Study Guide

The Book of Ruth Sadness

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Spoiler alert: the Book of Ruth is a bit of a bummer. It starts off with the death of three people and things get worse from there. Grief, separation, poverty—someone pass the tissues, please. But though a vein of sadness runs through this little tale, sunlight manages to peek its way through the clouds eventually. Sadness gives way to joy and, by the end, all is well and everyone's wifed up. Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more.

Questions About Sadness

  1. Which character has the most to feel sad about? Naomi? Ruth? Orpah? Someone else? Why do they win the pity party?
  2. How do Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah each act differently when their husbands die? What does that say about their characters?
  3. Naomi seems to wallow in her sadness a bit. Is this understandable, or is her misery a little over the top?

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