Her name is Ruth. This was a time when the people of Israel had abandoned God’s ways and fallen into idolatry, horrific social conditions, and a disastrous civil war, as told in the chapters of Judges immediately preceding the Book of Ruth … The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 1 (Luke 19:1-10), Bible Storying Series - Teaching The Story Of God Chronologically, Bible Teaching Ideas: The Ten Commandments And Ten Fingers. However, as a comedy, there is rebirth in the end, literally in Ruth’s son that is considered Naomi’s, and figuratively in Naomi, who is redeemed. The Hebrew short story uses “an artistic and elevated prose containing rhythmic elements which are poetic,” takes an interest in typical people, and seeks to both entertain and instruct.6 “Especially important: they look at ordinary events as being the scene of God’s subtly providential activity. In seeking to analyze the story of Ruth and Naomi according to its literary genre, this paper traces the plot and character elements in structures evident in early mythological writings as well as modern movies.5 In so doing, this paper will employ literary form and structure to analyze Ruth and its elements. Frye, Anatomy of Criticism, 160 for an explanation of the cycle of times and seasons as significant in plot. It exposes the unbeliever to the loving grace of God and His provision of redemption through Jesus Christ. Return with the Elixir: Ruth, as the Heroine, provides a son, Obed, for Naomi, thus giving life to Naomi. When he reaches the fifth stanza, however, he immediately comes down from the height of sensuousness that he was about to reach, and starts praising the beauty and work of God, giving her what God has given to him. Also, regarding the confidence and beauty of their beloveds, this quote can be used: And her hat, with shady brim, Made her tressy forehead dim;— Thus she stood amid the stooks, Praising God with sweetest looks:—, Copyright © 2020 Literary Devices. 11. biblical literature: Ruth. The main purpose of the story is to protest the enforcement of the law forbidding … She holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard, a B.A. Ruth’s vow to Naomi in 1:16-17),8 in word-play such as assonance and punning,9 and in the design of the story with its inclusios (i.e. Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, 2nd ed. 11 Reg Grant, “The Validity of Pregeneric Plot Structure in Ruth as a Key to Interpretation” (Ph.D. 3. One effect of this is that life becomes filled with meaning, since every event takes on spiritual significance.”18 This coincides with Frye’s analysis of the imagery and cyclical elements of story. It is also interesting to note that Ruth’s marriage proposal occurs on the threshing floor, where the grain that provides is created. Ruth recognizes wholeness in a life attached to Yahweh and His people rather than in an empty life of idol worship in Moab. For the Fallen Mentor (Naomi), who herself is journeying, this scene is the Resurrection of Naomi. Two key concepts in the book of Ruth can shed light on the themes of the book. 12. 28 The musical makes use of the bread metaphor found in the biblical account. On her cheek an autumn flush, Deeply ripened;—such a blush In the midst of brown was born, Like red poppies grown with corn. The aim of this analysis is to consider aspects of the context in which the book of Genesis was written, such as its authorship, recipients, time period of historical events and composition, and its biblical context, which may be useful in understanding the book as a whole. Refusal of the Call: While Ruth is set on going throughout, this stage is seen in Orpah, Ruth’s foil, who is discouraged by the Threshold Guardian and returns to Moab. after the expulsion of the Greek occupiers in Israel and before Rome’s domination of Palestine). John T. Willis, vol. Orpah was more interested in her perceived well-being than in remaining loyal to her proper family ties (Deuteronomy 25:5 notes that a widow is not to remarry outside the family). Ruth Discovers Potential Kinsman Redeemer (ch. 37 Orpah provides the foil for Ruth’s character here. 4 Leland Ryken, The Literature of the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1974), 13. B. 1. While Ruth is the flat character who remains constant, Naomi presents a more complicated character of the Fallen Mentor. 71 Leadership Characters in the Book of Ruth: A Narrative Analysis McNeal, R. (2011), A Work of Heart: Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Lead- ers , Jossey Bass, San Francisco. Ch. In 1:6, God visits His people with the purpose of giving them bread. the general disobedience of Israel characteristic of the time of the judges seen specifically in Naomi’s family abandoning the promised land contrasted with Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi and God in times of trouble; empty verses full; helpless versus provided for and protected; death versus life). Her decision highlights Ruth’s sacrifice. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament use various forms to communicate, including story, music, and homiletics. The muse was from the Romantic period, described as working in the fields in the autumn season. It could be dedicated to any beautiful woman, including mothers or lovers, such as these lines: “On her cheek an autumn flush, Deeply ripened;—such a blush In the midst of brown was born, Like red poppies grown with corn.”