[b-hebrew] Dating the Book of Ruth

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Jun 1 22:21:08 EDT 2010


Though those word plays bring a smile to the face, are they legit?

On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 6:05 PM, George Athas <George.Athas at moore.edu.au>wrote:

> What do we make of some of the personal names in Ruth:
> Mahlon = 'Critically ill' (Guess what he does: he dies!)

Is this from XLH to be soft, also often referring to the softness brought
about by illness or wounds, or is this connected with XLL to make common,
i.e. bring into production, where Naomi exclaims “I’m on a roll here, I’m
producing babies!”?

> Chilion = 'Terminally ill' (Guess what he does: he dies!)

Are you sure that this isn’t from KLH as in “I’m finished, that’s all the
boys there will be.”?

> Orpah = 'Back-of-the-neck girl' (Guess what she does: she turns her back on
> Naomi)

Are you sure that this wasn’t connected with (RP to issue forth, as in “Look
at what came out!”? I.e. she was considered a real beauty?

> Ruth = 'companion' (Guess what she does: she acts as Naomi's companion)

Where does this meaning come from? Are you sure it’s not from RWH to
moisten, i.e. give a drink, also used of freshness and strength, the
opposite of being dried up and hard?

> Naomi = 'Sweetie' (She's anything but, and she knows it, too)

She referred it to the fact that life had been bitter to her.

Boaz = 'Strongly/Lively' (Guess what he does: he comes to the rescue)

Are you sure this is not from a root that was not preserved in the Bible? Or
was he among the goats?

> Should these wordplays figure in a discussion on the dating of the book of
> Ruth?

What about the name of the father, Elimelech, my God is king?

> Moore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)
> www.moore.edu.au

Your descriptions are a little bit too facile, though I admit a lot of fun.

Karl W. Randolph.

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