Why is the book of Ruth in the Bible?

by Rob
(near L.A. )

Ruth and Naomi

Ruth and Naomi

Thanks for asking such an odd and interesting question. The Book of Ruth contains no major prophesies and is a simple story of Gentile-Jewish lovers. Many people have wondered why God included this ancient true love story in the canon of inspired scripture.

This incredible love story features a pagan Gentile woman who converts to Judaism and becomes part of the lineage of the Jewish Messiah. Only 85 verses long, the book of Ruth has stimulated emotions and excited the hearts of readers for 3000 years. But why include a Gentile-Jewish love story in the Holy Bible?

Reasons for Ruth

  1. Ruth demonstrates that God loves everyone including heathen Gentiles. "Whosoever will" may come to Jesus and be saved.

  2. God demonstrates the value of unselfish virtue in times of trial.

  3. Ruth poignantly portrays the lifelong love of two women for each other.

  4. God's story of a woman's love for a woman teaches us that such love is honored before God.

  5. The son of Boaz and Ruth is portrayed as the son of Naomi, emphasizing the relationship of Naomi and Ruth.

  6. God is working in our lives even when we are unaware of His activity.

  7. The smallest events of our lives are important to God, who records the broken hearts of three lonely widows in the book of Ruth.

  8. God loves pagan Gentiles as much as He loves the Jewish people and will save and bless every pagan Gentile who trusts Him.

  9. No one is beyond the reach of God's grace, including pagan Gentiles. All who come to God through Christ are accepted.

  10. God intends to bless King David and shows his early family history to be ordinary. From common roots springs Israel's greatest King.

  11. God honors faith in dramatic ways such as including Ruth the Gentile convert in the lineage of the Jewish Messiah.

  12. Ruth teaches the dignity and sacredness of what we view as secular and commonplace in life.

  13. Ruth demonstrates God's knowledge of and provision for the needs of His people.

  14. Ruth reminds us of His merciful providence for all who fear and trust Him.

  15. God commends the power of love to overcome alienation hostility and prejudice.

  16. Ruth reminds us that faithful witnessing work bears fruit. Ruth the Moabitess believes in Jehovah through Naomi's testimony and becomes one of God's beloved.

  17. God uses Ruth as a type of Gentiles who will be saved when they as individuals, turn to Christ.

  18. Ruth details the lineage of our Saviour, through King David's ancestral line, using genealogical information from the book of Ruth.

  19. Ruth displays God's love for us by showing that He knows who we are and where we came from. No part of our life, however minute, escapes His notice.

  20. God uses the marriage of Boaz and Ruth as a type of the bride of Christ marrying Christ.

  21. God uses Ruth and Boaz to demonstrate one of the few times in the Bible where the law of levirate marriage is observed.

  22. Levirate marriage refers to the kinsman-redeemer, Boaz - Ruth 4:1-22, who typifies our Lord Jesus Christ, Who purchased us with His own blood.

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This page revised April 8, 2014

Comments for Why is the book of Ruth in the Bible?

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Apr 08, 2014
You forgot about the kinsman-redeemer
by: Dr Phil

Hi Rob, You mention a couple of "type of's" but nowhere in your post do you mention about Boaz being a type of Christ in that he ends up being the Kinsman Redeemer for Naomi and Ruth.

Rick's comment: Hi Phil - thanks for pointing out that oversight in my editing. The kinsman-redeemer is tangentially referred to in numbers 1 - 8 - 9 - 11 - 17 - 20 - 21.

I've added Boaz the kinsman-redeemer as number 22. Much appreciated!

Apr 08, 2014
Possibly incorrect references
by: Dr Phil

Hi Rick, - "Rick's comment: The kinsman-redeemer is tangentially referred to in numbers 1 - 8 - 9 - 11 - 17 - 20 - 21."

Must be a fine tangent as I'm not aware of any verses referencing the kinsman redeemer in those chapters of Numbers. Would you care to explain your references?

Rick's comment: Hi Phil - the numbers are from the items listed in the article.

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