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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.

Book of Ruth

Ruth and Naomi leaving Moab

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Ruth Chapter 2

RUTH 2:1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

RUTH 2:2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

RUTH 2:3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.

RUTH 2:4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.

RUTH 2:5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?

RUTH 2:6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:

RUTH 2:7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.

RUTH 2:8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:

RUTH 2:9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

RUTH 2:10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?

RUTH 2:11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.

RUTH 2:12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

RUTH 2:13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.

RUTH 2:14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.

RUTH 2:15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:

RUTH 2:16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.

RUTH 2:17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.

RUTH 2:18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.

RUTH 2:19 And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.

RUTH 2:20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.

RUTH 2:21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.

RUTH 2:22 And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.

RUTH 2:23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.


 

 


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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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