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Book of Ruth - Libro de Rut

Book of Ruth

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The Book of Ruth (Hebrew: מגילת רות‎; Sephardic, Israeli Hebrew: [məɡiˈlat rut]; Ashkenazi Hebrew: [məˈɡɪləs rus]; Biblical Hebrew: Meghilath Ruth "the Scroll of Ruth") is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible, Tanak, or Old Testament. In the Jewish canon the Book of Ruth is included in the third division, or the Writings (Ketuvim). In the Christian canon the Book of Ruth is wedged between Judges and 1 Samuel.[1] It is a rather short book, in both Jewish and Christian scripture, consisting of only four chapters.



[edit] Title

The full title in Hebrew is named after a young woman of Moab, the great-grandmother of David and, according to the Christian tradition, an ancestress of Jesus:מגילת רות, Megillat Ruth, or "the scroll of Ruth," which places the book as one of the Five Megillot. Goswell argues that while Naomi is the centralmain character, and so the book "can be considered aptly named."[2] The only other Biblical book bearing the name of a woman is Esther (except among the Catholics and Orthodox, who also include the Book of Judith in the canon). character of the book, Ruth is the

[edit] Synopsis

Table of Hebrew Bible

During the time of the Judges when there was a famine, an Israelite family from Bethlehem—Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their sons Mahlon and Chilion—emigrate to the nearby country of Moab. Elimelech dies, and the sons marry two Moabite women: Mahlon marries Ruth and Chilion marries Orpah.
The two sons of Naomi then die themselves. Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem. She tells her daughters-in-law to return to their own mothers, and remarry. Orpah reluctantly leaves; however, Ruth says, "Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me." (Ruth 1:16–17 NKJV)
The two women return to Bethlehem. It is the time of the barley harvest, and in order to support her mother-in-law and herself, Ruth goes to the fields to glean. The field she goes to belongs to a man named Boaz, who is kind to her because he has heard of her loyalty to her mother-in-law. Ruth tells her mother-in-law of Boaz's kindness, and she gleans in his field through the remainder of the harvest season.
Boaz is a close relative of Naomi's husband's family. He is therefore obliged by the Levirate law to marry Mahlon's widow, Ruth, in order to carry on his family line. Naomi sends Ruth to the threshing floor at night and tells her to "uncover the feet" of the sleeping Boaz. Ruth does so, Boaz awakes and asks,"Who are you?" Ruth identifies herself, then asks Boaz to spread his cloak over her. The phrase "spread your cloak" was a woman's way of asking for marriage. For a man to spread his cloak over a woman showed acquisition of that woman.[3] Boaz states he is willing to "redeem" Ruth via marriage, but informs Ruth that there is another male relative who has the first right of redemption.
The next morning, Boaz discusses the issue with the other male relative, Ploni Almoni ("so-and-so") before the town elders. The other male relative is unwilling to jeopardize the inheritance of his own estate by marrying Ruth, and so relinquishes his right of redemption, thus allowing Boaz to marry Ruth. They transfer the property and redeem it by the nearer kinsman taking off his sandal and handing it over to Boaz. (Ruth 4:7-18)
Boaz and Ruth get married and have a son named Obed (who by Levirate customs is also considered a son or heir to Elimelech, and thus Naomi and Elimelech's legal son). In the genealogy which concludes the story, it is pointed out that Obed is the descendant of Perez the son of Judah, and the grandfather of David.

[edit] Analysis

[edit] Authorship

Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of Moab by William Blake, 1795
Many of the books of the Old Testament do not identify their authors, and the Book of Ruth is one of these. There is, however, a historical tradition that alludes to a possibility. The Talmud refers to Samuel as the author, but scholars do not accept this tradition. Samuel died before David became king, and the way in which the author writes the genealogy in Ruth 4:18–22 supposes that the lineage is well known. Even the reference in Ruth 1:1 to the "days when the judges ruled..." indicates that the era had ended and that the audience was somewhat removed from the time. Furthermore, Ruth 4:7 states that the legal custom of taking off a shoe to seal the agreement is no longer in use. Only a generation exists between Samuel and Boaz; therefore, it is unlikely that the time span would require this explanation.
Another possibility of who wrote the book of Ruth was Nathan the prophet.[4] It is a theory that the book was written around the time where David became king, and he confided about his troubling Moabite heritage to the prophet.
Some scholars suggest that the author of the text is a woman.[5] Two observations point in the direction of a woman author. First, the story centers on the life journey of two women in desperate straits in a male-dominated society and appears to be from the viewpoint of a woman. Second, Naomi and Ruth’s ingenuity and assertiveness propels the story line. However, female authorship is conjecture, supported by only circumstantial evidence.

