Ruth: Commentary on the Hebrew and English Text

People who study Hebrew with the Nerd end up translating the book of Ruth fairly quickly in the course of their education. Originally the Nerd picked Ruth thinking the Hebrew in this book was easy and straightforward for new students. This has turned out not to be the case. But the real reason for making Ruth the first book his students disentangle is that the book of Ruth speaks to us with meaning for our lives.

In these articles, the Nerd will introduce and comment on the full text of Ruth, Hebrew and English. Students will find help here. Potential students will (hopefully) find reason to sign up for classes with the Nerd here. Lovers of the Hebrew Bible will find soul-food here.

To read sections and chapters of the Nerd’s Ruth commentary click on the linked headings (the ones with bold, green, large text) below. If you see headings that are not bold, green, large text, this means the Nerd hasn’t written these sections yet but will soon. (“Soon” is a relative term).


Introduction to Ruth as a Book of Chesed.

Levirate Marriage, Redemption, and Ruth

Characters and Characterization in Ruth

Some Distinct Jewish and Christian Readings in Ruth


Ruth 1:1


Ambiguity and Translation: The “Judging of the Judges” in Ruth 1:1


Ruth 1:2-7





study with the Nerd