Ruth most likely comes from a moabite andor hebrew word meaning friendship. An overview of the book of ruth theology religion essay. The purpose of the book of ruth from the bible jack wellman. In the time of the judges, a famine arose in the land of israel, in consequence of which elimelech with noemi and their two sons emigrated from bethlehem of juda to the land of moab. To you who listen on the radio, you are sharing with us the services of the first baptist church in dallas. Its an intimate family tale of misfortune, crafty use of kinship ties, and ultimately, loyalty. The book of ruth can be divided into five pericopes chapters. As kirsten nielsen comments, most recent interpretations therefore agree that the book in some way has david and his family as its purpose and must therefore. It also allowed an appreciation for the beauty and complicity of the plot as unfolded by the author.
Since ruth was a moabite, she would have been allowed to glean parts of the leftover harvest since she was also a sojourner or stranger deut 24. The book of leviticus comes to life here, with its injunctions to leave part of the harvest for the needy, and with all of its concern and compassion for the underprivileged within the society. The story is told in the book of ruth, part of the biblical canon called ketuvim, or writings. This is the pastor bringing the early morning message entitled the spirit. The eschatological meaning of the book of ruth vol. This is the pastor bringing the early morning message entitled the spiritual meaning of the book of ruth. A host of commentators through the ages have observed that the book of ruth is a splendid example of the storytellers art morris, p. These include the historical background, prevailing conditions, main character, major argument, and major themes. She is the greatgrandmother of king david and hence an ancestor of the messiah. A dictionary of biblical tradtion in english literature.
Indeed, the book of ruth is a fresh breath of air after reading judges. Important genealogy in book of ruth royal dynasty of david. As we move from the book of judges to the book of ruth, a bright light suddenly shines against the dark backdrop of a morally corrupt time period. Ruth s story begins when an israelite woman, named naomi, and her husband, elimelech, leave their hometown of bethlehem. Ruth, naomi and boaz all occupy the stage in turn, and. Why is it that we read the book of ruth the story of a moabite woman who converted to judaism and who eventually married a judge of israel, boaz on shavuot, the holiday when we celebrate the giving of the torah at mount sinai. A discourse analysis of the hebrew bible zondervan. Some might think god was absent in the beginning of the book of ruth because of the death of naomis husband and her only. It explains like no other book in the bible, the role and mission of the kinsman redeemer. Star and city of bethlehem hold theological significance.
The hidden symbolism you never saw in the book of ruth bible. Ruth, biblical character, a woman who after being widowed remains with her husbands mother. A new translation with a philological commen tary and a formalistfolklorist interpretation, 2nd edition sheffield. Hals author see all formats and editions hide other formats and editions. The events in the book of ruth take place at the time of the festival of the barley harvest ruth 1. Zvi ron received semikha from the israeli rabbanut and his ph.
He shows in particular how ruth overflows with allusions to genesis. First, block notes how ruth contributes to our understanding of god in its portrayal of him. The book of ruth showed the israelites the blessings that obedience could bring. The theology of the book of ruth download ebook pdf, epub. The purpose of the book of ruth 163 the interestingstory purpose 164 the exemplary purpose 165 the theological purpose 166 the davidicancestry purpose 168 the legal purpose 170 6.
The book of ruth is so profound in its structure that it has induced a flood of literary analyses. A presupposition of this study is that the book s plot structure is comic monomythic. The book of ruth presents us with a beautiful story of family loyalty, love, hope, concern for the welfare and future of others, faithful friendship, integrity and culturalcommunal responsibility. May 14, 2002 why is it that we read the book of ruth the story of a moabite woman who converted to judaism and who eventually married a judge of israel, boaz on shavuot, the holiday when we celebrate the giving of the torah at mount sinai. The book of ruth has always been one of my favorite books of the bible. I enjoyed the authors discussion of the books literary style, canonical position of the book and the theological significance of the book of ruth. Old testament exegetical commentary of ruth youll meet.
