The story of Ruth takes place in the days of the judges. It was probably written down during David’s rule, unless the genealogy is a later addition. As Ruth is King David’s great grandmother, the events quite possibly took place in the time of Gideon.
Some have clouded the message of this OT gem by forcing typological interpretations on every detail of the story. The book is significant. But its value is found by understanding it in the context of its times, not by reading NT truths into its narrative.
Significance. Ruth provides important balance to the dreary picture of decline drawn in judges 17-21. Here we see that there are still pockets of faith in Israel; that in spite of general apostasy, some still live out God’s Law. The conversion of Ruth the Moabitess to the God of Israel shows what might have been, had all Israel wholly followed the Lord. For us, the story of Ruth is a welcome reminder that a godly life is possible, even when one lives in a sin saturated society.