D. Brent Sandy and Ronald L. Giese, Jr. (Nashville: Broadman & Holdman Publishers, 1995), 71. after the expulsion of the Greek occupiers in Israel and before Rome’s domination of Palestine). “A Hero is someone who is willing to sacrifice his own needs on behalf of others, like a shepherd who will sacrifice to protect and serve his flock. the bridegroom, the conqueror, and the leader who brings his people into their rightful home).31 In the story of Ruth and Naomi, Boaz represents the Messiah as the redeemer who is the bridegroom for Ruth and reclaims the rightful home for Naomi. - Contact Us - Privacy Policy - Terms and Conditions, Definition and Examples of Literary Terms, Speech: “Is this a dagger which I see before me, In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 27, Sonnet 55: Not Marble nor the Gilded Monuments. 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. This is embodied in the Mr. “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. 29 A second metaphor used in this musical is of the branch. 1 Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., “Narrative” in Cracking Old Testament Codes: A Guide to Interpreting the Literary Genres of the Old Testament, ed. Book Summary . 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. Ultimately, it is about God and His loving-kindness to act as the Faithful Provider to His covenant people and to those who put their trust in Him for wholeness and salvation. 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. 6. Ruth’s return from Boaz with grain in symmetrical scenes), and contrasts (i.e. 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. The central conceit of the poem “Ruth” is a romantic picture of a lady painted by Thomas Hood in such a way that she seems to be standing before our very eyes. The book begins and ends focusing on Naomi. The Hebrew uses the same term ילדfor sons to show in inclusio Naomi’s loss of sons to her regaining of a child. A presupposition of this study is that the book’s plot structure is comic/monomythic. 11 Reg Grant, “The Validity of Pregeneric Plot Structure in Ruth as a Key to Interpretation” (Ph.D. Ruth and Naomi together sojourn to Bethlehem hoping for, and finding, provision through Ruth’s work of gleaning in the field, through Boaz’s generous gift to Ruth, through Boaz’s redemption of Ruth and Naomi’s field, and finally through Obed, the son who holds the hope for future provision. Christopher Vogler, The Writer’s Journey: The Mythic Structure for Writers, 2nd ed. Among historical narratives in Scripture it is unexcelled in its compactness, vividness, warmth, beauty and dramatic effectiveness -- an exquisitely wrought jewel of Hebrew narrative art. Related Topics: Character Study, Women's Articles, Heather graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Th.M. The Messiah figure is associated with various royal figures in the Old Testament (i.e. It also allowed an appreciation for the beauty and complicity of the plot as unfolded by the author. (Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 1998), throughout. 7. of the following characters. The book of Ruth has been widely accepted as being a positive text for and about women in the Hebrew Bible. In Ruth, the obstacles consist of Naomi attempting to dissuade Ruth from coming; Ruth approaching Boaz; and the potential kinsman with first rights. The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon, 4. Loyal love is an important theme of the book (Hebrew hesed or checed; translated “kindly” and “kindness” in Ruth 1:8; 2:20; and 3:10). 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. Like Naomi, she moves from the deathlike experience of the childless widow to the rebirth of marriage. The Call to Adventure: This occurs when the men Elimilech, Machlon, and Killion die and Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem. Naomi’s character, as the Hero Mentor on her own journey (see below), displays the death-rebirth cycle, which “involves a hero who endures death or a deathlike experience and returns to life and security.”19 As a helpless and childless widow, Naomi is in a “deathlike experience.” However, she passes to rebirth at the birth of Obed. The book of Ruth was written to provide a lovely example of the sovereignty and plan of God. 1); II. One aspect of literature is its elements of recurrence in imagery and conventional actions.16 Rituals of conventional actions and that imitate nature’s cycle are organizing rhythms and patterns. A Literary Analysis of the Book of Ruth. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard, a B.A. 4 Leland Ryken, The Literature of the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1974), 13. Though the story treats Ruth as the heroine, the story revolves around the redemption of Naomi. However, her actions as well as the speech and thought of the story community proved her to be faithful, loyal, and sacrificial (cf. Tests, Allies, and Enemies: Ruth’s continued hard work in the fields wins her Allies in Boaz’s foreman and in Boaz himself. Finally, literature is an interpretive presentation of experience in an artistic form. On her cheek an autumn flush, Deeply ripened;—such a blush In the midst of brown was born, Like red poppies grown with corn. 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. On a sub-level, this scene is the Call to Adventure for Boaz, who becomes the active Hero for the next few scenes. H. Evan Runner and Elisabeth Wichers Runner (St. Catherines, Ontario: Paideia, 1977), 62. Some refer to the story as an idyllische Novelle (Kaiser, 1969). 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. Her first novel follows the life of Ruth Grey Dahl, a poor girl in the small town of Honey Creek, Illinois. It is the Abrahamic covenant in reverse: instead of the nations being blessed through Israel, Israel is blessed through a Gentile. That is, the content of a work of literature is presented in the form of a novel, play, short story, poem, and so forth…A working definition of literature, then, is that it is an interpretive presentation of experience in an artistic form.4. 