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What are the wedding vows of Ruth 1 16?

Wedding vows are a significant part of the wedding ceremony, representing the commitment between two individuals. These vows come in different styles and formats depending on culture, religion, or the couple’s preference. One of the most popular and enduring examples of wedding vows comes from the book of Ruth in the Bible. Specifically, Ruth 1:16 contains a beautiful and inspirational declaration of commitment. This blog post will explore the meaning and significance of the wedding vows of Ruth 1:16.

Background to the vows

The story of Ruth and Naomi is one of the most heartwarming and inspiring tales of devotion and loyalty. The story is set in the time of judges in Israel, during a period of famine. Naomi, her husband Elimelech, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, moved to Moab, hoping to find a better life. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when Naomi’s husband died, and her two sons married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. Eventually, Mahlon and Chilion also died, leaving all three women widowed.

Facing a bleak future and with no means to support themselves, Naomi decided to return to her homeland. She encouraged Orpah and Ruth to stay behind and find new husbands among their own people. Orpah agreed, but Ruth refused, and instead, she declared her loyalty to Naomi. It is at this moment that Ruth makes her famous wedding vow.

The Vow

The wedding vow found in Ruth 1:16 states, “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.”

Let us examine and break down the vow.

“Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee.”

The opening line is a statement of devotion and unwavering loyalty. Ruth begs Naomi not to ask her to leave her side or turn back home. This sentence sets the stage for the rest of the vow, making it clear that Ruth is committed to seeing this journey through to the end, no matter what.

“For whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge.”

In this line, Ruth reaffirms her commitment to follow Naomi. Wherever she goes, Ruth will go, and wherever she sleeps, Ruth will sleep. This statement suggests that Ruth’s commitment is not just physical but goes much deeper.

“Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.”

This is the most poignant and powerful line of the vow. The statement signifies that Ruth is willing to break all ties with her own people and adopt Naomi’s people as her own. Ruth is not just leaving behind her home, but she is leaving behind her culture, religion, and everything she has known to attach herself to Naomi. The vow’s conclusion is a powerful statement of faith, declaring that Naomi’s God will be her own.

The significance of the vow

Ruth’s vow is remarkable in many ways. Firstly, it embodies the idea of unconditional love and loyalty that is central to any healthy relationship. The vow serves as a testament to the bond that can exist between individuals who make a commitment to one another. Ruth’s vow represents the depth of her dedication to Naomi as well as her willingness to leave behind everything she has always known to be with the one she loves.

Secondly, the vow symbolizes a life transformed. Ruth is no longer regarded as a foreigner, but as one of Naomi’s own people. She has left everything behind and has embraced a new way of living. This transformation is reflected in her willingness to serve Naomi and follow her wherever she goes. Ruth’s vow is an act of devotion and love that extends beyond her immediate circle and sets the stage for a new life.

Finally, the vow is a declaration of faith. Ruth declares that Naomi’s God will be her God, symbolizing her willingness to accept Naomi’s spiritual commitments in addition to her physical ones. Her faith demonstrates her willingness to put her trust in a higher power and believe in something greater than herself.


The wedding vow found in Ruth 1:16 is a beautiful testimony to the power of love, loyalty, transformation, and faith. It highlights the importance of making a commitment to another individual and the transformative nature of this act. Ruth’s vow represents the strength of the bond that exists between individuals who are willing to set themselves aside in service of each other. It is a declaration of undying love and willingness to do whatever it takes to see a journey through to the end.


What Bible verse is the wedding vows?

The Bible is known for containing scriptures that discuss various topics, including marriage. One of the verses often used in wedding ceremonies is Genesis 2:24, which says, “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This verse highlights the idea of marriage being a sacred union between a man and a woman, bound together in a lifelong partnership.

This scripture from the book of Genesis is usually considered the foundation for the wedding vows. It defines marriage as a divine institution, instituted by God. The verse implies that marriage is an institution that is supposed to be respected and upheld by society, as it is part of God’s plan for humanity.

