8 pages/≈2200 words
Religion & Theology
EXEGESIS OF THE BOOK OF RUTH (Essay Sample)
the task was about critical INTERPRETATION and explanation of the text. the sample is about EXeGESIS of ruth source..
EXEGESIS OF THE BOOK OF RUTH Name Course Date Introduction The book of Ruth is an absolute delightful short masterpiece that people can readily identify with based on its down-to-earth-features. Readers can effortlessly identify with it through picturing themselves in the story. The readers can empathize with poor Naomi, who suffers from life’s tragic blows such as exile, famine, grief and loneliness. Additionally, readers can readily admire Ruth because of her charm, commitment, cleverness and courage. Equally, in terms of its text, like a solid underpinning under a sturdy house, a precise original text must underlie the appropriate interpretation of the book. In the Jewish canon, the book of Ruth is included in the third division while in Christian canon, the book of Ruth is a history book found between Judges and First Samuel. Based on the literary quality of the book of Ruth, the text is a world literature evident from the Hebrew prose writing attaining an artistic climax, which is not the case for other books in the Bible. The assertion attributes to the scenic structure of the book, the fashioning of guidelines for reading evidently in the means of interpretive words as well as quotations from older texts that are a reflection of an intelligent and precision manner. The paper purposes to analyze the book of Ruth. Textual Matters and Translation Like a solid foundation under a study house, an authentic original text has to underscore all proper interpretation. Fortunately, the Hebrew text (BHS) on which the interpretation and analysis premises remains relatively free of unsolvable difficulties. Only the closing of Ruth 2: 7 resists satisfactory solution, yet nothing vital to the comprehension of the book turns on that ambiguous phrase. Many other alleged obscurities appear capable of reasonable explanation without recourse to textual emendation. From the book’s eighty-five verses, only six changes in the consonantal text will be essential evident in Ruth 3: 14, 17; 4: 4, 5. Of these, four follow the Qere while two assume the versions (4: 4, 5). Only a change at the 4: 5 will influence the interpretation of the book. In contrast, there is a preference of the Ketib to Qere in five instances, which are 2: 1; 3: 3, 4: 4: 4) including one Qere but not Ketib evident in 3: 5. The Hebrew text of Ruth has a single oddity for which textual criticism confers a possible explanation, which is not convincing. At the glance of the text evidences, a form of gender confusion in gender disagreements between subjects and verbs as well as between suffixial pronouns and their antecedents. For this reason, if the book of Ruth is at least pre-exilic in origin, appeal to linguistic development is excluded because the phenomenon would be apparent in both the early and late books. As a result, the excellent solution is the regarding of the anomalous forms to be common but not feminine duals. Compositional History The text of Ruth with the possible exception of the genealogy in Ruth 4: 18-22 is a unified composition composed to confer theological stance on the real but possibly problematic family history of David, which would have been preserved using oral tradition. The identity of the composer is unknown, and a female is no out of the question. Jewish traditions maintain Prophet Samuel as the composer evident in verse Ruth 1:1. The composition of the book could have been as early as the reign of David visible in the tenth century BC (213), but the events took place much earlier. No evidence exists for extensive reliance on diverse written sources, for this reason, the final composer may have relied on oral traditions, but it is unlikely that the book has been subject to much compositional development. Some scholars place the book in a post-exilic period based on its theological and linguistic analysis; however, this evidence is questionable. The book of Ruth has been subject to a series of strategic edits layered over the story of Naomi. The assertion attributes to the text being a creation of penned oral presentations. Genre and Structure The book of Ruth is a historical narrative in spite of many scholars attempting to identify the genre restrictively as a novella, idyll, short story, folktale or comedy. The following structure constitutes a full construal of the Ruth narrative. Structure in the first chapter 1:1-5: The Prehistory of the book entails famine in Judah; two sons of Naomi dying after ten years 6-22: The narrative of the book: On the way to Bethlehem from Moab 8-22: Conclusion: The two women proceed to Bethlehem Chapter 2 2: 1-7: Preparation for the conversation entailing Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz 8-13: Conversation between Ruth and Boaz 14-17: Events at midday where Boaz welcomes Ruth to eat 18-23: Conversation between Ruth and Naomi after she returns Chapter 3 3: 1-5: Ruth receives advice from