Ruth - Concordia Commentary

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This commentary focuses on the themes of God’s covenant; God’s loyalty, reflected in the lives of his faithful people; the theology of missions and evangelism; Boaz as a redeemer, prefiguring Jesus Christ; and the promise of eternal life.
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In this Volume

The most complex legal situation in the Bible, writes Dr. Wilch, comes in Ruth. A historical short story, Ruth presents theological truths not in abstract propositions or beatitudes, but in the narrative form of Naomi and Ruth’s struggle to ensure their own protection and inheritance. Dr. Wilch focuses on these formal themes while also exposing the nuances of the Hebrew in this original translation. Though a human driven narrative, Ruth is always providentially oriented. God provides for Ruth and Naomi throughout, and Ruth itself serves as a Messianic genealogy of sorts. The Davidic line comes through, of all people, the foreigner Ruth. In Ruth then, we find Christ, both as the direct descendant of Ruth and as the fulfilment of all Scriptures.


  • Dedicated sections on the Relevance of Ruth today, including teaching on prayer, fidelity, love, sexuality, and more.
  • An address on the textual history of Ruth and its place in the cannon
  • A Narrative overview of Ruth and the legal context

Additional Essays

  • Motifs of Redemption, Storytelling, Piety, and the Hidden God
  • Opposition and Defense of David in Ruth

View the rest of the series.

About the Author

Dr. John R. Wilch is emeritus professor of exegetical theology at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. He studied at Capitol University, Columbus, Ohio (B.A.), Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary, Columbus, Ohio (M.Div.), and Evangelische Fakultät, Universität Münster, Germany (D. Theol.).


“The commentator’s extensive literary analysis, Hebrew word studies and comprehensive exegesis show this to be a thoroughly Biblical commentary, faithful to the Lutheran Confessions, and of high scholarship. I would expect no less of a commentary published by Concordia Publishing House.

In addition, I found information on the historical setting of Ruth to be of great help in explaining the book to laity. In many ways, the journey of Naomi’s family reminded me of the dust bowl of the 1930’s and moving to California. Perhaps a better comparison between Moab and Israel might be Californians moving to Oklahoma back then! “

—Paul J. Cain, in Liturgy, Hymnody, and Pulpit Quarterly Book Review 2/2,93-94

About the Series

The Concordia Commentary Series: A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the Biblical text.

The series will cover all the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, with an original translation and meticulous grammatical analysis of the Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek of each text. The foremost interpretive lens centers on the unified proclamation of the person and work of Christ across every Scriptural book.

The Commentary fully affirms the divine inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture; Each passage bears witness to the confession that God has reconciled the world to Himself through the incarnation, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ His Son.

Authors expose the rich treasury of language, imagery, and thematic content of the Scripture, while supplementing their work with additional research in archaeology, history, and extrabiblical literature. Throughout, God’s Word emanates from authors careful attention and inculcates the ongoing life of the Church in Word, Sacrament, and daily confession.

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More Information
Books of BibleRuth
Section of BibleOld Testament, Historical Books
Biblical PeopleRuth
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