Book Of Ruth
J. Deering, AncientPath.net
1. Master Study
Introduction, Visualized Text with Commentary and Q&A, Charts
These four verses are about Naomi. Occasionally in the Bible someone comes forth who has no name and places a blessing upon a person or persons. This is one of those times. A neighbor woman comes to Naomi and expresses her gratitude to the LORD for giving a redeemer to Naomi, but it is not the redeemer that you may expect. That is followed by a list of the benefits of having a son and the exceedingly good benefit of having a good daughter-in-law.
As in the custom of many cultures, especially those who have gone before us, the grandmother becomes the nurse and caregiver to the baby.
Then this neighbor woman (and others) tell her that this son should be named Obed, or "the one who serves," probably based on their expectations expressed in their blessings.
The addition of "he is the father of
Jesse, the father of David" is added by the narrator of the story.
THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB) (conjunctions & prepositions (and other important words) underlined, words not in original text in italics) (alternate text in purple)
the women said
Blessed be the LORD,
which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman,
that his name may be famous in Israel.
Brief Commentary on Ruth 4:14
One of Naomi's birthing helpers gives
a blessing up her and tells her how blessed the LORD is for giving this very
special child to her - "May his name be famous in Israel."
Questions and Answers about Ruth 4:14
Who are "the women"?
(We are not told who they are. It is likely, with the context being the birth of the baby Obed, that they are nurse maids or wet nurses who have come to help Naomi with Ruth's delivery. Later in verse 17 they are referred to as neighbors.)
Who is the beneficiary of this
Why is the blessing given?
(For the LORD has not left Naomi without a kinsman)
Who is this kinsman?
(It is not Boaz. Yes he did redeem Naomi's property but he is not the kinsman of which they speak – it is Obed the son born to Ruth – the evidence for this is in the context of the following verses.)
There are two possible ways to
read the meaning of the words that follow "Blessed be the LORD" in this verse.
Can you pick them out?
(1. Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without Obed as a kinsman that Obed's name may be famous in Israel. 2. Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without Obed as a kinsman that the LORD's name may be famous in Israel.)
Which way would you think this
verse should be read and why?
(The most likely reading would be #1, for the LORD's name is already famous in Israel and Obed's name has become famous in Israel since this event. This portion of the paragraph is about the birth of Obed and he is the central figure. Often the difficulty in determining who the "his" and "he" and other pronouns is more complicated in Hebrew and Greek than in English. In English we have a syntax and grammar that make these choices fairly easy. In these older languages the grammar and syntax are alien to our way of thinking. Sentence structure can be almost inscrutable to us. This is where some dependence upon those with ancient language studies and experience can be the order of the day.)
How did Obed's name become
famous in Israel as he was just a child of Ruth and Boaz who lived during the
time of the Judges?
(Not all of us get the chance to have our names written down in the cannon of Scripture. The story of Ruth, Boaz, and their son Obed did not get lost in the archives of the past but now appear in the cannon of Scripture and have done so for centuries.)
he shall be
a restorer of thy life, and
a nourisher of thine old age:
for thy daughter in law,
which loveth thee,
which is better to thee than seven sons,
hath borne him.
Brief Commentary on Ruth 4:15
The manner in which he will be the
redeemer of Naomi is to comfort and care for her in her old age. She tells Naomi
that a good daughter-in-law, who loves her, is better than seven sons!
Questions and Answers about Ruth 4:15
Who is speaking here?
("the women" continue with their blessings)
Again, who is the "redeemer"
spoken of here?
(The baby Obed)
Who is now being blessed by
How is the baby Obed the
restorer of Naomi's life and a nourisher of her old age?
(Naomi came back from Moab husband and childless (and grandchild less). Now Obed would become the center of her life. She will be grandmother, nurse, and in many ways, mother of the baby Obed. Years from now when Naomi is too old to even feed herself Obed will be there to nurse and mother her. With the women we would have to agree – Naomi is blessed by Ruth's baby Obed.)
How do they characterize Ruth as
(They say publicly that Ruth loves Naomi and is better to Naomi (having lost her sons) than seven sons.)
What phrase complete the
(The phrase, "… for thy daughter in law… hath borne him.)
took the child, and
laid it in her bosom, and
became nurse unto it.
Brief Commentary on Ruth 4:16
How precious are the first moments of
birth - not only to the child and the mother, but in this case, for the grand
mother as well.
Questions and Answers about Ruth 4:16
What did Naomi do after the baby
(She took the child [she did not take the child away, but picked it up] laid it in her bosom, and became his nurse [caretaker])
Is there anything unusual about
(No, not the slightest. She is Naomi the mother, Naomi the grandmother, how else would you expect her to act?)
the neighbor women
gave him a name,
saying, "A son has been born to Naomi!"
So they named him
(He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.)
Brief Commentary on Ruth 4:17
It's interesting that the name of "Obed" is given to the child by a neighbor woman. Her expectations on the life of little Obed is that he will follow in his mothers footsteps as a caring and serving person.
Questions and Answers about Ruth 4:17
Who is speaking here"
(The neighbor women – the nurses, wet nurses, helpers)
What did they name the baby?
Who gave Obed his name?
(The neighbor women)
What does "Obed" mean?
(The one who serves)
According to the neighbor women
who will Obed serve?
Why not Ruth?
(It doesn't say, but my guess would be that Naomi, now back in her own neighborhood – no longer in Moab, has received this help because she has known them for many years, they are her friends. Ruth, on the other hand, may still be much of a stranger, speak like a stranger, and not had the time to cultivate Hebrew friends or learn much of the language. Nothing deep, dark and secret here; just the way it would have taken place. Naomi returns with Ruth, Naomi has the friends and resources to help Ruth and herself.)
Who spoke or penned the last
(The words appear as if the narrator speaks them at the end of the story. The narrator, of course, is the one telling the story many years afterwards as it is written down, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, sometime after the Coronation of David as King of Israel.)
Horizontal Chart for Ruth 4:14-17
The Great Celebration
"Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. "May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him." Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. And the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, "A son has been born to Naomi!" So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David."
Verse Percentage Chart for Ruth 4:14-17
1. Master Study
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