They told him of a heart full true,
A Moabitess from afar,
A widow serving widow too,
With love that shone just like a star.
He saw a vine as they did speak
Climb up a barren trellis there,
And fruitful grow though stem was weak,
The two proved strong, no longer bare.
He saw again a golden Vine,
Fair Israel upon her God,
And then believing on this sign
He felt his heart begin to laud.
"O grant me, Lord, one look at them!"
He prayed silent within his breast;
But he must now leave Bethlehem
And carry home what grain was best.
Going to the threshing floor,
He bought (not barley!) wheat like gold!
It tasted sweet unto the core,
His camels heaped 'til all was sold.
Much grain of Boaz, clean and bright,
Now threshed and beaten of the chaff,
Went forth with joyful Ishmaelite,
Who praised the Lord with faith not half.
The people at the gate all cried:
"We all today are witnesses;
The Lord be with you and abide,
Build up your house as with Perez!"
A small boy piped a cheerful sound,
And reapers raised a manly cry:
"In Bethlehem be you renowned,
In Ephratah your wheat heap high!"
And now fair maidens sang a song,
With timbrel they all solemn-stepped;
They circled in a line along
Where Boaz sat with heart that leapt.
"As Rachel, Leah, both bore fruit
And filled up Jacob with increase,
So may Ruth now, though poor in root,
Give sons to you without surcease!"
So Boaz took his Ruth to wife
With pipe and dance and glad array;
El Shaddai bought her womb to life,
And she conceived in a day.
The Moabitess bore a son,
Yet God had hid what he had done,
To Naomi the women praised:
O blessed be the Lord today!
He left you not without issue;
His light has shone on you this day;
May your old age be nourished too.
"And who is like our God the Lord?
He raises poor up from the dust;
For those cast down He lifts his sword,
His steadfast love for those who trust.
"From the dung-heap they are raised up
To sit with princes of his land!
He fills the barren woman's cup
And gives her children by his hand.
For she who bore this son of yours
Is more than seven sons to you;
On you this daughter's love outpours."
'Twas then the widow ceased to grieve.
Without her mourning garment on,
In festive garments, Naomi
Then took the boy as her own son
And cared for him most tenderly.
The neighbor women sat round one day,
Rejoiced and gave to him a name;
"Obed" or "Servant" they did say,
Unknown to them would gain great fame.
For Obed was the father too
Of Jesse by whom David rose
To glorify the Lord he knew,
Who one day conquered all man's foes.
Far off from Bethlehem at night,
An Ishmaelite to God gave praise;
He thought he saw a birth of Light,
Where there was none a Star did blaze.
Chemosh--The god of heathen Moab
Ehud--Judge and deliverer of Israel; slew king of Moab who oppressed Israel (Judges 3)
Eglon--King of Moab slain by Ehud the Benjaminite
El Shaddai--Most often translated "Almighty," this Name of God contains a richer meaning, denoted by the Hebrew base word, "shad," which means "breast." This great, transcendent, almighty One is a nurturing, life-giving, loving Source of life to all who draw their life from Him! Thus, El Shaddai is the God of Ruth and Naomi, amply proven by the events of the story and Ruth's own character, which in most significant ways reveals her as a Type of Christ, the True Vine, for Whom she was grafted into the Vine of Israel in order that she might become Jesus's own fore-mother in the royal line that led to Christ.
Rahab--The harlot of Jericho who sheltered Joshua's spies in her house; she was saved when Jericho fell to the Israelites led by Joshua, and she married a prince of Israel, Salmon, thereby being grafted into both the Vine of Israel and into the Line of Christ.
Ruth--A young Moabite woman who became an ancestress of King David (and Christ, born in the royal line of David through Mary) through her second marriage to Boaz, Rahab's son. Her story is told in the OT Book of RUTH, and the events occurred during the time of the Judges of Israel (Ruth 1: 1) As a Messianic forerunner, she exemplifies the Christlike characteristics, very strongly, of selfless love, longsuffering, kindness, devotion to a loved one, humility, and mercy. It impossible to imagine a more perfect individual than Ruth.
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You may want to follow this up with "Oak of Weeping," A Poem about Jacob the Patriarch of Israel, A Man of God Caught Between His Family (a "Hard Place") and a Rock (His own Deceitful, Scheming Nature), by Eben - Dedicated to El Shaddai