[b-hebrew] Ruth -- history or historical romance?

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Sun Jun 18 15:07:42 EDT 2006

The author?

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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