[b-hebrew] uncovering Boaz' 'footsies' was Samson at Gaza - Judges 16:1

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Aug 20 21:47:49 EDT 2007

Dear George:

On 8/19/07, George Athas <george.athas at moore.edu.au> wrote:
> Hi Karl!
> The texts themselves say nothing, thus presenting us with a gap in the
> narrative which we then try to fill. We can either import other ideas from
> other texts to fill the gap, or we can try to work with the narrative before
> us and see what it suggests. You can make a case for doing either or both.
> Best Regards,
> Moore Theological College (Sydney)
> 1 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia
> Ph: (+61 2) 9577 9774

This is where we try to bring in other texts to give a cultural and
ideational background to fill in the gaps.

Until formally absolved from such duties, a widow was to marry her
deceased husband's close relatives, preferably a brother. Therefore,
she was not a free agent, even though Boaz indicated that she probably
could have gotten away with it.

Secondly, apparently Boaz took his religious responsibilities
seriously, so it's unlikely he would take liberties with someone who
was by law someone else's wife.

Third, linguistically, the other use of MRGLT in Tanakh, namely in
Daniel 10, indicates that it referred to no higher than about the
knees. Apparently Boaz went to the threshing floor intending for an
overnighter along with other farmers, and brought with him a blanket
to keep his feet warm, and all Ruth had to do was to get his feet cold
to catch his attention.

>From these and other factors, I doubt that there was any hanky panky going on.

As for the spies at Jericho, the evidence is not so clear. But it is
my nature to give them the benefit of the doubt, i.e. innocent until
proven guilty. While they were in the house for a few hours, which is
enough time for a quicky along with the other things they did there, I
am content to let the text be silent. The word used is that they lay
down there, it doesn't say they slept. And while the term is often
used as a euphemism for sexual relationships (the same as in English),
it is not necessarily what happened.

Karl W. Randolph.

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