11. Ruth exhibits both the typical initiation and death-rebirth cycles of the mythic plots. Per the publisher, the series: 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.). So and So, who refuses to redeem Ruth. 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. 8 in "Scripture Frames & Framing" (2008), co-authored with Timothy Wilt. Not only does she return to Naomi after the marriage proposal with a promise of redemption but also with tangible evidence of grain. 32 Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, Charles A. Briggs, eds., The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon, reprinted (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1979), 145. The book begins with a famine but ends with plenty. At the root the idea of Hero is connected with self-sacrifice.”40 This definition more aptly fits Ruth, who sacrifices security and the likelihood of marriage in order to remain loyal to Naomi.41 Naomi’s role changes throughout the story: she is the threshold guardian attempting to dissuade Ruth from entering the “special world” in chapter one; she is the mentor who instructs and prepares Ruth for the marriage proposal in chapter three (the inversion of the threshold guardian); she is the recipient of the healing elixir in the end. The objection to this kind of literary evaluation is not that it is condensed and offhanded, but that it is so simplistic that it gives a radically wrong impression of the work. Ruth: A Discourse Analysis of the Hebrew Bible Daniel Block Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2015 304 pp. She lives with her mother May and for a while, her brother Matthew. Crossing the First Threshold: Ruth swears an oath to Naomi to remain loyal to her and returns with Naomi to Bethlehem. 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. The legal acts of the Israelites reflect the acts of God. In so doing, he provides an example of Yahweh, who is the redeemer of the widows and the orphans.35 As Ruth was delivered from poverty, unprotected and unprovided for, Yahweh also delivers His people from distress and ultimately from death through Christ’s sacrifice on and the cross and victory over. Learn about the setting, title, ending, allusions and more in an easy-to-understand format. The book of Ruth is the Narrative of a love story, yet also has some important Genealogy. Gow has gleaned the best from recent scholarship, although he might have made better use of several important recent studies ( e.g. B. The first chapter introduces Ruth’s sacrificial character. Frye, Anatomy of Criticism, 160 for an explanation of the cycle of times and seasons as significant in plot. 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). 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. A very strange interpretation of the poem “Ruth” could be that it is a dedication from the poet to his mother, who managed to raise him and look after her mother-in-law without her husband who passed away several years prior. 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. Pratt, He Gave Us Stories, 137-39 for categories of character revelation). Ruth’s social status as not only a widow but as a Gentile Moabitess brought expectations of both a sinful and helpless character. Ruth recognizes wholeness in a life attached to Yahweh and His people rather than in an empty life of idol worship in Moab. 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. Her name is Ruth. The book is named for its central character, a Moabite woman who married the son of a Judaean couple living in Moab. It exposes the unbeliever to the loving grace of God and His provision of redemption through Jesus Christ. All Rights Reserved. 2D. 9. 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. Resurrection: On Ruth’s journey, her Resurrection is her wedding with Boaz (thus using a life cycle to represent the fulfilled desire). The purpose of this study is not to explore the book’s many intriguing literary angles, but to consider just its plot structure. 2); III. The story of Ruth begins with death, moves toward marriage, and finds its ultimate fulfillment in birth. Christopher Vogler further clarifies these categories as well as characterization and applies them to modern-day story telling (i.e. Contemporary literary analysis of the book is characterized by two approaches: one synchronic,3the other increasingly structuralist.4Historical questions often lead to theories about the book's coming from a premonarchic 1Phyllis Trible, "Ruth," ABD, 5. 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. 36 Chisholm From Exegesis to Exposition, 226. 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. 1. 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. The themes of devotion, kindness, being good to others, and care have been intertwined with love for the lady. at least) that literary analysis of Ruth hardly goes beyond this sort of thing, and that is my main contention. The universal monomyth contains four elements: romance and anti-romance, tragedy and comedy.10 These categories are evident in Old Testament stories: “In classical literature, and in the literature of the Old Testament itself, the existence of pregeneric [monomyth] plot structure is not only evident, but is intrinsically necessary to the development of that literature.”11Ruth, as a romance, displays the fulfillment of desire and, as a comedy, the upward movement from the unideal to the ideal. 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). Both the Old Testament and the New Testament use various forms to communicate, including story, music, and homiletics. The Book of Ruth is another short story written in the interests of internationalism. There is a common thread The Book of Ruth is called ῾Ρούθ in the Greek Septuagint. Naomi considers herself cursed by God and sees no hope of security. 14 Robert B. Chisholm, Jr., From Exegesis to Exposition: A Practical Guide to Using Biblical Hebrew (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998), 156. Each of these forms deserves to be analyzed according to their genre. 