RUTH, BOOK OF. The Book of Ruth is in serted in the Canon, according to the English arrangement, between the book of Judges and the books of Samuel, as a sequel to the former and an introduction to the latter. Among the ancient Jews it was added to the book of Judges, because they supposed that the transactions which it relates happened in the time of the judges of Israel (Judg. i :t). Several of the ancient fathers, moreover, make but one book of Judges and Ruth. But the modern Jews commonly place in their bibles, after the Pentateuch, the five Megilloth (t) The Song of Solomon; (2) Ruth; (3) The Lamentations of Jeremiah; (4) Ecclesiastes; (5) Esther. Sometimes Ruth is placed the first of these, sometimes the second, and sometimes the fifth.
(1) Date and Authorship. The true date and authorship of the book are alike unknown, though the current of authority is in favor of Samuel as the writer. That it was written at a time considerably remote from the events it records, would appear from the passage in ch. iv:7, which explains a custom referred to as having been the manner in former time in Israel concerning re deeming and concerning changing' (comp. Deut.
xxv:9). That it was written, also, at least as late as the establishment of David's house upon the throne, appears from the concluding verse—'And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.' The expression, moreover (ch. i:t), 'when the judges ruled,' marking the period of the occurrence of the events indicates, no doubt, that in the writer's days kings had already begun to reign. Add to this what critics have considered as certain Chal daisms with which the language is interspersed, denoting the composition at a period considerably later than that of the events themselves.
(2) Canonical Authority. The canonical authority of Ruth has never been questioned, a sufficient confirmation of it being found in the fact that Ruth, the Moabitess, comes into the genealogy of the Savior, as distinctly given by the Evangelist (Matt. i :6).
RYE (ri), (Heb. koos-seh'meth, A. V.
'fitches', Ezek. iv:91. The R. V. renders it 'spelt' (Is. xxviii :25 ; Exod. ix :32).