Ruth is one of the most significant books in the old testament for the church. This is beautifully illustrated in the surprise ending of ruth, where we learn that these very ordinary folk became the ancestors of israels greatest king and, indeed, of the future messiah. The book of ruth is one of only two books of the bible to be named after women the other is esther. Introduction there are several aspects of the book of ruth which need to be preliminarily understood for the exegete to properly analyze and interpret the meaning of the book.
Hesed in the book of ruth is significant to the nigerian christians. Faithfulnessboth gods faithfulness to people and peoples faithfulness to godis enacted through work and its resulting fruitfulness. The story does not include angels, theophanies, key religious leaders or military triumphs. The hidden symbolism you never saw in the book of ruth,andrew wilson, alastair robert study from the bible and be encouraged to grow your faith. The book of ruth is one of the bibles shortest books, telling its story in just four chapters. Dec 15, 2010 although the star of bethlehem can be examined from a scientific perspective, it also has theological significance, as does the city itself. This was a time when the people of israel had abandoned gods ways and fallen into idolatry, horrific social conditions, and a disastrous civil war, as told in the chapters of judges immediately preceding the book of ruth in christian bibles. Mans ethiof cal be havior is premised on belief in an ethical creator. It reads more like a short story and the insight in it runs deep. Yet block argues, if any character in the book functions typologically as the messiah it should be obed ruth 4. The significance and application of the book of ruth. The biographical sketch of this godly young moabitess contains much information concerning the customs of the ancient near east and provides its readers with some valuable data regarding the ancestry of. The book of ruth is first and foremost about the covenant faithfulness of the lord to ensure the arrival of our redeemer, the lord jesus christ.
It has been compared to the story of joseph in the book of genesis for its beauty, the witness of the providence of god, its positive theme and its. The theology of the book of ruth chiasmus resources. The story begins with a famine in the days when the judges ruled ruth 1. Even though its small, this remarkable book contains many principles with profound impact to our lives today. Boaz responded favorably, but he knew of an even closer male relative who would be first in line to redeem ruth and her familys property. Conclusions about the book of ruth bible commentary. The book of ruth presents a powerful story of god at work, directing events from all sides to take care of his people, and more importantly, to accomplish his purposes. It does not mention the institutions of israels religion, such as tabernacle and prophecy. For example, the theme of marriage occupies much of the story, but when viewed as an idealized romance between faithful ruth and godly boaz, the rich theology of this book passes right under the noses of many of its admirers. The book of ruth study guide biblical christianity. Famine drove elimelechs family from the land of judah.
The purpose of this study is not to explore the book s many intriguing literary angles, but to consider just its plot structure. The book of ruth has undoubtedly received its fair share of undervaluation at this point. Some might think god was absent in the beginning of the book of ruth because of the death of naomis husband and her only two sons ruth 1. The book of ruth tells the extraordinary story of gods faithfulness to israel in the. The story of ruth is different from many of the other theological texts in the ot.
Dec 24, 2018 according to the biblical book of ruth, ruth was a moabite woman who married into an israelite family and eventually converted to judaism. Yet close analysis of the themes of the book show that the story of ruth can still speak to the modern reader. Block also contends, theologically, the most significant statement in the book, may be naomis response to ruths first visit to boaz field in 2. Ruth s story is celebrated during the jewish festival of shavuot. Before the story is about this couple, it is about god.
The story is told in the book of ruth, part of the biblical canon. Best ruth commentaries updated for 2020 best bible. God bestows his blessing of productivity through human labor fruits of your labor. These sections are briefly dealt with here and will be applied to. From a historical point of view, ruth is a crucial hinge in the story of israel, marking the transition from the age of. Watching him provide for naomi and ruth, two widows with little prospects for a future, we learn. While only four chapters long, there is so much meaning in the hebrew that is lost in the various translations out today. However, even if the date does not match exactly with the conclusion of judges, the author is definitely pointing us back to judges and to something that occurred in that time. The book of ruths author is never mentioned but it was not written by ruth. Paul seminary school of divinity, about bethlehem and the star. Although the star of bethlehem can be examined from a scientific perspective, it also has theological significance, as does the city itself.
