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Rooth; Heb., probably “satiation”

A Moabite who married Mahlon of the Judahite family of Elimelech. Widowed and childless, she abandoned her family, country, and religion to accompany her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Bethlehem. Her radical actions continued as she secured food for herself and Naomi and summoned the relative Boaz to be their redeemer. Boaz married her. She bore a son who became the grandfather of David. The women of Bethlehem exalted Ruth as the loving daughter-in-law who meant more to Naomi than seven sons, the ideal number (Ruth 4:15). Her name appears later in the Matthean genealogy of Jesus (Matt 1:5).

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.