Ruth, the Moabite

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  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    And on this thread the question is not when Deuteronomy or Ruth were written, but ‘why the Lord should have told Samuel to anoint as king someone whom the law prohibited from entering the assembly of the Lord.’
    Well the answer to that is because he did. However there are some speculations. Samuel was the final judge and judges came from random tribes.
    Also the Lord judged Eli and his sons so Aaronic priesthood had functionally halted temporarily. The judge was God’s deliverer or dispenser of the law.
    Samuel combined the office of prophet, judge and priest and functioned as king maker simply because God imbued him with the authority to do so.
    Bear in mind that Melchizedek inthe book of Genesis was also a non Aaronic priest. It all looks forward to the way priestly, prophetic and kingly functions are combined in Christ.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    edited March 21
    The mysterious priest-king Melchizedek who blessed Abraham may have been one of the appearances of the pre-incarnate Christ in the OT. Boaz the Redeemer of Ruth who greets his labourers with blessings, and shows radical compassion and generosity may be another. And also the fourth figure in the fiery furnace who rescues the three companions of Daniel who are being martyred for their faith.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Melchizedek is not really germane to the discussion since he clearly pre-dates the giving of the law.

    It’s not just that David is chosen in contradiction to the law, which is an issue in itself, but also that AFAIK there is no acknowledgement anywhere in relation to David of the existence of a law about Moabite descent which anyone might have considered problematic.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    The most likely reason that Ruth is included in the Bible is to legitimise Davids problematic Moabite great grandmother.

    Ruth is a moral fable - a story using fictional characters to convey a moral message. The characters in the story of Ruth do not all have real names which is a giveaway. Mahlon and Chilion mean sickness and death which are odd names for real husbands but appropriate names for literary constructs. Orpah means neck because she turned the back of her neck to leave Naomi.

    Ruth is portrayed as a worthy convert and a worthy ancestor: 'All have heard of your virtue' (Ruth 3: 11). So no one could cast stones at David for his non royal and Moabite genealogy as a son of Jesse - who wrestled the throne from the House of Saul to establish his own dynastic line.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Ruth is a moral fable
    
    Be happy if that is what you choose to believe but you are in error.

    Ruth was a real person because God does not use moral fables. She has a huge theological significance.

    As both a gentile and a woman she demonstrates God’s inclusiveness. As ancestor of Christ she points out that Christ belongs to both genders and all nationalities. She is a type of the church ..it is female in its corporate nature and gentile -inclusive. Rahab does this also.

    The story also contains characters who prefigure Christ..the kinsman redeemer (Boaz) and the overseeing of the Holy Spirit of the process of redemption. (Naomi).

    In prefiguring the Davidic kingdom of Christ, the story which is far too gritty and human in detail to be any kind of fable, beautifully draws the threads of redemption together.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    . . . because God does not use moral fables.
    I think Jesus's use of parables suggests that you are, as you like to say, in error.

  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    . . . because God does not use moral fables.
    I think Jesus's use of parables suggests that you are, as you like to say, in error.
    Ruth is not a parable.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    . . . because God does not use moral fables.
    I think Jesus's use of parables suggests that you are, as you like to say, in error.
    Ruth is not a parable.
    So the distinction that God does use parables but does not use "moral fables" (is that redundant?) is . . . ?

  • MamacitaMamacita Shipmate
    Hosting
    Arguing biblical inerrancy is a Dead Horse around here, and some of the posts on this thread are putting one foot in the corral.

    Mamacita, Keryg Host
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    edited March 21
    @MPaul

    I would see the Book of Ruth as having been written around David's genealogy on Ruth 4: 18-21. I think that is the motivational point for including it in the OT. There would be no reason to write the Book of Ruth if she had not existed - and Boaz and Obed as well.

    And I completely take your points about the theological significance of Ruth. And its beauty and power as a text. Of course you are free to interpret it literally.

    I have just been reflecting to myself lately about which texts in the Bible I think are moral fables (Gen 1, Ruth, Jonah, Esther and Daniel), what they are doing there and why they were written. I like trying to peel back the layers to see what else I can find out about them. But I don't consider that a literary construct cannot be a channel to us of grace and truth. Because stories can be just as spiritually inspired as histories or poems.

    I make a distinction to myself about using Bible texts critically or devotionally. And I interpret them both ways according to whether I am analysing them or praying with them. Both methods can reveal the deeper truths that lie within.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    Deuteronomy was written in the 7th Century BCE
    You can assert what you like of course but really, it all depends on who you want to believe.

    No, it really doesn't. It depends on who has the best evidence. Not all beliefs are equal. Those based on better evidence are better.
    In this case there is only higher criticism or internal evidence. Higher criticism trashes faith so it isn’t better evidence. You see the word of God has no errors, mistakes or deceptions. God is utterly trustworthy despite being very politically incorrect at times.

    Depends on what you see as the word of God. John 1 clearly identifies the word as Jesus Christ. Luther defined the scriptures as the cradle of straw on which the Word of God rests.

    The Bible was written by human authors who were limited in their understanding of God. They wrote from faith for faith with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but she did not dictate word for word what they wrote.

    The doctrine of inerrancy is not found in the Bible, but was developed in the 1850's in reaction to Darwin's Origin of Species.

