Ruth Bible Story Summary

by David Peach · Print Print · Email Email

The book of Ruth contains an interesting story about a Moabite woman who was redeemed into a Hebrew family. The book may have been written by Samuel and was probably penned during the time of David.

A Dreadful Time in a Strange Country

Because of a famine in Israel, a Hebrew family moved to Moab. This was a country not far from Israel on the east side of the Dead Sea. The family was from the city of Bethlehem-judah in Israel. Elimelech and his wife Naomi had two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. Each of them married a wife from Moab. In time Elimelech and his two sons died which left the three widows in Moab.

A new beginning

After her husband’s death, Naomi planned to return to Bethlehem-judah to be with family. She prepared to leave her two daughters-in-law. However, they begged to be able to go with her. She said that she had no more children and even if she were to marry again and bear sons that the two daughters would not be able to wait for them to grow up. She planned to return to Israel alone and empty.

True love and selfless giving

One of the daughters-in-law, Orpah, returned to her people in Moab. The other daughter-in-law, Ruth, said that she would stay with Naomi. It was during this conversation that Ruth said these words which have become the basis for many Christian wedding vows: “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.”

Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem-judah together. Naomi was financially and emotionally despondent, but her family and friends accepted her with joy.

Ruth Bible Story Summary

One land owner, Boaz, noticed Ruth and asked his workers to be kind to her and leave plenty of grain for her and her mother-in-law.

As they had no money and no men to take care of them, Ruth went into the fields to gather whatever grain she could. One land owner, Boaz, noticed Ruth and asked his workers to be kind to her and leave plenty of grain for her and her mother-in-law. He did not know at the time who Ruth was, but out of kindness he chose to care for the new stranger in their land.

Ruth returned to Naomi and told her about the generous landowner. Naomi asked about the man and was pleased to learn that it was Boaz. Boaz was a near family member of Elimelech, her late husband. This meant that Boaz had the opportunity to take Naomi and Ruth into his care as well as free them from their financial debt.

A husband for Ruth

Naomi instructed Ruth on how to ask for Boaz’s help in the matter. She approached Boaz and asked him to become the kinsman-redeemer for them. Before Boaz could accept the care of these two ladies he had to negotiate with another kinsman for the privilege. This other man was closer to Elimelech and therefore had the responsibility to care for the ladies. This man chose not to exercise his duty for their care which left Boaz with the opportunity to buy them out of their debt and take Ruth as his wife.

Boaz and Ruth were married and became the great-grandparents of King David.

A Redeemer for all

Like Ruth and Naomi, humanity has become enslaved to sin. Jesus Christ had the right to redeem us to himself by paying our sin debt and accepting us into his family. Jesus paid the debt on the cross and has offered to redeem us through His blood.

Interested in More Bible Stories?Check out these other articles here at WCWTK:Jonah Bible Story SummaryGod gave Jonah a job to do but he rebelled against the Lord. Although he ended up doing what God told him to do, his disobedience and rebellion left him a very bitter man. This it the Bible story that includes a big fish

Strong Women From The Bible Enjoy these factual accounts of 5 strong women in the Bible. You will read about women who saved many, one who desperately wanted a child and a mother and grandmother who raised a godly man who is the subject of two books of the Bible.

Bible Stories about Friendship You interested in knowing how to be a good friend? Read this article to be reminded that God is the author of friendship and had holy men write these accounts so we can learn from them.


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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo Royal September 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I stumbled across your site whilst browsing a blog search engine – and checked it out 🙂 I really enjoyed the read on Ruth, one of my favourite books of the Bible. A great summary, with plenty to think about. I look forward to reading others 🙂 Thank you!


David Peach September 11, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Thank you Jo! I enjoyed writing this summary.


Pam September 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Nice commentary David! The book of Ruth is really one of the greatest love stories in the Bible. A heart-warming and lovely book. Thanks for this.