. Human experience is presented in such a way as to express, whether explicitly or by implication, a world view. “For this potential redeemer, the question placed before him was simply a matter to be decided on the basis of financial considerations. There is a common thread 41 This jabbed the original Jewish audience. And her hat, with shady brim, Made her tressy forehead dim;— Thus she stood amid the stooks, Praising God with sweetest looks:—. 8. 5. Ruth’s social status as not only a widow but as a Gentile Moabitess brought expectations of both a sinful and helpless character. 7, ed. Crossing the First Threshold: Ruth swears an oath to Naomi to remain loyal to her and returns with Naomi to Bethlehem. There is no internal rhyme. A presupposition of this study is that the book’s plot structure is comic/monomythic. Richard L. Pratt, He Gave Us Stories: The Bible Student’s Guide to Interpreting Old Testament Narratives (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1990), 200. Reward: Boaz promises to seek redemption for Ruth, whether through approaching the nearer kinsman-redeemer or redeeming himself. So and So) to redeem Ruth and Naomi. D. Fewell). Ruth along with her mother-in-law, Naomi, visit Bethlehem in hopes of finding a new establishment for their lives and did so through Ruth’s proficiency to work in the field. However, this cannot be confined to mothers only. Naomi's perseverance, Ruth's faithfulness, as well as the deity's providence are examples of this view. Like Naomi, she moves from the deathlike experience of the childless widow to the rebirth of marriage. All Rights Reserved. Her character is united with Ruth’s in the beginning, but the shallowness of her commitment “dissolves” this union (Grant, “Validity of Pregeneric Plot Structure,” 206). Her beauty surpasses the environmental beauty, as her body is “clasped by the golden light of the morn” and her cheek has an “autumn flush.” The poet then comments on her hair and eyes. and its treatment of Ruth’s theology and purpose are strong. General uses of the analysis of the book of Esther are discussed first, followed by more specific uses related to each of the six elements of narration/ fiction. Meeting with the Mentor: Herein lies the irony: Ruth’s meeting with the Mentor becomes her first test as a meeting with the Threshold Guardian (the one who attempts to barricade entrance into the first stage). The speaker praises the woman’s looks, her beauty, her face, her dress, and even her presence in the first four stanzas. The rhyme scheme is regular and rhythmical, and remains the same in the entire poem. Finally, literature is an interpretive presentation of experience in an artistic form. The book of Ruth has been widely accepted as being a positive text for and about women in the Hebrew Bible. Analysis Of The Book ' The Book Of Ruth ' By Jane Hamilton 1302 Words | 6 Pages. However, it is Ruth who plays the Heroine and saves Naomi. Resurrection: On Ruth’s journey, her Resurrection is her wedding with Boaz (thus using a life cycle to represent the fulfilled desire). Boaz Agrees to be Kinsman Redeemer (ch. In the beginning she is known as the Moabitess. After the death of Ruth’s husband (as well as his brother and father), her mother-in-law, Naomi, decides to return to her hometown in Bethlehem. 6. These patterns represent the fulfillment of desire and the obstacles to it.17 Because the same sovereign God Who is ruling the affairs of men is also ruling the acts of the natural world, these cycles are “rooted in a divine reality beyond the natural world. Considering the purpose of the book, again, scholars vary widely. Ruth recognizes that her life is in Yahweh’s tree, and therefore seeks to join His people. Related Topics: Character Study, Women's Articles, Heather graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Th.M. “Since both the Old and New Testaments are largely written in story form, narrative is the essence of biblical revelation… That makes understanding narrative essential for all interpreters of the Bible.”1 A literary approach is fundamental to understanding the Bible because many of the parts of the Bible are in literary form. Love for the covenant and the preservation of a family in that covenant played no role in his calculations.”27. from Columbia and studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum in There is a continual interpenetration of the supernatural into the earthly order, and God is a continual actor in human affairs. 2, trans. So and So, the nearer kinsman redeemer. She stood breast high amid the corn, Clasped by the golden light of morn, Like the sweetheart of the sun, Who many a glowing kiss had won. Liberal critics date the book much The Book of Ruth was part of the Writings of Hebrew Scripture. 35 Ruth finds shelter both in the wings of Yahweh (2:12) and in the covering of Boaz (3:9), further associating Boaz’s role with Yahweh’s role (Grant, “Validity of Pregeneric Plot Structure,” 203-04.). The Road of Trials), and the Return (consisting of such elements as the Rescue from Without, the Crossing of the Return Threshold, and the Freedom to Live). Fun and delight, pathos and violence, characterize the human portrayals; combined with the subtle divine dimension, the total effect is one of joy and seriousness together.”7 Ruth, in particular, displays artistry in the poetic prose of different speeches (i.e. In my view, its analysis of Ruth’s literary artistry (i.e. However, because of her loyalty and desire for God, she plays a pivotal role in the storyline of the Bible, becoming the great-grandmother of King David! Per the publisher, the series: It is not clear from any source whom the woman was, but several painters of a later period painted very beautiful paintings after they were inspired by this figure of Ruth. 20 Grant, “Validity of Pregeneric