Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Ruth

Ruth is very short, so this is basically just a summary.
Naomi is an old widow with two daughter-in-laws that are also both widows. She tells them to go back to their families so that they can find husbands, but Ruth, one of the daughter-in-laws refuses to leave. Ruth claims that she will make Naomi’s god her own because she wants to stay with her. This makes her belief seems false. If she is willing to change her belief so easily, what will keep her from doing so in the future? Does she actually believe?
When Naomi and Ruth get back to Naomi’s people, Naomi tells the people not to call her Naomi because God has cursed her. Why would God make Naomi’s life miserable? What did she do? Isn’t it more likely that her family simply had some bad luck?
The story of Ruth is creepy: she is told to go to a man wearing her best clothes and perfume. She is told to watch him in secret until he has finished eating and drinking and has gone to sleep. Then she is to uncover his feet, lay by them, and wait for him to tell her what to do next. This is Naomi’s plan to ensure that Ruth will be cared.
The man marries Ruth and Ruth gave birth to a son for Naomi.

4 responses to “Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Ruth

  • looknup

    Ruth is a short book that tells a great big story. It does contain some ancient customs that seem really strange to us today, but it all works to that which is good.

    The meaning in the names of the people involved tell a big part of this story also.

    Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

    Elimelech = “my God is king” // Naomi = “my delight” // Mahlon = “sick”
    // Chilion = “failing, pining”
    This family represents Israel., because of the unspiritual condition which prevailed among the Israelites at that time, they were “sick and failing”.

    Mahlon (Sickly) and Chilion (Failing) take themselves gentile brides.
    Orpah = “back of the neck”, of fleeing foe, of apostasy (fig.)
    // Ruth = “friendship”
    The gentile brides represent the Church.
    We see Orpa, representing a part of the Church, turns her back, (back of the neck, apostasy), on Israel and goes with her gods. The other part (Ruth) chooses “friendship” with Israel, and accepts the God of Israel.

    Boaz represents a savior, from Betleham!
    From the union of Boaz and Ruth was to come the line of descendants that gave birth to King David, through whom came Jesus Christ.

    Boaz is a perfect illustration of Christ, Who would also come from Bethlehem and go out into the fields of harvest and call unto Himself a gentile bride, to whom He would extend all the love that grace could give to redeem her.

    more detail:


  • NovaSaber

    It’s actually even worse than it sounds. I have read that in Hebrew, “feet” can be a euphemism for genitals.


  • ericandsteph

    I have enjoyed reading your posts. I find a few of your critiques of the book of Ruth intriguing. I’ll add my perspective to one: is Ruth’s faith inauthentic or at the least shallow?
    The Bible does not state the duration of Naomi’s stay in Moab. I am assuming with the deaths and marriages that occurred it was probably years, but without children being born it was probably not too many years. Isn’t it possible that Ruth had close relationships with dozens of Moabite women and this one Israelite woman. Could she over the course of a couple of years, some of which living under the same roof as Naomi, seen something about her and this distinctly different world view she had that was very different and attractive to her (not to mention the impact her husband and the rest of the family may have had on her). She watched this woman deal with incredible tragedy and saw how her faith did or did not hold up. Perhaps she saw something in this GOD of Naomi’s that was absent in the idol worship of her own people. How else is she going to change faiths without being introduced to another faith. I think her Faith was legitimate and not so different than how many people are brought to their Faith. Maybe, this was an Interfaith Club that really had an impact on one of its members. Maybe yours will too.
    Thanks for your Posts.


    • hessianwithteeth

      I don’t really think it’s fair to say that Ruth’s people merely worshiped idols, though I know that’s what the Bible says. It seems to suggest that their belief wasn’t a really belief. Though I do get where you’re coming from. It wasn’t uncommon for wives in this time to adopt the beliefs of their husbands. But I do think it is worth questioning whether she truly believed, because the Bible wants us to think that she is a true convert. I can just as easily imagine a woman who loves her mother-in-law dearly and feels responsible for her. In this case, maybe she isn’t saying “I now believe what you believe,” but rather “I will put aside my own beliefs for you.” Ruth seems like a sweet woman who is genuinely a good person, so why does the Bible find it so necessary to mention her conversion? Isn’t it enough that she is good


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