Ruth and Esther Questions and Answers
Book of Ruth
Although both the books of Ruth and Esther are not together in the Bible, these two Bible books are both named after important women of the Bible. They are both smaller books, Ruth has four chapters and Esther has 10 chapters. So I combined the questions and answers on the books of Ruth and Esther into a single article.
Although Ruth and Esther were very different women, from different time periods, God used both of these wonderful ladies in a very special but vastly different ways.
What did Naomi do that God afflicted her? Honestly I don’t think that Naomi did anything. What she is referring to is that God took away her husband and both of her sons. This was a trial that she had to endure.
What does “rebuke her not”? This is in reference to Ruth. She was gleaning in the fields and Boaz did not want his workers to give her a hard time in any way. Actually he was telling his employees to give her protection. Women sometimes were assaulted or raped while they were gleaning in the fields and Boaz wanted his workers both to leave Ruth alone also to protect her from anyone that might try to harm her.
What exactly was Ruth asking Boaz to do in Ruth 3:18? Ruth asked Boaz to “spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid”. She was not asking him because she was cold, she was asking him to marry her. In Hebrew this phrase means “Spread thy wing” which is means taking a person into their protection, a metaphor from young birds who run under the wing of their mothers for protection from life threatening dangers. She was a single foreign woman who needed the protection of a husband.
Did Ruth give her child to Naomi? No, Naomi was just a doting and very helpful grandmother and perhaps nanny.
Where was Ramathaim-Zophim? This is also called Ramah. This was an ancient town that may have been located about 4 -5 miles from Jerusalem.
What is a threshing floor? A threshing floor is a hard flat surface area where wheat is beaten to separate the grain from the straw.
Finished with the questions and answers about the book of Ruth? Please leave any of your comments or questions on the book of Ruth below and continue with your Bible study in 1 Samuel.
Book of Esther
Was King Ahasuerus a good king? He was not a Godly king. He had a very quick and violent temper. He was very good in that the allowed and encouraged Nehemiah to go back to Jerusalem to build up its wall.
What happened to the first queen? Queen Vashti was removed from being queen. She could have been beheaded at the worst or she could have been divorced, stripped of her title and privileges. The Bible does not say what happened to her.
In Esther 2:23 who got hanged? Bigthan and Teresh were two of the king’s chamberlains and they were planning to assassinate the king. Mordecai found out about the assassination plot and told the king and then these guys were hung.
Why did Mordecai not bow? Bowing was a part of worship and Haman wanted to be worshipped. Mordecai would only worship God.
Was Esther a Jew? Yes. Esther and Mordecai were cousins and Mordecai was a Jew.
Who was Haman? Haman was a prince and he became a close advisor to the king. He was the “bad guy” in the story of Esther because he wanted to kill all of the Jews because he hated Mordecai so much. He didn’t know that the Queen was a Jew.
What are sackcloth? Sackcloth is very rough cloth. Think of today’s burlap – not a happy choice to make clothing from.
Why did they build a gallows? Haman built a gallows to hang Mordecai on because Mordecai would not reverence him.
Why did Esther want Haman hung? Haman devised a plot to kill all of the Jews in the province. This meant the all of Esther’s family and all of her people would die.
Why did the Jews in Shushan rise up? The king’s commandment for all of the Jews in the province to be killed could not be changed. So since that could not be changed, there was an amendment added that the Jews could defend themselves again all those who wanted to kill them. There were many Jews and those who wanted to kill the Jews were afraid of them.
What is pur? Pur is a way these people used by casting lots, in this instance it was used to determine the best date to kill all of the Jews.
Were the Jews were going to fight once a year? No they were just going to celebrate the one time fighting. This is like Americans celebrating the 4th of July. The Jews celebrated this wonderful deliverance and answer to prayer once a year as a national holiday called Purim.
When you are finished with the book of Esther, continue with Job chapters 1-14. Please leave any comments or questions below.