The phrase “hold fast” in the verse refers to the strength and determination that a husband and wife should have in maintaining their commitment to each other. It means that they should stick together through thick and thin, in joy and sorrows, and in all of life’s circumstances. The phrase “become one flesh” implies that a husband and wife are no longer two individuals, but instead are united as one, in mind, heart, and body.

Genesis 2:24 serves as a vital foundation for wedding vows, providing a biblical framework for the concept of marriage as a divine institution. Couples who commit to this verse in their wedding vows are affirming their intentions to build a lifelong partnership that is based on love, honor, and mutual respect. This verse serves as a reminder that God has ordained marriage and that it is a holy union that should be treated with reverence and respect.

What vow did Ruth make to Naomi?

In the Old Testament Book of Ruth, we see a beautiful story of love, loyalty, and devotion. Ruth was a Moabite woman who had married Naomi’s son, but unfortunately, he and his brother died. Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, decided to return to her homeland of Bethlehem after her husband and sons passed away. Ruth made a bold decision to accompany her mother-in-law and not go back to her parents’ home in Moab.

In the journey, Naomi urged Ruth to leave her and find a new husband. However, Ruth refuses, and instead, she makes an oath to Naomi that is one of the most beautiful and inspiring in all of the Bible. She vows to remain with Naomi and not leave her side, even in the face of danger and adversity. In Ruth 1:16-17, she says, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely if even death separates you and me.”

Ruth’s oath to Naomi is significant for several reasons. First, it shows the depth of her loyalty and devotion to her mother-in-law. In a time when women relied heavily on men for survival and protection, Ruth took a bold step to support and serve Naomi, putting her own safety and security at risk. Second, Ruth’s vow demonstrates her understanding and acceptance of the Israelite God. She was willing to abandon her own religious beliefs to embrace Naomi’s God, showing her commitment to her mother-in-law and her faith.

Ruth’S vow to Naomi is a poignant reminder of the power of love and loyalty. Ruth’s choice to stay with Naomi was not an easy one, but she made it because of her strong sense of commitment and her understanding of the importance of caring for family members in need. Her words continue to inspire and move readers, both for their beauty and for what they represent: a selfless and sacrificial love that transcends all obstacles.

What promise did Boaz make to Ruth?

Boaz, a man of wealth and status, owned a field in Bethlehem where Ruth, a young widow from Moab, had come to glean after following her mother-in-law, Naomi. Boaz noticed Ruth and showed her kindness, even instructing his workers to leave extra grain for her to collect. Impressed by his generosity, Naomi encouraged Ruth to pursue Boaz as a potential husband.

One day, Naomi sent Ruth to visit Boaz at the threshing floor, where he was spending the night with his workers. Ruth followed Naomi’s instructions to “uncover his feet”, which was likely an invitation to have relations with him. Boaz recognized Ruth’s intention and praised her for her loyalty to Naomi and for choosing him as a potential husband.

Boaz promised to take care of Ruth, including providing her with protection and food, and to ensure that she was taken care of for the rest of her life. This was a symbolic acceptance of marriage, as Boaz was essentially agreeing to become Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer, a custom in which a close relative would marry a widow to ensure that she was provided for and that her deceased husband’s line would continue.

Boaz’s promise to Ruth was not only a gesture of kindness towards a vulnerable widow, but it also demonstrated his faithfulness to the covenant with God and his commitment to upholding the social and moral values of Israelite society. In the end, Ruth and Boaz married and had a son named Obed, who was the grandfather of King David. The story of Ruth and Boaz is a well-known biblical example of true love, faithfulness, and redemption.

How did Ruth propose marriage to Boaz?

The biblical book of Ruth recounts the story of a young Moabite widow named Ruth who, after losing her husband, decided to stay with her mother-in-law, Naomi, as she returned to Bethlehem, Israel. During their time in Bethlehem, Ruth met a wealthy landowner named Boaz who owned fields that she worked in to provide for herself and her mother-in-law. It was through working in his fields that Ruth and Boaz grew closer and eventually fell in love.

