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The Bible's book of Ruth has been applauded for its literary excellence, according to Christian Courier. It is the story of adventure and sacrifice of a woman who would be great-grandmother of King David and a forebear of Jesus Christ. This short book offers several lasting lessons for its readers (eHow, 2011).

There are several lessons that are woven through this book. God's equal love of both Jews and Gentiles is shown through Ruth's rise to prominence and her selection to be in the bloodline of Christ. God's plan and the honor that goes to those who are willing to make sacrifices to see that plan fulfilled is another of the lessons in the book of Ruth (eHow, 2011).

The Beginning

The first chapter of this book introduces us to Ruth during the reign of the Judges. The chapter focuses on Elimelech and his family, with Naomi being of particular interest. This chapter highlights a famine that had come over the land due to the fact that most of the nation had separated itself from God. One lesson to take from this chapter is the equality of God's and purpose (eHow, 2011). He chose Ruth, a Gentile woman, to serve his needs, as well as be a part of the bloodline of Christ (LaSor, 1996).

The first chapter also examines the literary form which deals with the life of the mother of a hero and the circumstances of his birth. A characteristic of such stories is a struggle between two women--Sarah and her maid Hagar, the sisters Rachel and Leah, or Hannah and Peninah. What these have in common is the women's inability to cooperate and to rise above their opposing interests, particularly when the struggle is over the question as to which of them shall bear children or an heir to their joint husband. The story of Ruth and Naomi constitutes an exception inasmuch as these women work together to ensure the continuity of the family. In Brenner's opinion there is a marked contrast between the usual description of women and the presentation of men, who in numerous passages are depicted as capable of putting aside incompatible interests in order to cooperate (James, 2008).

The most notable instance is the sublime friendship of David and Jonathan. Brenner concludes that the biblical authors display prejudice in distinguishing between "feminine" and "masculine" conduct in such matters. Anyone acquainted with the Bible, however, must ask whether such a generalization about the superior male capacity to rise above opposing interests can be sustained in face of Cain's murder of his brother Abel, Joseph's brothers' attempt at murder (which they commute to enslavement), Joab's murder of his nephew Amasa, Absalom's murder of his brother Amnon, Solomon's execution of his brother Adonijah, and many other such narratives (Hubbard, 1988).

The Middle

Chapters two and three of the book of Ruth detail Ruth's return to Jerusalem after being widowed, along with Naomi. She subsequently meets Boaz, her future husband, while working in the grain fields (eHow, ...
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