The Book of Ruth: Introduction and Setting (Ruth 1:1-5)
Today we being a journey through the short OT book of Ruth. As I usually do when beginning a book study, I’d like to look at some introductory matters pertaining to the book. It’s good to get a bird’s eye view of the whole book before diving into the details. Let’s look at the forest before we begin looking at the trees.
The book of Ruth is a classic short story. Some people call it the best short story ever written. Many who are familiar with the book would agree that it is a delightful piece of literature, a true-to-life story beginning with great tragedy but ending with great joy. It’s only four chapters long and deals with only a few characters. The circumstances of the story reveal the personal character of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz.
And there’s good reasons to believe the work is historically accurate and true, not a work of fiction or legend. It describes real experiences of real people in real times at real places.
 Daniel Isaac Block, Judges, Ruth, vol. 6, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 603.