Background on Ruth from the book intro link above: “The story is set in the time of the judges, a time characterized in the book of Judges as a period of religious and moral degeneracy, national disunity and frequent foreign oppression. The book of Ruth reflects a time of peace between Israel and Moab (contrast Jdg 3:12-30). Like 1Sa 1-2, it gives a series of intimate glimpses into the private lives of the members of an Israelite family. It also presents a delightful account of the remnant of true faith and piety in the period of the judges, relieving an otherwise wholly dark picture of that era. … As an episode in the ancestry of David, the book of Ruth sheds light on his role in the history of redemption.” Coolness.
Judges: ch. 1 Apparently mutilating p.o.w.s in the ancient Near East was common because it rendered them unfit for military service. They are fighting against Jerusalem again because they do not yet inhabit it until David captures it. Othniel, Caleb’s nephew, wins Caleb’s daughter by capturing Debir (Othniel goes on to be the first judge). She asks her father for a field and springs of water and gets them (those springs are still there in Hebron). There’s all this fighting and they can’t completely drive out the Canaanites (study notes give various reasons). There is an unnamed man who helps them attack Bethel, as did Rahab. The Canaanites who remained became subject to forced labor. ch. 2 Israel is rebuked by the Angel of the Lord for not driving out the Canaanites and for making covenants with them. Joshua’s death is mentioned again, then the cycle of the time of the judges is introduced: rebellion, being plundered, being delivered by a judge God raises up. Ch.3:1-8 is a list of Canaanites left in the land to test Israel, ending in Israel’s first idolatrous rebellion after Joshua’s death. God sells them into the hands of the king of Mesopotamia, who they serve 8 years.
Ruth: Naomi’s husband and sons die, so she wants to return to Judah because she heard God was blessing Judah with food. She urges her daughters-in-law to go back to their families as she is too old to have more male children for them to eventually marry. Setting up the empty-to-full theme.