Ruth and Esther

 Ruth

 Esther

Ruth

Author: Unknown

Time: 1250 B.C.

Summary: The book of Ruth is dated during the period of the Judges. It shows that in a time of national decline and immorality, God preserved a remnant who could serve as the core for a future revival. This would be accomplished in Ruth’s descendant, David, from whom the Messiah would come. It is thought that the book is written after the period of the Judges and describes customs of that time period.

Key verse:

"Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will me by people and your God my God." (1:16)

Main people: Ruth, Naomi, Boaz

Outline:

1. Naomi's family dies 1:1–5
2. Naomi returns from Moab 1:6–22
3. Ruth and Boaz meet in the harvest fields 2:1–23
4. Ruth goes to Boaz at the threshing floor 3:1–18
5. Boaz arranges to marry Ruth 4:1–12
6. Naomi blessed with a new family 4:13–22                                                                              

 

Esther

Author: Not known

Time: c.460 B.C.

Summary: Esther is regarded as a historical book, written during the period of the Captivity. It records the plot of Haman, the Prime Minister to the Persian king, to exterminate the Jewish race. This plot is foiled by Esther, the Queen of Persia, who was a Jew. This book gives us the origin of the Feast of Purim.

Key verse:

"If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (4:14).

Main people: Vashti, Esther, Mordecai, Haman, Ahasuerus (Xerxes)

Outline:

1. Vashti divorced 1:1–22
2. Esther made queen 2:1–18
3. Mordecai uncovers a conspiracy 2:19–23
4. Haman’s plot against the Jews 3:1–15
5. Mordecai persuades Esther to help 4:1–17
6. Esther’s first banquet 5:1–8
7. Haman's rage against Mordecai 5:9–14
8. Haman humiliated before Mordecai 6:1–14
9. Esther’s second banquet, Haman hanged 7:1–10
10. Mordecai’s counter decree 8:1–17
11. The Jews victorious and the institution of Purim 9:1–32
12. Mordecai promoted 10:1–3                                                                              

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