Class Notes on Sacred History, Volume I (1893)
by J. W. McGarvey
§ I. THE MISFORTUNES OF NAOMI AND RUTH. i. 1-ii. 23.
1. The Death of Elimelech and His Two Sons. i. 1-5.
- At what period of time do the events of the book of Ruth take place? 1.
- Why did Elimelech and his family go to Moab?
- What route might one take from Bethlehem to Moab?
- The term Ephrathites identifies the men with Ephrath. For the connection between Ephrath and Bethlehem, see Gen. xxxv. 19 and Micah 5:2.
- Were Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion all Israelites?
- Where did Elimelech die?
- Were Orpah and Ruth Israelites?
- About how long did the family stay in Moab? 4.
- Where did Mahlon and Chilion die?
2. Naomi Returns to Her Own Country. 6-18.
- Why did Naomi decide to return to Judah? 6.
- According to Naomi, what kind of wives had Orpah and Ruth been? 8.
- Explain Naomi's words in verses 11-13 whereby she attempted to persuade her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab.
- Ruth was not persuaded to stay in Moab. How did Ruth express her willingness not only to go to Judah, but also to serve the God of Naomi. 14-17.
3. The Arrival in Beth-lehem. 19-22.
- At what time of year did Noami and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem?
4. Ruth Goes Out to Glean. ii. 1-3.
- Of whose family was Boaz? 1.
- What did the Law of Moses say (Lev. 19:9-10) that lay behind Ruth's request in verse 2?
5. She Is kindly Treated by Boaz. 4-16.
- Relation between Boaz and his reapers? 4.
- In what particular ways detailed in 2:8-9 did Boaz show kindness to Ruth?
- Why did Boaz show such kind treatment to Ruth? 11, 12.
- According to Boaz, from whom had Ruth sought refuge? (verse 12)
- Why did Ruth compare herself unfavorably with the other gleaners? 13.
- In what particular ways detailed in 2:14-16 did Boaz show kindness to Ruth?
6. Her Success in Gleaning. 17-23.
- How much is an ephah?
- How was it that Boaz had shown kindness to the dead? 20.
- How long did Ruth continue to glean in Boaz' fields? 23.
§ II. RUTH BECOMES THE WIFE OF BOAZ. iii. 1-iv. 22.
1. Naomi Gives Some Directions to Ruth. iii. 1-5.
- What did Naomi have in mind when she spoke of security (literally, "rest"; 3:1) and why would she think of this in connection with Boaz? (See Dt. 25:5ff).
2. The Directions Followed, and the Result. 6-18.
- What is the meaning of "spread your covering over your maid"? What was Ruth asking? 9, cf. 10-13. Also see Ezek. 16:8.
- Boaz was favorably disposed in regard to Ruth's request, but there was one obstacle. What was it? (3:12-13)
- Look again at 3:1-4 and 3:18. Did Naomi see to have some keen insight?
3. The Right of Redemption Transferred to Boaz. iv. 1-12.
- Where did Boaz go to meet the man who was a closer relative?
- Whom else did Boaz invite to sit down and why?
- What did Boaz talk about first, the matter of taking Ruth as a wife, or another matter?
- Was the closer relative inclined to take the land?
- Then what did Boaz mention that would be the responsibility of the closer relative?
- Why was the closer relative unwilling to take Ruth? Why would he have wanted the land, and how did taking Ruth work against his aims?
- Compare Ruth 4:7-8 with Deut. xxv. 7-10. Do you get the sense that the thing about the sandal had been reduced to a mere formality in a time that every man did what was right in his own eyes?
4. A Son Born and His Genealogy Traced. 13-22.
- List the generations from Boaz to David.
- What do Rahab and Ruth have in common? Mt. 1:5