Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Conclusions on Ruth...

Sigh. Ruth. Translating Ruth from Jonah.

It was better, in the beginning, because it was a story about girls. Basically, Ruth demands to go back with Naomi, to Naomi's home town, after their husbands die. Ruth, wanting to care for her mother-in-law, goes to a field and picks up the leftover grain- the scraps of grain after the grain picked for the owners by the help. She is noticed by Boaz, who happens to be related to Naomi through her husband. He kind of summons her or something and she asks just for the scraps and then he's like "no, please take my grain and eat and hang out with my female servants." So he's kind of taking care of her, because she's hot, and he's keeping her honor because he makes sure she only hangs out with the women so that no one hassles her.
Then Ruth, flattered and impressed but still all meek and mild, goes home to Naomi to tell her about what happened. And Naomi is all excited. She says, "Go get dressed up and perfumed, and then go, in secrecy, to where he is working. He's kind of related to us, by the way." (But not in an incestual way.)
And Ruth (kind of a pushover), goes to Boaz who is indeed working hard. He falls asleep after drinking and working. I think he is basically almost passed out. So Ruth goes to his "feet". Meaning his feet? You decide.
So she uncovers his "feet" and he wakes up and finds her and is like "who are you?" And she says "I'm your female servant". I don't have my notes and translations in front of me but he basically says "I know about how you were loyal to your mother-in-law after all the men in your family died. Let me give you some grain, go before anyone sees you. Don't tell anyone about this- I'm not only guy related to Naomi who could buy you and your land."
And Ruth leaves, discretely, to tell Naomi exactly what she was told to not say!
The next day, Boaz finds this other guy who could buy Ruth (yeah, I guess you bought the land and the wife...) and says "Hey there is this land and some women, and you are entitled to it because you are related. But if you don't want to buy it, let me know." So the guy thinks about it and says "I'm not going to buy it. I don't want to ruin my reputation". And So Boaz buys Naomi's land and basically Ruth, who will be his wife.
So Ruth and Boaz are married, and Ruth has a baby who is given immediately to Naomi. And Naomi is listed as basically the wetnurse of this baby. Which is kind of freaky and gross. And the baby is blessed and Naomi is blessed and this is setting the stage for a few generations in the future for being related to King David, who is HUGE in Judiasm and in Christianity.

But it's kind of freaky- the "feet" aka unmentionables, the fact that Ruth does everything that everyone around her tells her to do- she doesn't even name her baby, and the baby being nursed by his grandma.

So where does God fit in? Well, Ruth isn't a believer in God until she follows Naomi. And her choice to do that probably has something to do with her being cared for by Boaz. If she didn't take that leap of faith, God wouldn't have saved her. So is it a challenge for people to take the leap of faith to follow God? (Pushy mother-in-law aside...) I still prefer this book to Jonah, but I still also wish that my Hebrew professor would try to go into theology even a little instead of being only interested in grammar.

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