Ruth and Naomi are two important biblical figures found in the Old Testament of the Bible. Their story is told in the book of Ruth, which is one of the books in the Ketuvim, or the “Writings,” the third section of the Hebrew Bible.
Naomi was an Israelite woman who lived in the time of the Judges, a period of biblical history from about 1200 to 1000 BCE.
She was originally from Bethlehem, but she and her husband Elimelech moved to Moab during a famine in their homeland. They had two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, who both married Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth.
Tragically, Elimelech and both sons died, leaving Naomi and her daughters-in-law alone in a foreign land. Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, as she had heard that the famine had ended there.
She urged her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab and remarry, but Ruth refused to leave Naomi’s side, declaring that she would go wherever Naomi went and that Naomi’s God would be her God.
So, they journeyed back to Bethlehem together. They were poor and had no means of supporting themselves, so Ruth went to glean grain in the fields to provide for them.
She happened to work in the fields of a man named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s. Boaz was impressed by Ruth’s loyalty and kindness to Naomi and treated her with great generosity.
Eventually, Naomi realized that Boaz might be willing to marry Ruth and redeem their family’s land and name, as was the custom in Israel at that time.
Naomi advised Ruth to dress in her best clothes and go to Boaz while he was sleeping, and lie down at his feet. When he awoke, Ruth asked him to marry her and redeem her family’s name.
Boaz was happy to do so, but there was a closer relative who had first rights to redeem Ruth. So, Boaz arranged a meeting with this man and made him aware of the situation. The other man declined to redeem Ruth, so Boaz was able to marry her and become her kinsman-redeemer.
Ruth and Boaz had a son named Obed, who became the grandfather of King David. Naomi became a caregiver for Obed, and the women of Bethlehem declared that Ruth was better to Naomi than seven sons would have been.
The story of Ruth and Naomi is a powerful story of loyalty, kindness, and redemption. It is often cited as an example of God’s providence and faithfulness, and has been an inspiration to many throughout the ages.
Moral lesson of the story of Ruth and Naomi in the bible
The story of Ruth and Naomi in the Bible teaches several moral lessons, including loyalty, kindness, and faithfulness. Here are some key lessons:
- Loyalty: The story of Ruth and Naomi shows the importance of loyalty and devotion to family. Despite the difficult circumstances, Ruth remained loyal to Naomi and followed her to a foreign land, where she showed kindness and compassion.
- Kindness: The story also highlights the importance of kindness, especially to those who are vulnerable or in need. Boaz, the wealthy landowner who shows kindness to Ruth and Naomi, serves as an example of how to treat others with compassion and generosity.
- Faithfulness: The story of Ruth and Naomi also emphasizes the importance of faithfulness and trust in God. Ruth’s decision to convert to Judaism and follow Naomi’s God shows her commitment to living a faithful life.
Overall, the story of Ruth and Naomi is a powerful example of how to live a virtuous life, characterized by loyalty, kindness, and faithfulness to God and to one another.