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The timing of the book of Ruth was the same timing as the end of the book of Judges. The people had become apostate - lawlessness reigned. They had the perfect King - God Himself. But they wanted an earthly king like other nations. There are two towns mentioned often - Gibeah and Bethlehem. Gibeah was the home of the first king of Israel - the people's choice - Saul. It also is where that horrible thing occurred where a prostitute was cutup into 12 pieces and sent to each tribe in the land. On the other hand, Bethlehem is the future birthplace of God's choice for king - David. It is also the birthplace for the future King of Kings, Lord of Lords . . . Great High Priest forever and ever - our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Book of Ruth also brings out just how important to the Jews was the 'law of posterity' - a civil law to ensure that a man's name would pass from generation to generation. It only applies to 'true widows' where the husband has died. It does not apply to 'grass widows' - those who are divorced from their husbands (making their husband's 'dead' to them under the law). Boaz will marry Ruth in Chapter 4 so that Mahlon's name would be perpetuated and Ruth and their heirs would continue with their share of the promised land that God gave to them.

Finally, see the end of Chapter 4 of Ruth for part of the genealogy of king David.

Chapter 1

1~~Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled,
that there was a famine in the land.

And a certain man of Bethlehem-Judah
went to sojourn in the country of Moab . . .
he, and his wife, and his two sons.

{Note: See Judges 21:25 to see how this passage ties the book of Ruth to the book of Judges.}

2`` And the name of the man was Elimelech,
and the name of his wife . . . {was} Naomi.

The name of his two sons . . . {were} Mahlon and Chilion . . .

Ephrathites {descendents of Ephraim} of Bethlehem-Judah.

And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

3 And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died.

And she was left . . . her and her two sons.

4 And they {the Moabites} took them . . .
wives of the women of Moab.

The name of the one was Orpah,
and the name of the other - Ruth.

And they dwelled there about ten years.

5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them.

And the woman was the only one left
of her two sons and her husband.

6 Then she arose with her daughters in law,
that she might return from the country of Moab
for she had heard in the country of Moab
how that Jehovah/God had visited His people . . .
giving them bread.

7 Therefore she went forth out of the place where she was,
and her two daughters in law with her;
and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

8`` And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law,
"Go, return each to her mother's house.

Jehovah/God 'manufacture grace'/'deal graciously' {`asah checed}
with you, as you all have dealt with the dead, and with me."

9`` "Jehovah/God grant you that you all may find rest,
each of you in the house of her husband."

Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

10 And they said unto her {Naomi},
"Surely we will return with you to your people."

11 And Naomi said,
"Turn again, my daughters.

Why will you go with me?

Are there yet any more sons in my womb,
that they may be your husbands?"

12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way
for I am too old to have an husband.

If I should say, I have hope,
if I should have an husband also tonight,
and should also bear sons, 13
would you all wait/tarry for them
till they were grown?

Would you stay for them from having husbands?

No, my daughters.

For it grieves me much for your sakes
that the hand of Jehovah/God is gone out against me."

14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again.

And Orpah kissed her mother in law
  {meaning Orpah departed and returned to Moab}.

But Ruth clung on to her {Naomi}.

15 "And she said,
"Behold, your sister in law is gone back to her people,
and unto her gods/'elohiym.

You return after your sister in law."

16`` And Ruth said,
"Entreat me not to leave you,
or to return from following after you.

For wherever you go, I will go.

And where you lodge, I will lodge.

Your people shall be my people.

And your 'Elohiym/Godhead my 'Elohiym/Godhead."

17 "Where you die, will I die.

And there will I be buried.

Jehovah/God manufacture so to me,
and more also . . .
nothing but death will part you and me."

18 When she {Naomi} saw that she {Ruth}
was steadfastly minded to go with her,
she then stopped 'trying to convince'/speaking unto her.

19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem.

And it came to pass,
when they were come to Bethlehem,
that all the city was disturbed concerning them.

And they said, "Is this Naomi?"

20 And she said unto them,
"Call me not Naomi . . . call me Mara {name means 'bitterness'}
for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me."

21`` I {Naomi} went out full,
and Jehovah/God has brought me home again empty.

Why then do you all call me Naomi,
seeing Jehovah/God has testified against me,
and the Almighty has afflicted me?"

22 So Naomi returned {to Bethlehem},
and Ruth the Moabitess - her daughter in law - with her,
who returned out of the country of Moab.

And they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.