Naomi 6-7: In the evening Ruth follows Naomi’s advice 8-9: Midnight: Boaz questions Ruth 10-11: Boaz accepts Ruth 12-18: Boaz request Ruth to lie for the second time, besides Ruth receives more advice from Naomi Chapter 4 The transaction 1-6: Boaz engages other kin 7-10: Boaz engages witness on his acquisition of Ruth 11-12: conclusion 13-17: Ruth becomes Boaz’s wife; a son is born who is named Obed, who sires Jesse, the father of David. Historical Context of the Book of Ruth The dating of the events in the book of Ruth dates back to the period of judges (Ruth 1:1). The exact time within this era of the judges is unknown. In spite of the prospect that the book of Ruth may have been composed in the pre-monarchic and exilic periods, these ages have rightly gained few proponents. Scholars in the twentieth century classed the book to be a manifestation of the post-exilic period based on reasons such as alleged Aramaisms, sandal custom (Ruth 4: 7), priestly genealogies, and portrayal of Ruth as Moabite and canonical placement of Ruth. Nonetheless, the monarchic date is the accepted view because of the conclusion of the twentieth century evident from Edward Campbell proposing the date from 950 to 700 B.C.E. eras. The basis for this argument was the similarities in the genre and theological stance to prior stories such as the Court History of David (Second Samuel), Judges and First Kings 22: 1-36. Campbell claims that the book was produced orally in the era of Solomon. The book was then written in ninth century B.C.E., most probably in the reign of Jehoshaphat. Literary Context and Canonical Placement Structuralism has been applied to the studies of the book of Ruth based on dramatis personae as well as their role in furthering the plot evident in its folktale pattern. Intertextuality has also been suitable for the book based on its explicit references to other texts, for instance, the account of Leah and Rachel as well as Judah and Tamar. In spite of the concept of the text, being comprehended in light of other texts was a principal idea of the form of criticism, recent intertextual approaches move beyond a focus on the genre to thematic resemblance and similar circumstances. Rhetorical criticism also finds a voice in the text evident from concerns of James Muhlenberg's programmatic 1969 JBL article. Nonetheless, narrative criticism is the primary mainstay in the analysis of the book. The canonical placement of the book of Ruth is varied in the textual traditions, and each distinct placement offers its theological perspective. In the Hebrew canon, the book is placed in the Writings (Ketuvim) and is grouped with five festal scrolls (Megilloth). Talmudic tradition places it in Writings before Psalms but contemporary Jewish Bibles, for instance, the JPS translation have it after Songs of Songs. The Greek canon (LXX) places the book between Judges and 1-2 Samuel, which is most familiar to modern Christians. The order in the Greek canon bases on the historical setting in days of judges apparent in Ruth 1: 1 as well as chronological sequencing, for instance, the transition from judges to monarchy. Literary Analysis of the Text The reading of the book of Ruth can be at diverse levels of history, romance or polemic. The literary analysis will detail the following. At the outset, in terms of the genre of the text, the book of Ruth is a narrative evident from being a splendid example of the storyteller’s art. Secondly, in the instance of the plot line of the book of Ruth, the book is presented as a single narrative with four scenes, which form a circular pattern. These scenes are Ruth 1: 1-22, which focuses on bitter life of Naomi, Ruth 2-1-23 that focuses on Ruth gleaning in the field of Boaz, Ruth 3, 1-18, which concentrates on Ruth’s appeal to Boaz for help and Ruth 4: 1-22, which underscores the blessings of Naomi through Boaz. Thirdly, in terms of characters and characterization, it is conclusive that two women Naomi and Ruth are the primary characters of the book who engage in in-depth and complicated conversations. These conversations fulfill the two principal functions of biblical narrative dialogues. Another character is Boaz who serves not the interest of the narrative plot line but also serves the interest of the characterization of the two principal characters. Fourthly, in terms of the point of view, the book presents two perspectives evident from the viewpoint of the narrator and the perspective of characters. Themes and Theological Message The central message of the book of Ruth was to champion the right of David’s family to the throne. Nonetheless, like many other books, the book of Ruth has more than the single message of championing the lineage of David. The book contains few statements that could be construed as theological evident from mentioning God twice in 1: 6 and 4: 3. In these two verses, the book acknowledges God as the provider of bread (food) and children. In this way, the theology corresponds precisely to the plot where Ruth overcomes childless...
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