However, in ancient Israel, marriages were arranged by families and it was uncommon for a woman to propose to a man. But, with the encouragement of Naomi, Ruth decided to make a bold move and propose marriage to Boaz. In doing so, she showed immense courage and took her fate into her own hands.

According to the book of Ruth, Ruth went to Boaz one night while he was sleeping and lay at his feet. This act symbolized her request to become his wife. When Boaz woke up and saw her, he was surprised and asked her what she wanted. Ruth replied with a proposal, saying “Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer” (Ruth 3:9).

In essence, Ruth was asking Boaz to take her under his protection and care as his wife, thus providing an heir to her deceased husband’s line. Boaz was pleased with Ruth’s proposal and reassured her that he would do what he could to make sure their marriage would happen, but that there was another kinsman who had a closer claim to marry her.

Boaz followed the procedures of the law of Moses by first inviting the nearer kinsman to marry Ruth. When the kinsman declined, Boaz married Ruth in front of witnesses and gave her a son, Obed, who would become the grandfather of King David.

Ruth’S proposal to Boaz was a significant moment in biblical history and demonstrated her bravery, loyalty, and devotion to both Boaz and her family.

What is the message of the broken marriage vow?

Marriage is supposed to be a lifelong commitment between two individuals who love and care for each other, but sometimes, promises are broken, and vows are forgotten. The message of a broken marriage vow is a powerful reminder of the impact that broken promises can have on a person’s life and relationships.

When someone breaks a marriage vow, it can result in pain, anguish, and a sense of betrayal for the person who was promised love and loyalty. However, it is important to remember that in the midst of the deepest suffering, there is often the greatest potential for growth and strength.

Jill’s story is a poignant example of this message. She was devastated when her husband of 20 years left her for another woman, but through her pain and heartache, she found the courage to pick up the pieces of her life and start again. As Jill discovered, the end of a marriage does not mean the end of your life or your happiness.

Instead, a broken marriage vow can be a turning point in your life. It can be an opportunity to reassess your priorities, rediscover your inner strength, and find a new sense of purpose. For some people, this may mean finding new friends and hobbies, while for others, it may mean exploring a new career or pursuing a lifelong dream.

The message of a broken marriage vow is not one of despair but one of hope. It is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is always the potential for growth, healing, and transformation. By embracing this message, we can find the strength to move forward and create a new, brighter future for ourselves.

What is the blessing in the Book of Ruth?

The Book of Ruth is a beautiful, heartwarming story of love, loyalty, and redemption set in the context of the ancient world. It tells the story of a young Moabite woman named Ruth who, after being widowed, remains with her mother-in-law, Naomi, and becomes a part of the people of Israel.

One of the most meaningful and memorable aspects of the Book of Ruth is the blessing that appears in Ruth 2:12. It is particularly significant because it expresses the assurance that God is at work to provide for his people, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

The blessing itself is a prayer of thanksgiving and petition that is spoken by Boaz, a wealthy landowner and the kinsman-redeemer of Ruth and Naomi. In Ruth 2:12, Boaz says, “May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!”

The first part of the blessing, “May the Lord reward you for your deeds,” acknowledges the goodness and faithfulness of Ruth and speaks of the just and generous nature of God. Ruth had shown great loyalty to Naomi and had worked tirelessly to provide for them both, gleaning in the fields and giving generously from what she had. Boaz recognized this and prayed that God would reward her for her hard work and devotion.

The second part of the blessing, “May you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge,” speaks of the shelter and protection that God provides for his people. The image of “coming under the wings” of God is a powerful metaphor for finding safety, comfort, and care in the presence of God. It is a reminder that those who trust in God will never be abandoned or left to fend for themselves.

The blessing in Ruth 2:12 is a testimony to the love, faithfulness, and provision of God. It points to the reality that God is always at work, even in the midst of difficult circumstances, to bring about good for those who trust in him. It is a reminder that we can trust in God’s love and care, no matter what we may face in life.