Central Conference of American Rabbis

The vibrant Hebrew text from the Book of Ruth proclaims the birth of a son, Obed, to Ruth and Boaz. Obed was to become the grandfather of King David.

The widowed Ruth leaves behind her Moabite life and ways and journeys to Judah with her mother-in-law Naomi. While gleaning in the fields of Judah, Ruth attracts the favorable attention of Boaz, a kinsman of Naomi’s deceased husband. Eventually Boaz marries Ruth. The illustrated text relates the significance of the child born of this union between the convert Ruth and the native-born Boaz to the subsequent history of Israel: “And the women neighbors gave him a name, saying: ‘There is a son born to Naomi!’ They called his name Obed. He was the father of Jesse, father of David” (4:17). King David (lower right), the future ruler and genealogical descendant of Obed, is seated on his throne, plucking the harp strings. A horizontal strip of eleven female heads decorates the Hebrew word that means “the women neighbors.”