Dec 15, 2015 the book begins with a very good introduction to the book of ruth. This book demonstrates that god responds to his peoples cry. The dialectic of countertestimony and core testimony. This book is also an essential prerequisite to understanding the book of revelation. Some bible scholars believe it was written by samuel but years before david became king as it refers to a former time so the date may have been around 1010 b. Gods blessing is the source of human productivity blessing that you have received from the lord. Jan 10, 2018 the book of ruth is one of the bibles shortest books, telling its story in just four chapters. Yhwh is loyal to his covenantsnot because he has to be loyal, but because he chooses to be loyal. It showed them the loving, faithful nature of their god. As he explains, ruth herself expressed a theological awareness only in her first speech, referring to god by the generic designation, deity. The book was written sometime after bc 1010 since that was when david took the throne of israel. If you said boaz, youd be in good company since many have linked the messianic significance of ruth to boaz, the goel, as a typological foreshadowing of jesus the christ, our redeemer.
The book of ruth furnishes a panorama of gods sovereignty in everyday life, especially in the three most important needs of ancient near eastern people. You will also find options for commentaries on ruth that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the bible, commentaries that approach the scripture versebyverse, classic christian commentaries, and much more. The theology of the book of ruth paperback january 1, 1969 by ronald m. Here are just a few of the smaller things i learned about ruth from knowing biblical hebrew. An expressly theological reading of the biblical book of ruth in this commentary james mckeown approaches the book of ruth as part of the whole canon of scripture, exploring not only the content of the book itself but also its relationship to other biblical books.
Furthermore the book of ruth has a long and broad history of interpretation. The hidden symbolism you never saw in the book of ruth. If we are correct about the date of the book, then it fits perfectly with how the book of judges ends and how ruth s story begins. Jan 02, 2020 ruth had an open mind and a teachable spirit, so she listened to her motherinlaw and did as she had requested ruth 3. What i learned about the book of ruth from biblical hebrew.
Ruth is both one of the easiest books to read in hebrew and yet the most professionally written. The story of ruth offers vital lessons to every generation and has enjoyed nearly universal acceptance by biblical scholars and critics throughout the centuries. Important genealogy in book of ruth royal dynasty of. Introduction to the book of ruth bible commentary theology of. The hidden symbolism you never saw in the book of ruth,andrew wilson, alastair robert study from the bible and be encouraged to grow. The catholic spirit recently interviewed father scott carl, assistant professor of sacred scripture at st. The book of ruth as an exemplar for faith communities cbe. The book of ruth s author is never mentioned but it was not written by ruth. Click download or read online button to get the theology of the book of ruth book now.
Literary structure in the book of ruth ancient path. Together these passages establish a theological foundation for the events in the book of ruth. The theology of the book of ruth the theology of the book of ruth prinsloo, w. Jul 16, 2015 he begins with a short twelvepage introduction to the book of ruth, although the bulk of the introduction is a summary of the plot of the book. And ruth the moabite said to naomi, let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight i shall find favor. Youll find all this and more in the book of ruth well, sort of. The book of ruth contains one of the bibles bestknown and mostloved stories.
Book of ruth overview insight for living ministries. The levirate and goel institutions in the old testament. It expresses how good and faithful yhwh is to his promises. However, god is very active throughout the book of ruth. This article represents an effort to illustrate the issue and to carry the debate further. Ruth, theology of bakers evangelical dictionary of. Inasmuch as focus here is on the literary patterns and their significance, it is beyond the scope of this article to delve into questions of authorship, date, provenance. Its story of gods concern for two widows and of ruth s devotion to her motherinlaw and first husband is inspiring and fore. Oct 09, 2014 the book of ruth is one a book of great significance. Rossow, literary artistry in the book of ruth and its theological significance, concordia journal 17 1991. Torah commentators offer two major theses to explain the custom.
