Another view of life during the time of the Judges in Israel is found in the book of Ruth. Some individuals were still loyal to the LORD and His ways, staying away from local idols. The LORD worked secretly, testing the lives of his people. Leaders like Moses and Joshua were history.
Both immigration and communication between Judah and Moab were possible. Elimelech, for example, had left Bethlehem in Judah and resettled across the Dead Sea in Moab because of hard times - a famine - in Judah. He and his wife, Naomi, had brought their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. In due time, Elimelech died in Moab, and Naomi's two sons married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. After being in Moab about ten years, both of the widow Naomi's sons died.
Losing her relatives and friends in Bethlehem and her husband and sons in Moab didn't lessen Naomi's faith in the LORD. When she heard that He had once again provided food for His people, Naomi made preparations to return to Bethlehem. Naomi logically asked her daughter-in-laws why would they stay with her and lose their opportunity for remarriage and families of their own with their own people and their own gods and beliefs. One daughter agreed to return to her father's house. But Ruth had learned the law and the way of Israel. She now refused to leave Naomi, turning her back on her own people and their gods. Naomi's God would be her God and the Israelites would be her people.
Upon returning to Bethlehem, Naomi is poor and Ruth gleans in the fields according to the law. The LORD has led her to work in the field of one of Naomi's husband's relatives, Boaz, and during the harvest, Ruth learns about kinsman-redeemers. Even when Naomi's instructions seem strange, Ruth remains obedient. Boaz is one of two kinsman redeemers, and the older man is kind and proper to the young woman whose noble character had shown in her behavior in the fields. Following the law, Boaz took Ruth as his wife, and their first son, Obed, kept Elimelech's family line intact. Obed grew up and became the grandfather of King David.