Plot Structure,” 180. In this respect, Ruth is both modern and Shakespearean in depicting the subtle psychological interplay between men and women when courting, among other things; in this respect, modern movies (e.g. Pratt, He Gave Us Stories, 137-39 for categories of character revelation). H. Evan Runner and Elisabeth Wichers Runner (St. Catherines, Ontario: Paideia, 1977), 62. This cycle is represented in miniature at Ruth’s Approach (occurring in the evening), Ordeal (at midnight), Reward (at dawn) (see below for further explanation of these stages).20 As a Moabitess seeking redemption in God’s community, she also undergoes the initiation cycle. The book of Ruth is the Narrative of a love story, yet also has some important Genealogy. Tests, Allies, and Enemies: Ruth’s continued hard work in the fields wins her Allies in Boaz’s foreman and in Boaz himself. This is the real beauty that he has understood through her physical beauty. So and So, who refuses to redeem Ruth. Penned by Daniel Block (Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College), this commentary on Ruth is the third and latest offering in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament (ZECOT) series. 4:4-7), 3. LITERARY ANALYSIS OF THE BOOK OF RUTH PART 2: ON THE ROAD Marc Chagall 1960 Ruth Naomi and Orpah 1Now it came to pass in the days … of the following characters. These same categories can be applied to other stories in the Bible to unveil the central message that God wishes to communicate, understood according to their appropriate genre. 2:11). 22 This five-part plot structure is defined as problem, rising action (“raises tension”), turning point, falling action (“continues the unwinding initiated by the turning point”), and resolution. In this beautiful account, He demonstrates how He will use a person (Ruth) who for all practical purposes, is a foreigner and enemy of the Israelites. In doing so, it is necessary to trace the action in terms of plot: “Correct interpretation of narratives depends in part on an appreciation of the plot as it marks out the beginning, middle, and end of both single and complex patterns and an appreciation of the pace of the narrative.”2 Further, the literary approach is able to appropriately appreciate the artistry of the Bible. This definition also fits Boaz, who sacrifices his own self-interests (seen in his foil, Mr. The Ordeal: Ruth’s Ordeal comes in the form of a marriage proposal to Boaz. In Ruth, the obstacles consist of Naomi attempting to dissuade Ruth from coming; Ruth approaching Boaz; and the potential kinsman with first rights. The Book of Ruth (abbreviated Rth) (Hebrew: מגילת רות , Megilath Ruth, "the Scroll of Ruth", one of the Five Megillot) is included in the third division, or the Writings (Ketuvim), of the Hebrew Bible; in most Christian canons it is treated as a history book and placed between Judges and 1 Samuel. Not only does she return to Naomi after the marriage proposal with a promise of redemption but also with tangible evidence of grain. In the beginning, Naomi worries about the lack of bread; she makes the announcement to Ruth and Orpah of her plan to return to Bethlehem while kneading bread (a hint of the hope she has in her return to Bethlehem); Ruth recognizes the provision of bread Boaz will bring with his agreement to marry her; finally, Naomi receives the announcement of Obed’s birth while taking a fresh loaf of bread out of the oven. A literary analysis of this book enabled an enlightenment of the story development as well as the character development, which revealed the overarching and secondary messages of the Book of Ruth. The book is named for its central character, a Moabite woman who married the son of a Judaean couple living in Moab. Ruth exhibits both the typical initiation and death-rebirth cycles of the mythic plots. The Enemy exists in the Shadow, the idea of an unredeemed, unprovided for and unprotected life. Cf. The diction of the poem is figurative, with similes such as “In the midst of brown was born,/ Like red poppies grown with corn,” where the poet compares the beautiful red cheeks of Ruth to red poppies. In this case, God provides through the גאל, the kinsman redeemer who plays the part of the Messianic figure. 39 Campbell, Hero with a Thousand Faces, 213. The Book of Ruth is another short story written in the interests of internationalism. Naomi considers herself cursed by God and sees no hope of security. 40 Vogler, Writer’s Journey, 35. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1988), 169. Boaz Acquires Right to be the Kinsman-Redeemer (4:1-12); V. Naomi’s Blessing (4:13-17)”23 This analysis fits within the overarching comedy ternary form from the ideal (understood by the audience) to the unideal experience (the deaths of Elimelech, Kilion and Machlon leaving their three widows helpless, unprotected, and unprovided for), and the journey back to the ideal (Ruth’s marriage to Boaz, which redeems both her and Naomi, and Ruth’s child, who carries Ruth’s husband’s name24 and guarantees Naomi’s future).25 Further, because the story of Ruth exhibits elements of mythic structure as analyzed by Joseph Campbell and Christopher Vogler, it is helpful to understand how Ruth fits this form.26. Notes, and finds its ultimate fulfillment in birth Ontario: Paideia, 1977,! Graaf, promise and Deliverance, vol grain to take back to Naomi after marriage! While Naomi receives provision and blessing, Ruth: a New Translation with Introduction, Notes, and God a... | 6 Pages Writers, 2nd ed death-rebirth cycles of the Bible 's the book ' the begins. 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