The Story of Ruth And The Power Of Loyalty
Updated: Jan 27
Ruth is a figure in the Bible who is known for her loyalty and devotion. She is featured in the book of Ruth, which is part of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. Ruth who is also an ancestor of the Messiah Jesus according to the Gospel of Matthew and her inclusion in the genealogy of Jesus emphasizes that the lineage of Jesus and his mission is not limited to the Israelites but is for all people. Her story is seen as a foreshadowing of Jesus's message of selfless love and devotion to God and others Ruth was a Moabite woman a Moabite refers to a person from the ancient kingdom of Moab, which was located in the area that is now modern-day Jordan. They were closely related to the Israelites and the Edomites, known for their agricultural skills and for their production of a highly prized red dye, made from a species of snail called "dibis" or "dibesh" in Hebrew and also known as the "Purpura" snail. The dye process was labor-intensive and required the collection of large numbers of snails, which were then crushed and the dye extracted.
The Moabites were known for their skill in producing this dye, and it was a valuable export for them. The Bible mentions the Moabites as having a monopoly on the production of this dye in the area and it was highly valued by other cultures along with their polytheistic religion. They were conquered and ruled by various empires throughout history and the Moabite kingdom was eventually absorbed into the Nabatean kingdom.
Ruth along with her mother-in-law Naomi returned to Israel during a time of this famine. The cause of the famine is not specified, but it is stated that a severe famine occurred in the land of Israel, causing Elimelech and his family, including his sons Mahlon and Chilion, to emigrate to the land of Moab with his wife Naomi, and Ruth in search of food and sustenance. Famines in the ancient world were often caused by a variety of factors such as drought, crop failures, pestilence, war, or economic collapse.
Naomi's husband Elimelech had died during the time that the family was living in Moab. The cause of his death is not specified in the text, but it was a significant event in the lives of Naomi and her family as it left her as a widowed woman with two unmarried sons and also leads to the eventual marriage of Ruth to one of those sons, Mahlon who also died during the time that the family was living in Moab. The cause of his death is als