Q. I see that you room posting about Ruth on your blog. I have actually two inquiries for your, a little much more in depth. Right here goes:

1) having translated the publication of Ruth, I’m curious around the poetic lines that Ruth recites to Naomi when she renders her pledge in chapter 2. I’m wondering if you know where this words come native in Hebrew culture? provided the marriage themes in the book, I have wondered if they could have been component of the old Israelite marital vow or other similar. The poetry absolutely stands the end there. Any kind of insight on this?

2) ns have additionally heard the concept that Boaz was already married as soon as this story happened, and that he probably took Ruth as a 2nd wife (or possibly more). I think this see is based upon the reality that Boaz appears to it is in a wealthy and also presumably middle-aged man. What are your thoughts around this?

That’s all. Ns am enjoying your blog!

Thanks for your kind words and for complying with up on my recent articles with this questions. Allow me begin with the one about Boaz.

While it’s possible that Boaz walk have an additional wife (in this culture, this wouldn’t have actually kept the from marrying Ruth), the doesn’t say almost everywhere in the book that he did, so us shouldn’t i think this. What we carry out know around Boaz, together we’re told once we an initial meet him, is that he’s a “man that standing,” prosperous and influential. As I define in my Joshua-Judges-Ruth research guide:

“To get enough money come live on, Naomi is offering the portion of the fields about Bethlehem the belonged to she late husband Elimelek. The hope is that, together the regulation intends, a goel (family guardian) will ‘redeem’ this property, buying that from Naomi, but also on her behalf, so that she has actually both the money indigenous the sale and the field’s create year by year. The other household guardian is initially willing to make this sacrifice. However when the learns the must also marry Ruth and give her youngsters in she late husband’s name, he backs out, explaining, ‘I might endanger my own estate.’ (He can’t afford to part with the money for the property and also then division his remaining worth amongst his current children and also those Ruth will have actually in the future.) but Boaz is a ‘man that standing’ who’s in an adequate place to aid out financially in this way.”

" data-medium-file="https://understandingbooksbible.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/boaz.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://understandingbooksbible.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/boaz.jpg?w=468" class="size-medium wp-image-397" src="https://understandingbooksbible.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/boaz.jpg?w=300&h=256" alt="Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, "Ruth in Boaz"s Field," 1828" width="300" height="256" srcset="https://understandingbooksbible.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/boaz.jpg?w=300&h=256 300w, https://understandingbooksbible.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/boaz.jpg?w=150&h=128 150w, https://understandingbooksbible.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/boaz.jpg 468w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 85vw, 300px" />Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, “Ruth in Boaz’s Field,” 1828This describes why Boaz is the appropriate husband for Ruth. If he did have another wife, i m sorry is feasible (although again, not pointed out in the book, for this reason we should not i think it), this would raise the additional question the polygamy. We must appreciate that in this culture, females were dependence on male relatives for provision and also protection. So the commandment in the regulation of Moses because that a close family member to marry a widow, even if that was currently married himself, was a compassionate supplication for her needs and those of she current and future children and also dependents. (Naomi, an enlarge widow herself, is among Ruth’s dependents, and so Ruth’s proposal come Boaz, as I detailed in this post, is additionally an plot of compassion come her.)

I’ll answer her question about Ruth’s poetic promise to Naomi in my following post.




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Author: Christopher R Smith

The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is an an ordained minister, a writer, and also a biblical scholar. The was active in parish and student ministry for twenty-five years. He was a consulting editor come the global Bible culture (now Biblica) because that The publications of the Bible, an edition of the brand-new International version (NIV) that presents the biblical books according to their herbal literary outlines, without chapters and also verses. His knowledge the publications of the scriptures study guide collection is keyed to this format. He was additionally a consultant come Tyndale home for the Immerse Bible, an execution of the new Living translate into (NLT) that similarly presents the bibles in their herbal literary forms, without chapters and verses or ar headings.He has actually a B.A. Native Harvard in English and also American Literature and Language, a master of arts in Theological studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. In the history of Christian Life and Thought, through a minor concentration in Bible, native Boston College, in the joint program with Andover Newton Theological School.View all articles by Christopher R Smith


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Author Christopher R SmithPosted top top February 22, 2013October 9, 2018Categories Marriage/SexTags Boaz, Joshua/Judges/Ruth study guide, polygamy, Ruth
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Mark Kram says:


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Christopher R Smith says:

Thank you for your question. Actually, the phrase “man the standing” (‘ish gibbor, in Boaz’s situation intensified with the synonym chayil), didn’t for this reason much show a formal position as someone that was superior in some way, most regularly in battle as a warrior, yet in this situation as one exemplary and influential ar member. We could surmise the he wouldn’t have achieved this function without being an exemplary husband and father, and that he therefore already had at the very least one wife when he married Ruth, however as ns say in my post, the holy bible doesn’t say this explicitly and also so we can’t be specific about it. David most likely took number of wives in bespeak to guarantee at least one making it through heir. In the situation of Solomon, who had actually hundreds of wives in a harem, it seems rather to have been an assertion of power and also status, directly violating God’s accuse for monarchs in the law.