What does the Book of Ruth teach us?

“…the book of Ruth, an idle, bungling story, foolishly told, nobody knows by whom about a strolling country girl creeping slily to bed to her cousin Boaz. Pretty stuff indeed to be called the word of God! It is, however, one of the best books in the Bible, for it is free from murder and rapine.” -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason Part II (London, 1795), p. 23.

“This scroll tells us nothing of cleanliness or of uncleanliness, either of prohibition or permission. For what purpose, then, was it written? To teach how great is the reward of those who do deeds of kindness.” R. Ze’ira, Ruth R. II 14.

As cited in “Jewish Exegesis of the Book of Ruth” by DRG Beattie, p. 203.

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