Ruth - Bible Book Explained

The Book of Ruth, nestled in the Old Testament of the Bible, provides a poignant break from the historical narrative. This short book tells a story of loyalty, redemption and love that transcends family and cultural ties. For the Catholic faith, the Book of Ruth becomes a timeless testimony to divine providence and the beauty of fidelity.


I- Ruth and Naomi: An Unbreakable Bond of Loyalty

The Book of Ruth opens with a poignant backdrop, a period of famine which forces a family from Bethlehem, consisting of Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons, to emigrate to Moab. However, this quest for survival quickly turns into tragedy with the death of Elimelech and his sons, leaving Naomi alone with her two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah.

At the heart of this tragedy emerges an exceptional relationship between Naomi and Ruth. Naomi, shaken by grief and loss, makes the decision to return to Bethlehem, her homeland. She urges her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab, to rebuild their lives among their people. Orpah, moved by the impending farewell, makes a heartbreaking decision to separate from Naomi.

However, Ruth chose a different path, a path of unwavering faithfulness. His famous oath resonates through the centuries: "Do not urge me to leave you, to return from you! Where you go, I will go; where you stay, I will stay; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God." This declaration marks a pact of deep allegiance, a commitment beyond ordinary family ties.

The Book of Ruth, through this declaration of Ruth towards Naomi, delves into the very heart of faithfulness. It is much more than a simple act of support in difficult times. It is a sacred promise that transcends cultural and familial boundaries. Ruth, a Moabite, chooses to link her destiny with that of Naomi and follow Naomi's God, thus abandoning everything that is familiar to her.

This deep loyalty, this decision to stay and share Naomi's destiny, will be the catalyst for a series of events that will reveal divine providence. The Book of Ruth begins like this, with an extraordinary act of faithfulness that will lay the foundation for a remarkable story of redemption, love, and the guiding hand of God in the lives of those who choose to remain faithful, even in adversity.


II- Divine Providence at Work

The Book of Ruth is a captivating narrative that, beyond its historical context, reveals divine Providence at work in seemingly ordinary circumstances. As Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem in a precarious economic situation, the narrative takes an unexpected turn.

Ruth, through an act of initiative and courage, decides to glean in the fields during the harvest. This is where divine Providence manifests itself. The fields she chooses belong to Boaz, a distant relative of Elimelech, Naomi's deceased husband. This detail is not simply a coincidence, but rather a key part of the divine plan that is unfolding.

The law of levirate, which states that a close relative has the responsibility to redeem the property of a deceased relative, comes into play. Boaz, touched by Ruth's loyalty and commitment to Naomi, becomes the family redeemer . His generosity and respect for the law reveal divine Providence orchestrating the details of daily life to accomplish his purposes.

Divine providence, as manifested in the Book of Ruth, is a force that transcends human circumstances. She guides the choices and actions of individuals, weaving a complex web of events that will lead to an unexpected redemption and restoration. It's a poignant reminder that even in life's most ordinary moments, God is working behind the scenes to accomplish His purposes, bringing comfort, redemption, and restoration where we might not expect it.


III- The Lesson of Fidelity and Redemption

The Book of Ruth takes us to the heart of a profound lesson about faithfulness and redemption. Ruth's allegiance to Naomi and the manner in which Boaz becomes the family's redeemer reveal fundamental principles of faith and human life.

Ruth's loyalty goes beyond ordinary family obligations. She embodies a love and commitment that transcends cultural and familial boundaries. Ruth's choice to stay with Naomi, to glean in the fields for sustenance, and ultimately to follow Naomi's advice to claim the right of redemption, is a testimony to unconditional faithfulness.

Divine providence, an often subtle force in biblical stories, is manifested in the daily actions of Ruth and Boaz. The chance encounter between Ruth and Boaz in the field, Boaz's generosity toward Ruth, and his respect for the laws of levirate are not simply the result of chance, but rather the hand of God guiding events.

Boaz presents himself as the redeemer, following the laws established in the Old Testament. His willingness to redeem the property of Elimelech for Naomi and Ruth is not only an act of generosity, but a tangible illustration of redemption. Boaz becomes an instrument of divine Providence to bring restoration to a broken family.

The story of Ruth and Boaz offers a powerful foreshadowing of ultimate divine redemption. Ruth's faithfulness, Boaz's redemption, and Naomi's restoration are anticipated echoes of the love and redemption that God offers through Jesus Christ. It is a timeless lesson about how God uses faithful individuals to accomplish His redemptive purposes in the world.

The Book of Ruth teaches us that faithfulness, redemption, and divine providence are threads woven through the events of human life. The story of Ruth and Boaz, while deeply rooted in a specific historical context, transcends time to offer a timeless lesson about faithful love and redemption. It is an invitation to recognize the presence of divine Providence even in seemingly ordinary moments, and to find hope in the promise of a redemption that goes beyond our expectations.


IV- The Role of Women in God's Plan

The Book of Ruth gives a central and powerful place to the role of women in the divine plan. Ruth emerges as a central figure, a strong and resilient woman, whose loyalty and devotion play a crucial role in the narrative.

Ruth, a Moabite woman, defies cultural expectations and becomes a model of female strength. Her choice to stay with Naomi, her hard work in the fields to provide for them, and her courageous initiative in seeking redemption show that women have an active and powerful role in God's plan.

The partnership between Ruth and Naomi is also significant. Their relationship goes beyond conventional family ties. They are companions in adversity, working together to overcome life's challenges. It is an illustration of the power of sisterhood and collaboration in divine design.

The Book of Ruth emphasizes that individual faith and initiative can shape the accomplishment of God's purposes. Ruth does not just passively follow circumstances, but she acts with faith and determination. His initiative in the fields of Boaz sets in motion events that will lead to his family's redemption.

Ruth's narration takes place in a context where women were often marginalized. However, the story emphasizes the equality of men and women in God's plan. Ruth, through her loyalty, her strength and her central role in the story, becomes a powerful voice against any idea of ​​subordination based on gender.

The Book of Ruth celebrates the elegance of the feminine role in God's plan. Ruth emerges as an iconic figure, illustrating that loyalty, strength, and faith transcend cultural and gender distinctions. Her story inspires us to recognize and celebrate the invaluable contribution of women in the realization of divine purposes. Ruth is not simply a historical figure, but a timeless voice proclaiming the value and importance of women's role in carrying out God's will.



The biblical epic of Ruth, woven of family relationships, unwavering faith and redemption, continues to resonate through the ages. By exploring the book of Ruth, we have immersed ourselves in a timeless story that transcends time and offers universal lessons.

Ruth, a stranger in a strange land, embodies loyalty and resilience. His story, beyond being a simple story, becomes a source of inspiration. The themes of love, loyalty, and hope resonate deeply, touching the heart of every reader.

As we explored the book of Ruth, we also delved into the historical and cultural aspects of ancient Israel. This immersion allows us to better understand the context of the story and to better appreciate the narrative richness of the text.

In sum, the book of Ruth is not simply a relic of the past, but a living source of timeless wisdom. It reminds us that, even in difficult times, love and faithfulness can be transformative forces. Ruth, with her inspiring example, continues to guide and inspire those who look to this ancient story for deep and meaningful life lessons.