[edit] Date

The Book of Ruth, according to many scholars, was originally part of the Book of Judges, but it was later separated from that book and made independent. The opening verses explicitly place the Book of Ruth in the time of the Judges and it concludes with the Davidic lineage. Therefore, it is likely that the author wrote the story after the time of King David, though it is unknown how long after. One possibility is around 900 BC, after David's reign. Scholars who choose this date link it to the importance of David’s lineage recorded at the end of Ruth. In Ruth 4:17 the author states that Ruth and Boaz’s child is named Obed and that Obed “…became the father of Jesse, the father of David.” The final verses trace the family line.
On the other hand, the message of the book shows acceptance of the Israelites marrying converts to Judaism, and this has been used to suggest that the book was written during the postexilic period, perhaps around 500 BC. Ezra (10:2ff) and Nehemiah (13:23ff) record the problem that arose from the Israelites marrying foreign women. Instead of the wives converting to Judaism the Israelites began to follow their wives' gods. As a result, God’s people fell out of relationship with YHWH. For this reason, Ezra condemned intermarriages and forced the Israelites to abandon their non-Jewish wives. According to this theory, the book was written in response to Ezra's reform and in defense of a marriage to a foreign wife when the wife converts to Judaism. Acceptance of marriages to foreigners who convert to Judaism is further enforced by making the connection to the Davidic line since David is commonly seen as Israel's greatest king. Scholars who prefer the 500 B.C. date do so in reference to this dilemma, and such writers contend that the Book of Ruth demonstrates the belief that a marriage to a foreigner is acceptable to God when the foreigner follows God.
In addition, while some prefer the later date of 500 B.C to explain the use of language in Ruth, other scholars suggest the linguistic style of the book reflects the work of editors following the 900 B.C. date. They argue that the language of Ruth is akin to an archaic style of Hebrew (J.M. Myers, The Linguistic and Literary Form of the Book of Ruth and Ronald M. Hals, The Theology of the Book of Ruth), and that the Aramaic infiltrations in the book of Ruth were inserted later (circa 500 B.C.).

[edit] Context

Ruth and Naomi holding the infant Obed, Simeon Solomon, 1860.
Scholars agree that Ruth is a narrative story, and they often use terms like 'novella' or historical fiction to describe it.[6][7] The plot of a novella is more central than historical data; however, that is not to say this style of writing ignores historical facts or for that matter theological precepts. This style of writing reflects the craftsmanship of the writer.
The mood of the story is fashioned from the start through the meanings hidden in the names of the participants. Elimelech, which means "my God is King,"[8] foreshadows the continuance of his line to King David, who is God’s anointed on earth. Naomi, which means "my gracious one" or "my delight,"[9] later asks to be called Mara, "the bitter one."[10] Naomi’s name change elicits the emotions that she is experiencing and the direction of the story. Even the names of the two sons, Mahlon ("sick")[11] and Chilion ("weakening" or "pining")[12]Orpah (meaning "mane" or "gazelle", from the root for "nape" or "back of the neck")[13] turns her back on Naomi and returns to her people; Ruth (meaning "friend")[14][15] or "strength is (in) him" or "he comes in strength") becomes the kinsman redeemer and Obed’s name appropriately means "servant."[16] Obed is the ancestor of King David, and Israel’s kings are servants of Yahweh. The use of names in the Book of Ruth deepens the story’s narrative strength and assists the reader in appreciating the text’s meaning. alerts the reader to their physical conditions. pledges her loyalty to Naomi. Boaz ("fleetness"
The marriage of Boaz and Ruth was of a type known as a Levirate marriage. Since there is no heir to inherit Elimelech's land, the Levirate Law is triggered by the redemption[17][18] in this unusual situation. The levirate custom required a close relative (usually a brother-in-law) to marry the widow of the deceased in order to continue his family line Deuteronomy (25:5–10). Interestingly, Ruth is not Elimelech’s widow and Boaz is not his brother. Therefore, some scholars refer to Boaz’ duty as “Levirate-like” or as a "kinsman-marriage."[19]
Moreover, the Israelites understanding of redemption included both that of people and of land. In Israel land had to stay in the family. The family could mortgage the land to ward off poverty; and the law of Leviticus 25:25ff required a kinsman to purchase it back into the family. The kinsman, who Boaz meets at the city gate, first says he will purchase the land, but upon hearing he must also take Ruth as his wife he withdraws his offer. His decision was primarily a financial decision since a child born to Ruth through the union would inherit Elimelech’s land, and he would not be reimbursed for the money he paid Naomi. Boaz becomes Ruth and Naomi’s "kinsman-redeemer." [20]
The Israelites' understanding of redemption is woven into their understanding of Yahweh. God stands by the oppressed and needy. He extends his love and mercy offering a new freedom and hope. God has a deep concern for the welfare of his people, materially, emotionally and spiritually. The redemption theme extends beyond this biblical book through the genealogy. First, in Ruth 4:13 God made her conceive. Second, through the genealogy it is shown that the son born to Naomi is more than just a gift from God to continue her lineage. The history of God’s rule through the David line connects the book’s theme in to the Bible’s main theme of redemptive history.
Hesed, sometimes translated as "loving kindness," also implies loyalty. The theme of hesed is woven throughout Ruth, beginning at 1:8 with Naomi blessing her two daughters-in-law as she urges them to return to their Moabite families. She says, “May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.” Both Ruth and Boaz demonstrate hesed to their family members throughout the story. These are not acts of kindness with an expectation of measure for measure. Rather, they are acts of hesed that go beyond measure and demonstrate that a person can be required to go beyond the minimum expectations of the law and choose the unexpected. However, the importance of the law is evident within the Book of Ruth, and the story reflects a need to stay within legal boundaries. Boaz, in going beyond measure in acquiring the property (demonstrating hesed), redeems not only the land but both Naomi and Ruth as well. The two widows now have a secure and protected future.

