Samaritan Vs. Ruth

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Chapter Summation This chapter begins by comparing the book of Ruth to the story of the “good Samaritan” in Luke. It is an interesting comparison, both the Samaritan and Ruth are foreigners, and come to the aid of an Israelite. Both stories come at a time when the nation of Israel is struggling to remain devoted to God. The author describes the book of Ruth as having a “pastoral calmness” that is distinctly different from its predicated environment. In fact, the author compares the books of Judges and Ruth to the stories of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. The Iliad with its focus on war to Judges, and the Odyssey to Ruth and its focus on peace. Not all the authors shared insight is positive. He cites Thomas Paine in his book, Age of Reason, “The…show more content…
Judges ends with “the urgent need for a king” (188). Ruth ends with the genealogical history of David. 1 Samuel ends with, “the emergence of the everlasting existence of the house of David” (188). The book of Ruth is a story of the transforming power of God through Ruth’s faith, loyalty, and obedience. Every theme captured in chapter 1 meets its opposite by chapter 4. Isolation is brought into community, hopelessness into hopefulness and so on. This correlation brings the book full circle and helps illustrate the message that through faith and obedience anyone can come into the family of God. The author also highlights another parallel hidden within the text of Ruth. The blessing given to Boaz from the elders after he accepts the “kinsman redeemer” role for Ruth. “The elders and all the people who were at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is entering your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built the house of Israel. May you be powerful in Ephrathah and famous in Bethlehem. 12 May your house become like the house of Perez, the son Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring the Lord will give you by this young woman” (Ruth 4:11-12). I found the comparison to Genesis 38 of Tamar and Judah most…show more content…
In my limited research to this point I have found that there are dates ranging from 1375-970 BCE. I think based on the inclusion of the genealogy at the end of the book tracing the lineage to David indicates it must have been written sometime after David became king. Which would narrow its composition date to 1049-969 BCE. Since the genealogy makes no mention of descendants after David perhaps this is indicative of being written prior to David having a son which may narrow it date even further. Such a date would exclude Samuel (the commonly believed author) from writing it. This leaves the authorship completely unknown. While the location of Ruth after Judges is not common with its location in the Hebrew Bible, I agree with the author that it ties the stories and environments of Judges together with that found in 1 Samuel. It may have been written well after them both but it describes a time that probably occurred concurrently. It seems to align itself very well with both with its mention of genealogy, and the tension of land at the time of
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