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The Book
of Ruth

summaries and outlines


Book Summary

The book is a story of Naomi’s transformation from despair to happiness through the selfless, God-blessed acts of Ruth and Boaz. Naomi moves from emptiness to fullness, from destitution to security and hope.
Picture Source: By Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld -Public Domain,

The Bible - Numbers


The book is named after one of its main characters, a young woman of Moab, the great-grandmother of David and an ancestor of Jesus. The only other biblical book bearing the name of a woman is Esther..

[Source:NIV Study Bible, Copyright © 1985, 1995, 2002, 2008, 2011 by Zondervan.]


Author and Date of Writing

The author is unknown. Jewish tradition points to Samuel, but it is unlikely that he is the author because the mention of David (4:17,22) implies a later date. Further, the literary style of Hebrew used in Ruth suggests that it was written during the period of the monarchy.

Ruth lived during the time of the judges; the book was written sometime after David became king in about 1010 BC.
[Source:NIV Study Bible, Copyright © 1985, 1995, 2002, 2008, 2011 by Zondervan.]

Ruth Outline

I. Book I (Ps 1–41)

  1. Introduction: Naomi Emptied (Ruth 1:1–5)
  2. Naomi Returns From Moab (1:6–22)
    1. Ruth Clings to Naomi (Ruth 1:6–18)
    2. Ruth and Naomi Return to Bethlehem (Ruth 1:19–22)
  3. III. Ruth and Boaz Meet in the Harvest Fields (ch. 2)
    1. Ruth Begins Work (Ruth 2:1–7)
    2. Boaz Shows Kindness to Ruth (Ruth 2:8–16)
    3. Ruth Returns to Naomi (Ruth 2:17–23)
  4. Naomi Sends Ruth to Boaz’s Threshing Floor (ch. 3)
    1. Naomi Instructs Ruth (Ruth 3:1–5)
    2. Boaz Pledges to Secure Redemption (Ruth 3:6–15)
    3. Ruth Returns to Naomi (Ruth 3:16–18)
  5. Boaz Arranges to Fulfill His Pledge (Ruth 4:1–12)
    1. A. Boaz Confronts the Unnamed Guardian-Redeemer (Ruth 4:1–8)
    2. B. Boaz Buys Naomi’s Property and Announces His Marriage to Ruth (Ruth 4:9–12)
  6. Conclusion: Naomi Filled (Ruth 4:13–17)
  7. Epilogue: Genealogy of David (Ruth 4:18–22)
Adapted from: NIV Study Bible, Copyright © 1985, 1995, 2002, 2008, 2011 by Zondervan.