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Ruth

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The Old Testament book of Ruth  tells how Ruth, the Moabite daughter of widow of Elimelech, a man of Bethlehem , married an older kinsman, Boaz, preserving her deceased husband's posterity and property, and supposedly becoming an ancestor of King David and in Christian tradition, of Jesus. The marriage is referred to as "levirate" - marrying of a widow by a relative, but Ruth was not a direct relative of Elimelech. One of the most interesting aspects is the acceptance of a non-Jew into the faith and the people of Israel.  The laws and customs of levirate marriage, redemption of property and gleaning in the fields are believed to be very ancient. Some scholars claim the vocabulary and style are consistent with a date between 950 and 750 BC, and that the genealogy giving her as a progenitor of King David was interpolated between 500 and 350 BC. Others claim the entire book was written at the later date. The book is associated with the Jewish holiday of Shavuoth.

More about the Book of Ruth

Ruth and Naomi leaving Moab

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Ruth Chapter 1

RUTH 1:1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

RUTH 1:2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

RUTH 1:3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

RUTH 1:4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

RUTH 1:5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

RUTH 1:6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.

RUTH 1:7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

RUTH 1:8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

RUTH 1:9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

RUTH 1:10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.

RUTH 1:11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

RUTH 1:12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;

RUTH 1:13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.

RUTH 1:14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.

RUTH 1:15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.

RUTH 1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

RUTH 1:17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

RUTH 1:18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

RUTH 1:19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

RUTH 1:20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara:* for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

RUTH 1:21 I went out full and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

RUTH 1:22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.


* "Mar" means bitter.

 


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The bible and Zionism

The Bible, the Old Testament, has become a mainstay of human culture, but it is first and foremost a historical document of the Jewish people and our culture. It tells the story of our ancient kingdoms and civilization in the Land of Israel, and therefore it kept alive the tie of the people of Israel to the land of Israel for 2000 years. It forms the moral and cultural basis of Zionist ideology and aspirations.

The Bible, the Old Testament, is accepted by the three major Western faiths. It is a major work of Western civilization. The Bible documents the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, even for those who do not believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, and even for those who do not believe in God at all. It is the historic epic of the Jewish people in our land.  

Additional Background

Map - Canaan Before the Hebrews

Map - Canaan and the Early Israelite Kingdom

Map - The kingdoms of Israel and Judea; Judea and Samaria in the time of Jesus

Samaria  Judea

Map of Palestine 1845 - Showing biblical and contemporary sites

Jews, Jewish Religion, anti-Semitism the Talmud and Zionism

Map of Canaan (Israel) in the time of Joshua (Black and White)
Map of ancient Canaan (Palestine) after the Conquest by the Israelites
Palestine (Israel, Canaan) in the Time of the Judges
Map of Ancient Israel (Canaan) in the reigns of Kings David and Solomon (Black and White)
Map of Judah (Judea) in the Divided Kingdom
Map of Judah (Judea) in the Maccabean Kingdom of Alexander Janeus (Yannai)
Map of the Roman Province of Judea

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