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Bible stories: Heth Joshua Ruth Naomi

Updated on November 26, 2010

Joshua's covenant with Israel

Joshua closed his long and useful life with an act which marked a solemn crisis in the ca­reer of Israel. They had obtained possession of the land given them by Jehovah, and had attained that first success which is always a trial of human power and endurance, and which, in their case, was the test of their faithfulness to Jehovah. Joshua   recognized   the danger which threatened the nation—of forgetting the Eternal Giver of all their blessings, and of mingling with the people around them and lapsing into idolatry. He promptly assembled the entire nation at Shechem, and, after reminding them of all that God had done for them, he repeated to them the conditions upon which they were to enjoy these blessings. His appeal was successful. The people swore by God not to forsake Him who had done such wonders for them. Thus did Joshua make a covenant with the people, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

Ruth and Naomi

A man named Elimelech, an Ephrathite of Benjamin-judah, had been driven by a famine into the country of Moab, with his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. The sons married women of Moab, Orpah and Ruth; and the family resided in that country for about ten years. The father died, and both his sons; and Naomi rose up to return to her own land. She gave leave to her daughters-in-law to go back to their own families ; but both de­clared they would return with her. On her urging the point for their own sakes, Orpah bade her an affectionate farewell, and went back ``to her people and her gods;`` but Ruth cast in her lot wholly with Naomi, refused to leave her, and accompanied her to Bethlehem.

Ruth gleaning the fields of Boaz

Upon arriving at Bethlehem, Ruth sought employment as a gleaner in the field of a wealthy and powerful citizen of the town, named Boaz, whose grandfather, Nahshon, was prince of the tribe of Judah. Boaz was a very near kinsman, though not the nearest, to Naomi's deceased husband, Elimelech, and consequently to Ruth, as the widow of his son. Ruth attracted the attention of Boaz, and when he learned who she was, he bade her glean only in his field, and commanded the reapers to show her kindness. The Book of Ruth is taken up in a great measure with the story of the manner in which the fair gleaner became the wife of Boaz. Ruth bore to Boaz a son named Obed, who became the father of Jesse, whose son David became the great King of Israel


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