Ruth: An Introduction & Resources

The Introduction

There is no doubt in anybody's mind that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is God, was born Jewish and is very much Jewish. He was born to Mary and Joseph--which we can tell by the Christ genealogies in both Matthew 1 & Luke 3 that Jesus is double the son of King David. That is, one lineage through Solomon to Joseph and one lineage through Nathan to Mary.

But then take look close at the Matthew's genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1. In the only places where it was significant that Matthew should recall the mother, twice it was out of gross and vile sin (Tamar and Bathsheba) and twice more by Gentile women, Rahab and Ruth.

Why is this so distinctive?

In the mercies and providence of God, he had decided to bring about the salvation of his people through the Jewish people--starting with the father of our faith, Abraham.

Deuteronomy 7:7 (CSB) “The LORD had his heart set on you and chose you, not because you were more numerous than all peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.

He did not choose the Israelites because they were strong but because they were little and weak. Throughout history, God always chooses to display his love and might through the weak and the foolish.

His plan of redemption included the Israelites and through the Israelites but was not entirely exclusive to the Israelites.

In other words, God's plan of salvation always included the non-Jewish--the Gentiles--that is, you and me, if you are not of Jewish descent.

Romans 11:13a;17a (CSB) Now I am speaking to you Gentiles... you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree.

Just to show that this was God's plan all along, we have the story of Ruth. Ruth is young Moabite widow, whose people originated with incest and continued into the demonic worship of the Moabite god, Chemosh, brings her to a figurative fork in the road: one leading back to her old way of life or one leading her into unfamiliar path of salvation.

Her sister, Orpah, made her choice. She went back into familarity and certainity--that is, away from the God of the Israelites. Now, Ruth must make the same.

Join us for the story of Ruth.

The Resources

It Goes Without Say

Christian Standard Bible
Holmon Publishing. 2020.

Many times, many teachers, preachers, and small group leaders (myself included) will "cut straight to the chase" and engage the commentary instead of engaging the Word of God. Remember, the commentaries are not without error—they are the observations of the author.

Slow down, pray, read, chew and meditate.

Note: I use the Christian Standard Bible version on this blog default. Other translations, such as the ESV or the NIV1984, will be noted as such.

ESV Reformation Study Bible
Commentary & Edited by R.C. Sproul.
Ligonier Ministries. March 16, 2015.

I don't have much to say except this: if I was restricted to one Study Bible, this would be the one. Even if they never make one for the CSB. That is how much I love R.C. Sproul's notes--they will always refer back to historical creeds and confessions.

ESV Study Bible
Crossway. 2016.

Incredible resource.

If I had to pick just one format (hardcover vs. leather vs. paperback vs. digital), I use it way more in my Olive Tree Study Bible than anything else.

Hebrew Greek Key Word Study Bible.
New American Standard Bible 1977.
AMG International. 2008.

Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible.
NIV 1984.
Zondervan. 2003.

Life Application Study Bible.
NIV 2011.
Zondervan. 2011.

Commentaries & Books

Calvin's Commentaries.
by John Calvin.
Baker. 2009.
Olive Tree

Judges and Ruth: An Introduction and Commentary (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary)
by Arthur E. Cundall & Leon L. Morris.
IVP Academic. June 1, 1968.

A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God
by John Piper.
Crossway. January 1, 2010.

Esther & Ruth (Reformed Expository Commentary)
by Iain M. Duguid.
P & R Publishing. October 1, 2005.

Judges and Ruth: God in Chaos.
Barry G. Webb.
Crossway. 2015.

ESV Reformation Study Bible
Commentary & Edited by R.C. Sproul.
Ligonier Ministries. March 16, 2015.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume
by Matthew Henry.
Hendrickson Publishers. 1991.

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary on the Whole Bible
by Robert Jamieson, Alexander Cruden & Andrew Robert Fausset.
Zondervan. 1961.

An Exposition of the Old Testament, Vols. I–VI
by John Gill.
Public Domain.