Sisters in Scripture

Sisters: Women in Scripture and their Relationships

Week Seven - Naomi

The Book of Ruth

What questions come to mind as you read Naomi’s story? Make a note of them to bring to our next gathering.

Do you know of any families like Naomi’s that are forced by poverty to move to a foreign land, and then marry natives of that land? What difficulties would you expect in such marriages?

After the loss of her husband and sons, Naomi went back to Bethlehem. It could no longer offer her the sanctuary of family for that was now gone. But she made the decision, in her grief, to move on. Can you recall a time of loss (e.g. motherhood or marriage ends, no means of support, nothing to define who you are), when you seemed to no longer be what you were before ( you were a "va-tisher,” a left-over or husk)? How did you respond?

Naomi made a special effort to see that Orpah and Ruth felt free to follow their own star rather than be tied down by obligation to care for her in her old age. Do you know an old person who has done the same? Or the opposite?

Israelite society provided for the poor by allowing them to glean grain after the harvesters. How does our society provide for the poor? Do you think we provide adequately?

The women of Bethlehem credit Ruth with Naomi’s happiness, the women name the baby and Ruth delivers the child to the arms of Naomi. How does this passage speak to you?

Though Naomi is widowed and childless, she acts in a way that brings hope to the future. She brings her wisdom to bear in advising Ruth, ensuring both her future and, eventually, her grandson’s. What better world do you wish for the next generation? Can you imagine ways to help bring that about?


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