[b-hebrew] Princess Ruth?

Herman Meester crazymulgogi at gmail.com
Sun Jun 18 01:15:47 EDT 2006

2006/6/18, Herman Meester <crazymulgogi at gmail.com>:
> 2006/6/17, Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>:
> The Talmud (if its really important I'll look up the source) says that
> > Ruth
> > was the daughter of Eglon king of Moab. Would you think that David would
> > be
> > descended from just ANY Moabitess? :-)
> >
> > Yigal
> Where would we be without good ol' Talmud? ;)
> But Ruth interests me a great deal. A few years ago, I had a short
> discussion with prof. Atalya Brenner, who had a lecture in Leiden, NL, about
> all kinds of biblical texts that in her view are incompatible with human
> (esp. women's) rights in their outlook.
> She thinks (I'm exaggerating a little for clarity's sake ;) ) that Ruth
> has been written by some kind of proto-feminist social liberal or whatever,
> in order to portray [female] immigrants' hardships and sacrifices.
> While I may agree with certain proto-feminist social liberal points if
> their arguments are sound, I think this is not the right analysis of Ruth.
> Why? The most compelling analysis of why (and maybe even when) Ruth was
> written envolves assuming that it was perceived as a problem to the Davidic
> dynasty, or to the Israelites they ruled, that David had a non-Israelite
> ancestor. In order to play this down, order was given to write what became
> known as Ruth. The Hebrew employed in Ruth actually looks very old,
> syntactically, and there are some Ktiv-Qre issues that may be interpreted as
> Ruth being at least pre-exilic. The text Ruth is a successful attempt at a)
> giving "native Binyaminite" Noomi all the "credits" for giving birth to
> David's grandfather. She makes the match, after all; and b) assimilating
> Ruth into Israel with the key words

"Your people is my people, your God is my God."

[sorry, made a mistake in the other post]

List members may be aware of this theory. It may be debated, I just think it
> is very compelling.
> If we accept this theory, the [trivial?] question whether Ruth was a
> princess would be answered in the light of the motive for writing. I think
> it would be rather odd, if she were indeed a "princess", why it wasn't
> mentioned in Ruth. After all, foreigner and of noble descent is generally
> favourable to foreigner and  commoner (at least, to a lot of people, and in
> societies where these things matter). I know, I live in a monarchy myself.
> I never thought I'd ever say the Talmud is "wrong". ;)
> regards,
> Herman
> Rotterdam, NL

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