Old-Testament Survey:Books of Ruth and 1 Samuel(7) A love story and Israel’s final judge
Ruth • During the period of the judges, a man named Elimelech moved to Moab to obtain food for his family during the famine in Israel. • He took his wife Naomi and his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. • Elimelech died in Moab. His sons married Moabite women—Ruth and Orphah. • After ten years, the sons also died. • Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem.
Ruth • When her daughters-in-law decide to return to Judah with her, Naomi told them to stay in Moab where they had a better chance of remarrying. • Both women wanted to go with Naomi. Orphah heeded her advice and remained in Moab, but Ruth returned to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law. • “But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.’” (1:16,17)
Ruth • When they arrive in Bethlehem, Ruth goes into the fields to glean grain left behind by the harvesters. (Deut. 24:19-22; Lev. 19:9,10) • She gleans in the field of a man name Boaz. • She wins his favor because of her loyalty to Naomi and her willingness to work hard to support her. • Boaz, a rich man, shows special favor to Ruth. • Permits her to eat with his maidens. • Arranges for the workers to leave extra grain for her in the path where she is gleaning.
Ruth • Naomi tells Ruth that Boaz is a close relative. • She also tells her about the law of Levirate marriage (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). • Ruth sleeps at the feet of Boaz to remind him of his duty to the law so she can bear children. • Boaz explains that there is another relative who is closer than he is. • On the following day, before ten witnesses, the other man refuses to redeem Elimelech’s property and assume his duty toward Ruth. • A son, Obed, is born to Ruth and Boaz. Obed fathered Jesse, who fathered David.
1 Samuel • We now look at Israel’s last two judges. • Eli, the 14th judge, judged Israel for 40 years. • Samuel became the 15th judge. • Elkanah had two wives—Penniah, who had children, and Hannah, who was barren. Elkanah loved Hannah more than he loved Penniah. • Each time they went to Shiloh to worship, Hannah prayed that God would give her a son. • She was willing to give that son to the service of the Lord. • God heard her prayer, and Hannah gave birth to a son whom she named Samuel.
Eli’s Reign Ends, and God Calls Samuel • Eli’s own sons were evil men. As priests, they took more than their allotted portions. • They were also immoral. Eli did not restrain them; he allowed them to continue as priests (3:13). • Eli was told that God was going to punish him. • Later, during the night, God called to the young Samuel, giving him the message for Eli (3:10-18). • Samuel grew in favor with God (3:19-21). • The Philistines and Israel fought at a place called Ebenezer. • Eli’s sons brought the ark of the covenant to the battle; the people rejoiced (4:1-6).
Eli’s Reign Ends, and God Calls Samuel • The following day, the ark is captured, Eli’s sons are killed, and Israel is defeated. • When Eli hears that the ark has been captured and his sons are dead, he falls over and breaks his neck (4:11-18). • Upon hearing of her husband’s death, Eli’s daughter-in-law goes into labor and gives birth to a son—Ichabod—meaning, ”the glory of the Lord is departed from Israel” (4:19-22). • Thus, God’s judgment against Eli’s house is complete.
The Philistines and the Ark • They carry the Ark to Ashdod and set it before the face of their god, Dagon. The next morning, he has fallen on his face. • They restore Dagon to his place. The next morning, his head and palms are cut off (5:1-5). • A plague of tumors breaks out against the people of Ashdod, so they move the ark to Gath (5:8). • A plague of tumors also breaks out in Gath, and they soon move the ark to Ekron. • Tumors also plague Ekron. After seven months, they decide to return the ark, with a trespass offering, to Israel (5:11,12).
The Philistines and the Ark • They place the ark, with the trespass offering, on a new cart pulled by two milk cows whose calves were in the stalls. • If the cows return to the calves, the plague is just coincidental to the ark’s capture. If they pull the cart to a nearby Israel town, the Philistines will know that God sent the plague (6:-1-10). • The cows pull the ark to Beth-shemesh (6:10-18).
Israel Sins With the Ark • They brought the ark to the house of a man named Joshua. • The Levites came down to service the ark. • The men of the city viewed the ark--a violation of the law. Only the Levites were allowed to view the ark. • God sent a plague and 50,700 men died. • They moved the ark to Kirjath-jearim, where it remained for 20 years in the house of Abinadab (7:1,2).
Samuel’s Call to the People • Samuel calls on Israel to put away their foreign gods so God will deliver them from the Philistines. • Israel gathers at Mizpah to worship God. • As they worship, the Philistines attack them, but God delivers them (7:10). • Samuel erected a stone, and they called the place Ebenezer, ”the stone of help” (7:12). • Israel captured many cities they had previously lost to the Philistines (7:14) • Samuel judged Israel his whole life. Rode a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah.