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Introduction to Ruth: Authorship



This little book is, as it were, an appendix to the book of Judges, which the Hebrews generally make one and the same with the book of Ruth, and that not incorrectly; for this history happened in the time of the Judges, Ruth 1:1 (Bonfrerius). It is one of those little books that the Hebrews call חָמֵשׁ מְגִלּוֹת, Hamesh Megilloth, the five scrolls (Vatablus). Some of the Hebrews reckon it among the Hagiographa (which are the Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Ruth, Lamentations, Esther). Others were joining it to the book of Judges (Drusius). It could be inserted between chapters 3 and 4 in Judges (Lightfoot). The Writer of this little book is thought to be, either, 1. King Hezekiah; thus Petrus Comestor[1] (Serarius on Ruth 4): or, 2. Ezra; to whom several other books are also attributed (certain interpreters in Serarius): or, 3. Samuel (Serarius, Bonfrerius, Drusius out of Isidore and Eugubinus,[2] Tostatus, Rabbis in Serarius); for by the consent of all he began the books of the Kings, and so it is likely that he was not willing to omit the narratives concerning the origin of King David (Serarius). They think that this book was published principally for this, that the genealogy of Christ might be woven in, who according to the flesh was going to descend from David[3] (Vatablus, Bonfrerius). For, the whole of Scripture has regard to Christ as its end (Bonfrerius).

[1] Petrus Comestor (died c. 1178) served first as one of the Chapters of Notre-Dame, and then later as the chancellor of its theological school. He is most remembered for his Historia Scholastica, a history of the world from the creation to the Acts of the Apostles.


[2] Augustinus Steuchus (1496-1549) was an Italian Roman Catholic scholar, who served as a prior of the Canons Regular of the Lateran, the bishop of Kisamos in Crete and prefect of the Vatican Library. He brings his varied talents in languages and antiquities to bear upon exegesis.


[3] Romans 1:3.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
04 de jul. de 2019


John Gill: ' This book is called Ruth, not because she was the author of it, but because she is the principal subject of it. In the Syriac and Arabic versions, it is called the Book of Ruth the Moabitess, which describes her by the country of which she was. Her name, according to Hillerus, signifies beautiful, of a good aspect, the same with Calliope in Greek. As to the author of this book, some attribute it to Eli the priest, who seems to have been too soon to give an account of the birth of David; others to Gad or Nathan; some to Hezekiah, and others to Ezra; but what the Talmudists assert, which is most generally received, an…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
04 de jul. de 2019

Edward Topsell's Reward of Religion: 'Although the author of this book of Ruth hath not expressed his name, yet there is no doubt but it proceedeth from the spirit of God, as well as the books of the Judges, Kings, and Chronicles, which have not the names of their authors described: but if it may be lawful to judge or give any sentence thereof, it was either Samuel or some other godly prophet under the reign of Saul, which is proved by the genealogies in the last chapter, where David is by name mentioned, testifying unto us, (that it was then written) when he was chosen from his brethren and anointed king over Israel, and yet before his reign, o…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
04 de jul. de 2019


Matthew Henry: 'This short history of the domestic affairs of one particular family fitly follows the book of Judges (the events related here happening in the days of the judges), and fitly goes before the books of Samuel, because in the close it introduces David; yet the Jews, in their Bibles, separate it from both, and make it one of the five Megilloth, or Volumes, which they put together towards the latter end, in this order: Solomon's Song, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther. It is probable that Samuel was the penman of it. It relates not miracles nor laws, wars nor victories, nor the revolutions of states, but the affliction first and afterwards the comfort of Naomi, the conversion firs…

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