[b-hebrew] Ruth -- history or historical romance?
rosewalk at concentric.net
Sun Jun 18 15:07:42 EDT 2006
The books of Samuel were redacted by Samuel, Gad, Nasan
and the book of Ruth was redacted by Samuel
source: Charting the Mesorah by Rabbi Zechariah Fendel
While the discussion as to whether Ruth was a princess or not
continues, one may ask wehether the author of the book
conceived it as history or not. A clue may be found in the
names of Elimelkh and Ruth's children, namely Mahlon and
Khilyon.(Already in the seond verse of the first chapter).
The English translation of the latter names is, roughly, "Sicky"
and "Finito". And indeed in verse 5 both of these unfortunate
individuals died. Clearly these are cartoon-like personal
names, in contra-distinction to many other symbolic personal
names in the HB.
Completely apart frtom the intendeed meaning of Ruth,
the author is presenting here a moving historical romance.
Whether it is based on real historical background cannot at
present be established.
Like so much else pertaining to the HB, other interpretations
are of course possible.
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