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The Women Ancestors of Jesus Part 2: Rahab & Ruth (Study Guide)

Download “Jesus’ Family Tree” by Joel Beeke (PDF) • Download “From Abraham to Jesus” Chart (PDF) • Part One: Tamar (Study Guide) • Download “Part Two: Rahab & Ruth (Study Guide)”


Rahab and Ruth (click to enlarge)

Left: “Rahab and the Two Spies,” by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1851-60). Right: “Ruth Gleaning” by James Tissot, 1896-1904 (click to enlarge)

(Not to be confused with the mythological beast of Psa 89:10; Job 9:13; 26:12; Isa. 51:9)

1. Joshua 2:1-24: Why did Rahab welcome the two Israeli spies?

2. Joshua 6:15-17, 22-25:

a. Did Rahab change her life after she knew the God of Israel?

b. Did she commit a “white “lie”? Give other Biblical examples.

3. Matthew 1:5: What is the significance of Rahab being one of the women listed in Jesus’ ancestry?

4. Hebrews 11:31: Why is Rahab included in the “heroes of the faith”?

5. James 2:25: Was Rahab justified by works?


1. Ruth 1:1-7: Why did Naomi and Elimelech go to Moab?

a. Who are the Moabites? (Gen 19:36-38)

b. Book of Ruth begins with death (Ruth 1:3-5) and ends with birth (Ruth 4:13)

2. Two things Israel needed:

a. 1:1: “Days when the judges ruled” (Jdg 17:6)

(1) Ruth conceives (Ruth 4:13)

(2) Produces an heir who will be king (Ruth 4:17-21)

b. What does the famine in Israel mean? (Deut 28:15-24)

(1) The LORD gives his people food (Lev. 19:9-10, laws on gleaning; Psa 37:21)

(2) Boaz lets her glean more than required by the law (Ruth 2:15-16).

(3) Because of their need for food, Ruth meets her kinsman-redeemer (Ruth 2:1-2), and her King-Redeemer (Ruth 4:13-17).

What is a kinsman-redeemer? (From Ligonier Ministries)

The concept of the kinsman-redeemer lies behind Ruth 3-4. The brother of a man who died childless in ancient Israel had to marry the widow left behind and father a son to carry on the dead man‘s name and care for his family (Gen. 38; Deut. 25:5-10). This implies that other male relatives could raise up an heir for a dead man who had no brother. A related law said relatives must buy back (redeem) the property of a kinsman who lost his land (Lev. 25:47-55). Naomi is about to lose Elimelech‘s land and has no son to care for her and Ruth (Ruth 4:1-4), and so she asks Ruth to pursue Boaz in Ruth 3:1-5 in order to keep the property and produce an heir.

Did Ruth have sexual relations with Boaz at the threshing floor?

1. What was Boaz’s prayer for Ruth? Compare Ruth 2:12; 3:9-10. “wings” in 3:9 can mean “the edge of your garment. So “spread your wings over your servant” may be Ruth’s proposal for marriage.

But what does it mean when God “spreads his wings” over Israel? Exodus 25:20; Deuteronomy 32:11; Psalm 17:8, 36:7; and Ezekiel 16:8.

2. Boaz calls Ruth “a worthy woman” or “a woman of excellence.” Compare with Proverbs 12:4; 31:10.

3. Why does Boaz praise her? (Ruth 3:10)

4. What steps did Boaz do, and what promises did he make to her (Ruth 3:10-15)?

5. What does the verb “lodge” mean in Ruth 1:16; 3:13 (same word translated as “lie down”)? (cf Josh 3:1).

5. Did Ruth do all that Naomi had commanded her?

Ultimately, Ruth is asking Boaz to be her husband, redeemer, and to give her a child. This was risky because it was then unheard of for women to propose marriage. Furthermore, her life would be in danger if she were to be found with a man at night and charged with adultery (Lev. 20:10). Ruth could have sought a younger man, but instead she looked to Boaz because she loved Naomi selflessly and desired her family to be redeemed. (from

NEXT LORD’S DAY (April 21, 2013): THE WIFE OF URIAH (Bathsheba) & MARY

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