The book of Ruth was a short book containing only four chapters. Not much happens in the first three chapters. Ruth moves to the town of Boaz, a male relative. Boaz treats her with respect and is nice to her. In the third chapter Boaz sleeps next to Ruth, although doesn’t have sex with her. Things change in the fourth chapter, however, when Ruth is sold as property to Boaz who marries her and rapes her. I say rape because Ruth had no choice in the matter. The only purpose for this book in the Bible is to show that Ruth is an ancestor to David. That’s it! By the end, Ruth is treated the same as all other women in the Bible. Pieces of property that men own and use to birth sons.
The fourth and final chapter of Ruth is where it gets good (unless you’re Ruth). She marries Boaz, who is related to her. God loves him some incest.
“Then Boaz said, ‘On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.’” – Ruth 4:5
And just like that the Bible returns to its normal misogynistic self. This verse makes it very clear Ruth is nothing more than a piece of property that belongs to the land being sold. Disgusting.
“I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!” – Ruth 4:10
Not only is Ruth a piece of property, but Boaz acquires her as his wife. Ruth has no say in the matter.
“So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.” – Ruth 4:13
So there you have it. Back to rape in the Bible. Boaz purchased Ruth like a piece of property, MADE her his wife, and then raped her to have a son. I say ‘rape’ because Ruth had no choice in the marriage.
“Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, ‘Naomi has a son!’ And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” – Ruth 4:16-17
This sets the tone for the upcoming chapters.
The fourth chapter of Ruth is the last chapter in this very short book. There’s very little of worth in this book as far as I’m concerned. Not much is said in the first three chapters and the fourth chapter turns back to misogyny and rape. According to the Bible, Ruth’s sole purpose is to birth the line of David. That’s all the Bible cares for when it comes to women. Can they give birth to powerful sons? If so, great. If not, they suck and are not worth mentioning.
Coming Soon: 1 Samuel – Chapter 1: The Birth of Samuel
Thus far Ruth has been a pleasant read as there is no mass killing and raping of women. Yes, the Bible has set the bar extremely low. Chapter 3 begins with Naomi telling Ruth to dress nicely and lay down in Boaz’s bed without him knowing. Yes, because that’s a good idea!
“In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!” – Ruth 3:8
I’m sure this would startle Boaz. Boaz says to Ruth:
“Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.” – Ruth 3:12-13
This is getting a bit weird and sounding a bit like an incestual B-rated porn movie.
And that’s it for this chapter. Boaz did not sleep with Ruth during this encounter, which is a huge change from the story of Samson. Samson would have raped her again, passed her around to his buddies to be gang-raped, and then killed her. Again, the Bible has set a very low bar to morality.
Coming Soon: Ruth – Chapter 4: Boaz Marries Ruth
The first chapter in the book of Ruth introduced us to Ruth and explained a bit of the back story. The chapter begins with Ruth gathering grain from one of the fields owned by Boaz.
“So Boaz said to Ruth, ‘My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.’” – Ruth 2:8-9
This is a nice gesture on the part of Boaz. Much different than the route Samson would have taken. Samson would have taken her right there in the field and raped her. The chapter continues, describing the details of how Ruth gathered up grain.
“’The Lord bless him!’ Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. ‘He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.’ She added, ‘That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.’” – Ruth 2:20
Naomi is referring to Boaz.
“So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.” – Ruth 2:23
That concludes Ruth 2. Not much to report. It is a very pleasant surprise to see a woman treated with respect in the Bible. Granted, the bar is very low. Don’t kill a woman or rape her and you are already doing better than most of the stories in the Bible.
Coming Soon: Ruth – Chapter 3: Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor
The book of Judges was disgusting. Horrible. Crazy. The book of Ruth can’t be as bad, right? Let’s find out.
“At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her (Naomi).” – Ruth 1:14
Ruth is the daughter-in-law to Naomi. The verse preceding this one tell the story of Naomi losing her husband and sons, one of who was Ruth’s husband. Naomi wants her two daughters-in-law to return to the Israelites, but Ruth is hesitant.
“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.’” – Ruth 1:16-17
This is very un-Jesus like of Ruth. Granted, this is before the time of the supposed Jesus in the Bible, but Christianity teaches people to love God first, family second. I commend Ruth for choosing family first.
“So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.” – Ruth 1:22
And that concludes the first chapter of Ruth. Not too much to report. This is more background information than anything else. This chapter is FAR better in kindness than any chapter in Judges, that’s for sure!
Coming Soon: Ruth – Chapter 2: Ruth Meets Boaz in the Grain Field
After having recently finished going through the chapters of Judges, it’s now time to move on to the next book, Ruth. Ruth is a short book, comprising of only four chapters. The book focuses on Ruth, a female character who leads the Israelites as their next judge. I will admit that it is good to see a female leading the Israelites. A female judge led the Israelites for the first time for a short while in Judges, but Ruth is the first to play a more prominent role in the Bible.
The book of Ruth is attributed to Samuel, but as with most books of the Bible, no one has a clue as to who the actual author is. Why Christian scholars attribute a book to an author when there is no evidence supporting that claim is beyond me. Then again, why 2.2 billion people in the world self-identify as Christians when there is no evidence to support the Bible is also beyond me.