The book of ruth does not have miracles or revelations. Before attempting to study revelation 5, you need to understand the book of ruth. Why is this sowhy are biblical scholars so uncharacteristically agreed in. Concerning the theology of the book of ruth it is impor. Its main character is a moabite woman named ruth, the daughterinlaw of a jewish widow named naomi. At the beginning of the book, readers are introduced to naomi. Against the dark moral and ethical backdrop of the judges period, the foreigner ruth emerges as a paradigm of loyal love and of the kind of person the lord is looking for to populate his covenant community. Since the goal of the commentary is a theological reading of the book of ruth, some of the more technical critical questions are unimportant. Genealogically, ruth looks back almost 900 years to events in the time of jacob 4. An introduction to the literature of the old testament. The theology of the book of ruth download ebook pdf. The book of ruth tells a touching story of the love and devotion of an ancestor of david and jesus christ.
A literary analysis of this book enabled an enlightenment of the story development as well as the character development, which revealed the overarching and secondary messages of the book of ruth. Yet all other characters identified god by his personal covenant name, yhwh. Finally, some have overemphasized the theological significance of the kinsmanredeemer goel in ruth. It also refers to a former time in israel, indicating it was written years after the actual events. One of the most inspiring messages of the book of ruth is that a person who displays selfless compassion will be rewarded in the end. The book of ruth derives its name from its principal character. Structural symmetry and its significance in the book of ruth.
The book of ruth is one a book of great significance. The book of ruth tells the extraordinary story of gods faithfulness to israel in the life and work of three ordinary people, naomi, ruth and boaz. Prinsloo pretoria the publication of new theologies of the old testament again raises the question of the methodology of such a theology. Contents the incidents related in the first part of the book of ruth iiv, 17 are briefly as follows. Literary structure and theology in the book of ruth digital.
Naomi and the goel 181 the discovery of a goel, ruth 2. The author believes that ruth was written in the late seventh century and for me this is rather late. Ruth was a descendant of lot, abrahams nephew, and therefore, a gentile. Its story of gods concern for two widows and of ruths devotion to her motherinlaw and first husband is inspiring and fore. Though its sometimes billed as a biblical love story, ruth isnt really about finding that one special shmoopie you cant live without. Although some sources credit samuel the prophet, samuel died before davids kingship, which is alluded to at the end of the book date written. The book of ruth has the records of a gentile woman who came to live among the people of israel and became the greatgrandmother of david, isreal greatest king. The book of ruth demonstrates gods love for the gentiles, even in a period of history when the hebrew people were given prominence due to their role in gods redemptive plan for humanity. The theological emphasis of ruth can be summed up by two key words kindness hesed and kinsmanredeemer goel. Ruth, theology of the book of ruth furnishes a panorama of gods sovereignty in everyday life, especially in the three most important needs of ancient near eastern people. Unceasing kindness strives to explore the vast landscape of various biblical theological interpretations of ruth while evaluating which interpretations are sound with some advice on which interpretive methods to take. He is an educator living in neve daniel, israel and the author of sefer katan ve.
The theology of the book of ruth, vetus testamentum 10. Thus seen, the book of ruth provides its readers with a light of spiritual faithfulness in a period of otherwise spiritual darkness. The book of ruth is one of the most wellcrafted pieces of literature in the old testament. Despite its lesser status within the jewish canon 1 and the christian bible, 2 the narrative of ruth is well known.930 1035 292 1051 1379 782 897 404 1033 1344 387 1083 853 368 117 768 114 47 686 715 85 60 1067 362 450 387 444 510 48 718 1072 1094 355 1037 965 270 1405 297 698 226 902 591 479 889 722 472