Debbie November 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Even though I am a Catholic school teacher, I was not familiar with the story of Ruth and Naomi. My mother has become ill, and we have been blessed with a woman from Africa who has become her live-in aide. She is a lovely, faith-filled woman who is taking very good care of my mother. Just today she said to my mother that she will stay with her and not leave her. She then said that their relationship reminded her of the story of Ruth. I Googled the story and read it with tears flowing. Thank you for such a wonderful and convert-friendly version. God bless……


David Peach November 21, 2011 at 11:06 am

Debbie, I am glad this story has been an encouragement to you. Every time I read this and the book of Esther, the Lord teaches me a little more. I love compact stories that teach so many great truths.


RUben Duarte-Kalischko July 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Awesome story line. Learned something new. Definte love story of Jesus for humanity. researching age difference between Boaz and Ruth and found something even more worthy.


David Peach July 11, 2012 at 9:10 am

That is an interesting question about the age difference between the two. From what I have read (because you mentioned it), Jewish tradition says that Boaz was 80 and Ruth was 40 when they married. I don’t see any evidence of that in the Bible. It could be true. However, I think it was probably only 1 age group different. More like a 20 year separation. That is not based on any deep study, just my thoughts after reading a few other people’s comments on the subject.


Martin Oyindo December 20, 2012 at 3:13 am

This story has really lifted my spirit and make me grow strong
This site is good for a healthy life.


Segun Adegelu January 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm

In search for review or summary of the book of Ruth, which we are treating as Sunday school study for this year I came across this easy-to-digest summary I am well equipped to handle the review session. You have done such a great job sir. More of His grace to you. Amen.


Diane Bell February 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Hello, we had an evangelist speaker at my church tonight. As I was knelt at the altar praying and being still at the feet of Jesus, the evangelist came over to me and placed his hand on my back and told me that he didn’t know what kind of worker I saw myself as, but God was telling him that I was a Ruth. He also said that women will be drawn to me and will flock around me.


Erin July 4, 2013 at 11:00 am

I just finished reading Ruth and was doing some research to better understand the book. I came across this site and y’all’s summary of Ruth really helped. So thank you!(:


Kelly-Angelique July 9, 2013 at 6:53 am

I know that we all have applied stories or some specific story on a time in our lives, but i seem to always stumble across this story same time every year. I know, and I’m very sure that this story plays a role in my calling and my life in Christ,but what I am not sure of, is how and what exactly is God trying to tell me through this story? My question is, how can I apply or relate to this story personally and carry it on my heart through my daily living?


Yomi July 20, 2013 at 10:37 am

Thanks so much for this great message in summary.i pray that heaven shall be your last bus stop in Jesus name.Amen.


Elijah July 28, 2013 at 7:01 am

Interesting story…… Thanks for the full explaination.


Audrey January 30, 2015 at 11:54 am

Thank you for your summary of Ruth. I was asked to do a five to seven minute presentation and am almost persuaded to do Ruth. I did enjoy this summary and look forward to many more.


Audrey January 30, 2015 at 11:55 am

I should have added a presentation of positive women in the bible.




Shirley Whitney April 15, 2015 at 9:09 am
Pauline June 8, 2015 at 11:33 am

I was told I would be like Ruth


Willie Frances Pratt February 25, 2019 at 10:36 pm

After reading the story of Ruth, I have tried to find the name of the kinsman that was closer than Boaz. Is there any where in the bible that named him? I know that Naomi’s closest relative was Elimelech. Will look for your email. Thank you


Stephen J. Mitra June 20, 2019 at 9:38 pm

I a pastor working in many type tribe in Bangladesh. I like to work jointly with any Missionary at Bangladesh. Praying and looking help for that poor Tribe .


Regina C March 13, 2020 at 12:22 am

What an incredible summary of the Ruth, it is such an inspiring story and I have learnt in detail about Ruth’s faith in God.
Thank you!
Many blessings!


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