Ruth, book of the Bible. It tells a story, set in the days of the judges, of the fidelity of a Moabite widow (Ruth) to her widowed mother-in-law (Naomi). After the death of her husband in Moab, Ruth returns with Naomi to Bethlehem. There Ruth marries Naomi's kinsman, Boaz. Boaz and Ruth were ancestors of David. This idyll is one of the most popular of scriptural stories. Dates before and after the 6th-century exile have been suggested, but it was probably composed between 450 B.C. and 300 B.C.
See studies by E. F. Campbell (1975); D. Atkinson (1983); and R. Hubbard Jr. (1988). See also bibliography under Old Testament.