Short Stories: Ruth, Jonah, Esther

Included in the Writings, the Hebrew Bible’s three short stories – Ruth, Jonah, and Esther – are stand-alone prose narratives.


Widowed without children, Ruth opts to remain at her mother-in-law’s side. In the end, she marries her first husband’s distant kinsman, Boaz.

  • Ruth 1: After a family tragedy, Naomi and her Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth, are left alone together.
  • Ruth 2: While gleaning in the fields, Ruth meets Boaz,
  • Ruth 3: Ruth and Boaz meet at night on the threshing floor.
  • Ruth 4: Ruth and Boaz marry.
  • [Addition: Concluding thought on Ruth.]


Rather than having been written by a prophet, as are the other books included in the Prophets section of the Hebrew Bible, Jonah is a story about a prophet. When Jonah is called to deliver God’s message, he initially refuses and attempts to run away from God’s assignment.

  • Jonah 1
  • Jonah 2
  • Jonah 3
  • Jonah 4


Esther, a diaspora Jew in the Persian court, is brought into the royal harem and eventually made queen. She uses her position to save the diaspora Jews in Persia from the scheming of Haman.

  • Esther 1
  • Esther 2
  • Esther 3
  • Esther 4
  • Esther 5
  • Esther 6
  • Esther 7
  • Esther 8
  • Esther 9
  • Esther 10

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