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

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Aug 27 22:57:49 EDT 2007

C'mon George:

Of course she was forcing Boaz' hand, but doubtfully in the way that you think.

If Boaz thought for one moment that he had done the nasty with her, do
you think he would have been so willing to give her up as he indicated
at the gate the next morning?

What we see in Boaz is someone who took his beliefs seriously, that he
was a true follower of YHWH. Part of that responsibility was to take
the widow of a deceased relative and "raise up seed for him." All Ruth
had to do was to come to him and say, "Fulfill your responsibility,
take me" which is basically what she said, though in different words,
and Boaz would be entrapped. By this time, he obviously had come to
like her, so he thought this aspect of the responsibility was hardly
an onerous one.

As for the meaning of RGL, as far as I can tell, it meant basically
the same as our "foot". By extension, i.e. not literally, it was used
in a broader sense, much the same as we use "foot soldiers" to refer
to the infantry. But no where in Tanakh can it refer to sexual play.
The word for "leg" as far as I can tell, was $WQ.

I agree here with James when he wrote, "As it stands, though, it would
seem that this text means exactly what it says. Ruth went in when he
was asleep, gently uncovered his feet/legs, lay down and waited. When
the sensation of cold provoked had got strong enough Boaz woke up and
found a beautiful and humble girl at his feet." Though I have the
impression that Ruth was more than a girl at this time.

So lighten up. Take the text as it stands and don't try to read more
into it that it says.    :-)

Karl W. Randolph.

On 8/27/07, George Athas <george.athas at moore.edu.au> wrote:
> Hi James!
> The point is not 'to give Boaz a good time'. The point was that Ruth (at
> Naomi's bidding) was trying to force Boaz' hand. By getting him to sleep
> with her (knowingly or unknowingly), he would be obliged to take her into
> his own household. It was risky for Ruth, for it could have backfired,
> resulting in her expulsion from Boaz' care. Yet, the ploy works, and Boaz
> evidently does not feel trapped by this, but rather welcomes the situation.
> This puts the whole scenario of what actually happened in question. The text
> simply does not say whether 'it' happened or not. Perhaps Ruth only wanted
> to make Boaz think that he had slept with her. Perhaps she went all the way
> to make sure of it. The narrative is silent here, except for making the
> point that it all had to happen in secret. And the result was the one Ruth
> and Naomi were looking for.
> The text leaves it up to us to fill in the gap. I guess we'll never know for
> sure...
> Best Regards,
> Moore Theological College (Sydney)
> 1 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia
> Ph: (+61 2) 9577 9774

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