5. Two parts are exhibited. I. Ruth’s condition, poor and wretched (Ruth 1, 2). II. Her condition, happier and more joyful (Ruth 3, 4). A Synoptic Table, and the Interpreters of the book, Ancient, Reformed, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, and Hebrew.
The Parts of the Book are able to be established as two, for the twofold state of Naomi and Ruth, wretched or sorrowful, and afterwards happy and more joyful; of which the former lays out the wretched and unhappy state of Ruth (Ruth 1; 2), and the latter, the more joyful (Ruth 3; 4).
I. The wretched and unhappy state of Ruth, Chapters 1, 2. See:
1. The journey of Elimelech and Naomi, together with their sons, with famine pressing, undertaken from Bethlehem of Judah into the land of Moab, where their son, Mahlon, marries Ruth (verses 1-4), who, with her husband deceased, returns with her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Bethlehem (verses 5-22): chapter 1.
2. The labor of Ruth in gathering ears in the field of Boaz, kinsman of Elimelech (verses 1-7), where she is humanely treated by Boaz (verses 8-18), and is instructed by her mother-in-law to continue gathering ears in the same field (verses 19-23): chapter 2.
II. The state of Ruth transformed into a happier and more joyful one, Chapters 3, 4: See:
1. The occasion of the contracting of Ruth’s marriage with Boaz, namely, the tractability of Ruth, who, as she was instructed by her mother-in-law, returns to the field of Boaz, and, resorting to him lying down at night, modestly reminds him in private concerning the law of the near relations (verses 1-9); with a promise confirmed by him, she returns with joy to her mother-in-law (verses 10-18): chapter 3.
2. The marriage of Boaz with Ruth by the right of near relations, contracted when the one nearer in judgment despised his inheritance (verses 1-12), in which also the birth of Obed, and the genealogy of David, is set forth (verses 13-22): chapter 4.