Jesse Tree Day 12: Ruth

Hello again and welcome to our Advent devotional… an Illustrated Jesse Tree! Today, we are going to read together about another unlikely ancestor of Jesus… Ruth! Originally a foreigner, she accepts the God of Israel after numerous tragedies. This particular reading is all about her decision to accept god, no matter what!

Anyway, I am using the Douay Rheims version, and so the names might be a little different, since the translators for the Douay Rheims version decided to opt for the Latinized names instead of the Anglicized names. And so, “Noemi” is more commonly spelled as “Naomi.”

I hope you enjoy!


Ruth

A Reading from the Book of Ruth (Ruth 1:1-22)

In the days of one of the judges, when the judges ruled, there came a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem Juda, went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons.

He was named Elimelech, and his wife, Noemi: and his two sons, the one Mahalon, and the other Chelion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Juda. And entering into the country of Moab, they abode there.

And Elimelech the husband of Noemi died: and she remained with her sons.

And they took wives of the women of Moab, of which one was called Orpha, and the other Ruth. And they dwelt there ten years.

And they both died, to wit, Mahalon and Chelion: and the woman was left alone, having lost both her sons and her husband.

And she arose to go from the land of Moab to her own country with both her daughters in law: for she had heard that the Lord had looked upon his people, and had given them food.

Naomi with her Daughters-in-Law, by Henry Nelson O'Neil, c. 1844. Royal Collection Trust, London, United Kingdom.
Naomi with her Daughters-in-Law, by Henry Nelson O’Neil, c. 1844. Royal Collection Trust, London, United Kingdom.

Wherefore she went forth out of the place of her sojournment, with both her daughters in law: and being now in the way to return into the land of Juda,

She said to them: Go ye home to your mothers: the Lord deal mercifully with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.

May he grant you to find rest in the houses of the husbands which you shall take. And she kissed them. And they lifted up their voice and began to weep,

And to say: We will go on with thee to thy people.

But she answered them: Return, my daughters: why come ye with me? have I any more sons in my womb, that you may hope for husbands of me?

Return again, my daughters, and go your ways: for I am now spent with age, and not fit for wedlock. Although I might conceive this night, and bear children,

If you would wait till they were grown up, and come to man’s estate, you would be old women before you marry. Do not so, my daughters, I beseech you: for I am grieved the more for your distress, and the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.

Naomi and her Daughters, by George Dawe, c. 1803. Tate Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
Naomi and her Daughters, by George Dawe, c. 1803. Tate Gallery, London, United Kingdom.

Wherefore she went forth out of the place of her sojournment, with both her daughters in law: and being now in the way to return into the land of Juda,

She said to them: Go ye home to your mothers: the Lord deal mercifully with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.

May he grant you to find rest in the houses of the husbands which you shall take. And she kissed them. And they lifted up their voice and began to weep,

And to say: We will go on with thee to thy people.

But she answered them: Return, my daughters: why come ye with me? have I any more sons in my womb, that you may hope for husbands of me?

Return again, my daughters, and go your ways: for I am now spent with age, and not fit for wedlock. Although I might conceive this night, and bear children,

If you would wait till they were grown up, and come to man’s estate, you would be old women before you marry. Do not so, my daughters, I beseech you: for I am grieved the more for your distress, and the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.

Ruth Swearing Her Allegiance to Naomi, by Jan Victors, c. 1653. Private collection.
Ruth Swearing Her Allegiance to Naomi, by Jan Victors, c. 1653. Private collection.

Then Noemi, seeing that Ruth was steadfastly determined to go with her, would not be against it, nor persuade her any more to return to her friends:

So they went together and came to Bethlehem. And when they were come into the city, the report was quickly spread among all: and the women said: This is that Noemi.

Ruth Goes to Bethlehem with Naomi, by Jacob Pynas, c. 1650. Private collection.
Ruth Goes to Bethlehem with Naomi, by Jacob Pynas, c. 1650. Private collection.

But she said to them: Call me not Noemi, (that is, beautiful,) but call me Mara, (that is, bitter,) for the Almighty hath quite filled me with bitterness.

I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me back empty. Why then do you call me Noemi, whom the Lord hath humbled and the Almighty hath afflicted?

Ruth and Boaz, by George Frederic Watts, c.1835-37. Tate, London, United Kingdom.
Ruth and Boaz, by George Frederic Watts, c.1835-37. Tate, London, United Kingdom.

So Noemi came with Ruth the Moabitess her daughter in law, from the land of her sojournment: and returned into Bethlehem, in the beginning of the barley harvest.

Ruth in Boaz's Field, by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, c. 1828. National Gallery, London, England.
Ruth in Boaz’s Field, by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, c. 1828. National Gallery, London, England.

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of four, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer.

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