Original Research

The message of the book Ruth: A reflection on Naomi’s traumatic journey to Mara and back

Raymond Potgieter, Hermanus Taute
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 54, No 1 | a2604 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v54i1.2604 | © 2020 Raymond Potgieter, Hermanus Taute | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 February 2020 | Published: 23 September 2020

About the author(s)

Raymond Potgieter, Department of Ecclesiology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Hermanus Taute, Portuguese Bible Institute, Tojal-Loures, Portugal; and Department of Old Testament, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


The book of Ruth is generally regarded as centring on the key figure of Ruth. It is claimed that this limits the narrative, influencing the interpretation. Several literary techniques suggest the author’s intentional focus on Naomi, her faith struggles and God’s gracious healing of an embittered mother. Whereas the paradigm of covenant faith and ḥesed [faithful love] feature prominently they do also highlight the spiritual transformation that came about for Naomi upon her return from Moab. The fullness and completed rest for Naomi continued consequentially to bear fruit for God’s people through the tribe of Judah. Historically, it confirmed the royal line of David which concluded with God’s Go’el [kinsman-redeemer].


Naomi; Mara; Ruth; Boaz; Goel; Shaddai; Yahweh; chesed; David.


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