grant

Naomi in the Book of Ruth in Light of the Mosaic Covenant – Charles Baylis

Goel in Ancient Israel: Theological Reflections on an Israelite Institution – R L Hubbard

Living A New Life: Old Testament Teaching About Conversion – William D. Barrick

The Purpose Of The Book Of Ruth – Louis B. Wolfenson

The Chiastic Structure of Ruth 2 – A Boyd Luter and Richard Rigsby

An Adjusted Symmetrical Structuring of Ruth – A Boyd Luter and Richard Rigsby

Ruth “Quoque” —A Coquette? (Ruth 4:5) – Murray D. Gow

New Life Amid the Alien Corn: The Book of Ruth – Michael E. W. Thompson

The Goel in Ruth 4:14, 15 – Julius A Bewer

Literary Structure and Theology in the Book of Ruth – Leif Hongisto

Section 7: Got Questions

Book of Ruth – Bible Survey

Who was Naomi in the Bible?

Who was Ruth in the Bible?

Why did Ruth and Orpah make different decisions?

Why was Ruth so loyal to Naomi?

What is the story of Ruth and Boaz?

What did it mean to spread the corner of your garment over someone?

What is a kinsman redeemer?

What is a levirate marriage?

Why did the first kinsman redeemer refuse to marry Ruth?

Section 8: Next

Next: 1&2 Samuel

Previous: Judges

Series: Resources by Book

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