What folks just can't seem to get their head around is that you can be a Moabitess and an Israelite as well....from birth. This is the same as being an Israelite and a Galilean from birth:I can empathize with those who’ve spent their whole lives believing error; it’s very hard to dislodge all the bull durham that calcifies around the traditions of men, especially if you’ve spent any part of your life propagating it.
[Mark 14:70] And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
The same way I can be called a German....and an American as well. My wife....a native American Chippewa is also referred to a Californian....and an American. She was born in Indiana. Guess what they called her then? A Chippewa, Indi-anan Hoosier!
Ruth was born a few hundred years after Moses took possession of the Land of Moab to one of three tribes that he gave that land to (east of Jordan). Women born and raised in the Land of Moab could certainly be referred to as Moabitess.. They could also be called Gadites, Rebenites or Mannasseites....depending on where in the Land of Moab they dwelt. If they moved across the river to Galilee.....guess what they could be called then?
Put yourself in Naomi's shoes:
"Hey Elimelech....foods getting scarce here in Judah. Why don't we go live in that Heathen Kingdom across the dead sea for a few years. Oh....I know we'll have to pass through the "Fields of Moab" where there always seems to be plenty of food. You know....great grazing land for cattle and fertile fields surrounded by three rivers always flowing with fresh water. Good crops always as well!"
"You know....I hear those young Moabite women are really good lookers and I'm sure Mahlon and Kilion will really enjoy chasing after them.....maybe even marrying one of them."
"What's that about Moses? Oh......Deuteronomy 23........."
"Well you know 'ol Moses....always jokin' around. Remember the burning bush thing.......and the Red Sea parting? Yeah....funny, huh?
"Maybe we can stop in the "Fields of Moab" on the way back home for a "Big Mac"....or something."