4:4-7), 3. Human experience is presented in such a way as to express, whether explicitly or by implication, a world view. the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for her 1988 classic, The Book of Ruth (Shufeldt). Round her eyes her tresses fell, Which were blackest none could tell, But long lashes veiled a light, That had else been all too bright. In fact, the final stanza throws light on the devotion of the speaker for this woman of God. 1 Ruth 1:1 - in the days when the judges governed: This time indicator places the events of the book of Ruth squarely in the history recorded in the book of Judges. The character and function of the Hero should fall to Naomi who has the power to redeem Ruth by bringing her to God’s chosen people. From this, a plot structure can be derived. 842. The narrator is a master at painting word pictures.”[6] While it can be argued that one purpose of the Book of Ruth is the historical and genealogical transition from the period of the Judges to the time of King David, the overarching purpose and theme of the book of Ruth is to demonstrate the providence and sovereignty of God. Naomi's perseverance, Ruth's faithfulness, as well as the deity's providence are examples of this view. 41 This jabbed the original Jewish audience. 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. However, in the end, she is recognized as an ancestor of the great King David of Israel. The use of the harvest cycle is also prevalent in Ruth. “Against the dark moral and ethical backdrop of the Judges period, the foreigner Ruth emerges as a paradigm of loyal love and of the kind of person the Lord is looking for to populate his covenant community.”36 Boaz notes this quality in Ruth in 3:10, blessing her for remaining loyal to Naomi and to Yahweh rather than finding her security in a Moabite husband.37 Because of Ruth’s loyalty and love, she is first blessed by Yahweh in her marriage to Boaz and then becomes Yahweh’s tool of blessing to Naomi (the helpless widow), to the nation of Israel through Ruth’s descendent, King David, and to the whole world through Ruth’s descendent, Jesus Christ. 5. 28 The musical makes use of the bread metaphor found in the biblical account. The Enemy exists in the Shadow, the idea of an unredeemed, unprovided for and unprotected life. There is a continual interpenetration of the supernatural into the earthly order, and God is a continual actor in human affairs. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968), ix-x. 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). 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. There is no internal rhyme. While the family tragedy is surrounded by famine, Ruth and Naomi return to Bethlehem when the famine has been abated at the beginning of the barley harvest, clueing the reader in to the hope they have. 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. For the Fallen Mentor (Naomi), who herself is journeying, this scene is the Resurrection of Naomi. Boaz is described as the one who redeems (גאל). I.List all the clues in chapters 2-3 of the book of Ruth that inform the reader about the character, personality, motivations, emotions, intentions, etc. 7, ed. The poem contains five stanzas, and each stanza consists of four lines. In general the literary analysis of the book of Esther can be used pedagogically as follows: *To show that not all reputable scholars agree. Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, 2nd ed. Cf. BDB defines גאל as “redeem, act as a kinsman.”32 It is used to refer to God’s redeeming acts.33 This term refers to the kinsman “who is responsible for standing up for him and maintaining his rights.34 Boaz takes responsibility for Naomi’s land and the widows. The book displays typical virtuous, beautiful ideals, villains that threaten the heroine’s ascent and final achievement of “the victory of fertility over the wasteland” of a comedy-romance.12 The final society reached at the end is the one that the “audience has recognized all along to be the proper and desirable state of affairs.”13 As a comic plot, “the protagonist encounters obstacles but eventually overcomes them through faith and/or divine intervention.”14 Its story is meant to “inspire, challenge, and encourage us.”15. Themes of the book Ruth. The author was anonymous but some believe it was perhaps written by Samuel the prophet; however, it … Her decision highlights Ruth’s sacrifice. Pratt fits Ruth into a five-part plot structure.22 Specifically, the plot structure breaks into the following divisions: “I. It also shows her lack of a fear of Yahweh, Whom she abandons in order to return to her Moabite gods. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s (7 May 1927 – 3 April 2013) lack of ties to any one place may account for her objectivity as a writer. Hyperbaton is also employed, which is an unusual word order of the sentence, such as, “Round her eyes her tresses fell.” This creates a startling effect for the readers. | $32.99. The muse was from the Romantic period, described as working in the fields in the autumn season. Analysis Of The Book ' The Book Of Ruth ' By Jane Hamilton 1302 Words | 6 Pages. 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. Beren Hebrew Academy and given numerous classes at a wide-range of synagogues and Jewish educational institutions beginning she known. De Graaf, promise and Deliverance, vol Paideia, 1977 ),.! De Graaf, promise and Deliverance, vol with meaning flood of literary analyses first chapter Ruth. Of literature selects and molds his material according to discernible viewpoints the should... In such a way as to express, whether through approaching the nearer or. Implication, a world view to be decided on the devotion of the branch: the mythic for. Boaz is described as the one who redeems ( גאל ) seen his. Their own active Hero for the beauty and complicity of the Greek occupiers in and! 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