    Now, in the case of the dating of Deuteronomy, The Book of Kings ( 2 Kings 22) relates how a "law of Moses" was discovered in the Temple during the reign of king Josiah (r. 641–609 BCE). This book is mostly identified as an early version of the Book of Deuteronomy, perhaps chapters 5-26 and chapter 28 of the extant text. Now that is pretty strong internal evidence that the book of Deuteronomy was written in the 7th Century BCE.
  • FYI: Samuel was a Levi of the Kohathite clan (see 1 Chronicles 6 for his genealogy). Being based in Ephraim (or elsewhere) was nothing to do with his lineage--Levites were living in settlements across the country.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    . . . because God does not use moral fables.
    I think Jesus's use of parables suggests that you are, as you like to say, in error.
    Ruth is not a parable.
    So the distinction that God does use parables but does not use "moral fables" (is that redundant?) is . . . ?
    The sort of comment that somehow seeks to equate two dissimilar things.

  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    that is pretty strong internal evidence that the book of Deuteronomy was written in the 7th Century BCE
    I am aware of the rediscovery of the law. You are arguing a copy is the original I think..? Not sure why. Did you look at the link I posted above?
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    . . . because God does not use moral fables.
    I think Jesus's use of parables suggests that you are, as you like to say, in error.
    Ruth is not a parable.
    So the distinction that God does use parables but does not use "moral fables" (is that redundant?) is . . . ?
    The sort of comment that somehow seeks to equate two dissimilar things.
    I’m not sure it’s two dissimilar things. Both fables and parables are forms of story-telling intended to convey a lesson or truth. The main difference, as I’ve understood it, is that the characters in fables are typically anthropomorphic animals, while the characters in parables are typically human. Scripture clearly shows Jesus frequently telling parables. Given that, I was curious about the basis for stating categorically that God “does not” use fables.

    But I’m content to leave it there. It is a tangent from the thread topic.

  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    God “does not” use fables
    Well certainly parables and moral fables are pretty similar. I do not think Ruth is one.
    That parables are used is obvious but that God posits a narrative as one without identifying it as such is what he doesn't do. We are talking at cross purposes. Perhaps I should have said God clearly identifies when a parable is a parable such as the parable of the trees Judges 9:7-16
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    God “does not” use fables
    Well certainly parables and moral fables are pretty similar. I do not think Ruth is one.
    That parables are used is obvious but that God posits a narrative as one without identifying it as such is what he doesn't do. We are talking at cross purposes. Perhaps I should have said God clearly identifies when a parable is a parable such as the parable of the trees Judges 9:7-16

    This strikes me as circular. If something is not clearly demarcated as a parable, you just say "That's not a parable because God didn't say it was a parable." How do you know God always demarcates parables? Because he has demarcated these parables, and they're parables, and these other things are not.

    And around and around and around.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    If something is not clearly demarcated as a parable, you just say "That's not a parable because God didn't say it was a parable."

    No..I don't. I say that is not a parable because it lacks the requisite features.. Those are quite discernible.

    EG Unnamed characters..a sower went out to sow..etc.
    The narrative of a parable is merely a device for the didactic purpose.
    Brevity along with a commonality that is identifiable...pseudo realism that widely applies in a context.
    Fictionality is indicated by anonymity of the participants.

    The book of Ruth does not share these features. Ruth identifies people, places, uses genealogies of real people and refers to historical events eg, a famine, ownership, the lands of Israel and Moab.

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    The book of Ruth does not share these features. Ruth identifies people, places, uses genealogies of real people and refers to historical events eg, a famine, ownership, the lands of Israel and Moab.
    I would agree that Ruth is not a fable or parable (though a fable or parable can certainly refer to events like famine). Saying, however, that Ruth is not a fable or parable because it lacks the characteristics of that kind of story, which is what you seem to say here, is not the same as what you said earlier—that Ruth was a historical person "because God does not use moral fables." The quoted part was what I questioned.

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    If something is not clearly demarcated as a parable, you just say "That's not a parable because God didn't say it was a parable."

    No..I don't. I say that is not a parable because it lacks the requisite features.. Those are quite discernible.

    EG Unnamed characters..a sower went out to sow..etc.

    What if one of the characters is named and one is not, like the parable of Lazarus and the rich man?

    BTW how did you decide that was a condition for parable? On what authority does that rest?
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    that is pretty strong internal evidence that the book of Deuteronomy was written in the 7th Century BCE
    I am aware of the rediscovery of the law. You are arguing a copy is the original I think..? Not sure why. Did you look at the link I posted above?

    I am sorry, I could not find the link you referred to. Please repost.

  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate

    MPaul wrote: »
    Deuteronomy was written in the 7th Century BCE
    You can assert what you like of course but really, it all depends on who you want to believe.
    reformedanswers.org/answer.asp/file/43316

    [Code fix. Mamacita, Host]

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    Deuteronomy was written in the 7th Century BCE
    You can assert what you like of course but really, it all depends on who you want to believe.
    reformedanswers.org/answer.asp/file/43316

    [Code fix. Mamacita, Host]

    That addresses a linguistic argument which no-one here raised.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    that is pretty strong internal evidence that the book of Deuteronomy was written in the 7th Century BCE
    I am aware of the rediscovery of the law. You are arguing a copy is the original I think..? Not sure why. Did you look at the link I posted above?

    I am sorry, I could not find the link you referred to. Please repost.

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