[b-hebrew] Dating the Book of Ruth

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Wed Jun 2 01:00:46 EDT 2010


-----Original Message-----
Yitzhak Sapir wrote:
..The book of Ruth includes definite examples of upper class individuals.
Further, the book of Ruth deals with a noble family to begin with. 



Hi Yitzhak,

Assuming that the story is historical, how in the world do you know that the
Elimelech family were "a noble family"? What does "nobility" even mean in a
pre-monarchic era? Bethlehem was a small village (the main town of Judah was
Hebron, and even it was not very big in Iron I). The fact that they were
forced to migrate in time of famine means that they did not have much
reserve wealth. Naomi's destitute shows that she did not have a very wealthy
extended family. So she had a distant cousin, Boaz, who had done well for
himself. But he was not close enough to volunteer to support her as soon as
she returned penniless from Moab. Neither did "Ploni Almoni". And four
generations later, Jesse was still a not-too wealthy farmer/shepherd. The
family only became "nobility" retroactively after David's rise.

Yigal Levin
 




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