[b-hebrew] RUTH Re: Hebrew as a Spoken Language vs. Aramaic
rosewalk at concentric.net
Mon Oct 29 21:23:47 EDT 2007
My source says that Ruth was "redacted" by Shmuel, and the notes say:
"The story of Ruth took place near the end of the era of the Shofet,
Ivtzan (Boaz, fl. 2792 - 2797), the great grandfather of King David,
who was born fifty seven years after the death of Boaz (Bava Basra
91a and Midrash Rus 2)
QUESTION: What does "Redacted" mean?
Ruth is a bad example, for a couple reasons:
1) she lived about 700 years before Ezra and Nehemiah, or over a
thousand years before Mishnaic Hebrew
2) she spoke Moabite, a language that even at the time of Mesha of the
Mesha Stele, the written evidence shows probably less difference
between Moabite than, let's say, Chicago and Mobile, or BBC English
and Cockney. So Ruth may not have had to learn Hebrew in order to
understand it. Or put in another way, there was less difference
between Moabite and Hebrew of her day, than the Hebrew of her day and
The book of Ruth, though it is a simple narrative, shows linguistic
evidence of pre-Exile authorship, possibly David or before.
Karl W. Randolph.
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