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: "Ruth in Boaz's Field", 1828

[edit] Structure

Act 1: Prologue and Problem: Death and Emptiness (1:1-22) Scene 1: Setting and Problem (1:1-6) Scene 2: Emptiness Compounded (1:7-19a) Scene 3: Emptiness Expressed (1:19b-22)
Act 2: Ruth Meets Boaz, Naomi’s Relative, on the Harvest Field (2:1-23) Scene 1: Ruth Goes to Glean (2:1-3) Scene 2: Boaz is Exceedingly Generous (2:4-17a) Scene 3: Boaz Is One of their Redeemers (2:17b-23)
Act 3: Naomi Sends Ruth to Boaz on the Threshing Floor (3:1-18) Scene 1: Naomi Reveals Her Plan Scene 2: Ruth Carries out Naomi’s Plan
Act 4: Resolution and Epilogue: Life and Fullness (4:1-22) Scene 1: Boaz Acquires the Right to Redeem Ruth and Naomi (4:1-12) Scene 2: Naomi Is Restored to Life and Fullness (4:13-17) Scene 3: Epilogue: A Judean Family Restored (4:18-22)[21]

[edit] Jewish and Christian perspectives

In many ways, most of what Christians and Jews would draw from the text would be the same. The Book of Ruth has a unique significance to Jews. In particular, the figure of Ruth is celebrated as a convert to Judaism who understood Jewish principles and took them to heart. This book is also held in esteem by Jews who fall under the category of Jews-by-choice, as is evidenced by the considerable presence of Boaz in rabbinic literature. As well, the "Book of Ruth" functions liturgically, as it is read during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, "Weeks", or Pentecost. This is most likely due to the fact that the story takes place during the barley harvest, and that Shavuot is the celebration of the end of the barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest.[22]
For Christians the book has additional significance. The connection between Ruth and David is very important because Jesus of Nazareth was born of Mary, betrothed to Joseph of the lineage of David (see Chapter 3 in Luke and Chapter 1 in Matthew, respectively). Thus in Christian Biblical lineage, Ruth is a foremother of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). The line can be traced as:
Boaz, father of Obed
Obed, father of Jesse
Jesse, father of David
David, ancestor of Joseph
Joseph, husband of Mary, mother of Jesus
The genealogy of Jesus that we find at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew is a male lineage. Only four women from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) are included in this long lineage, one of whom is Ruth. Many Christians interpret Boaz and Ruth as typical of Jesus and the Church.[23] Ruth's famous words, "For wherever you go, I will go ...," are used in Catholic and some Protestant marriage services, underscoring the similarity of marriage and religious conversion. Ruth is also commemorated as a matriarch in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod on July 16. Ruth is also one of the Five Heroines of the Order of the Eastern Star.

[edit] Ethical Importance

1. Inclusivity: Ruth, a Moabite, voluntarily embraces Naomi’s people, land, culture, and Yahwistic religion. The book of Ruth portrays a perfect example of true Yahwism in that it propagates inclusion of all, even in the ancient world of the Israelites where separation is made obvious between Israelites and non-Israelites.[24] This inclusivity transcends cultural or racial boundaries, with the objective of uniting the human race. Yet Ruth is not any foreigner; she has embraced Israel's religion and way of life. Hence, the aim is unity under God. 2. Loving-kindness living: Boaz and Ruth are models of loving-kindness (hesed) embedded in the book of Ruth; they act in ways that promote the well-being of others.[25] Both characters demonstrate care and concern, rescuing others who are in desperate need. In Ruth 1:8-18, Ruth demonstrated hesed by not going back to Moab but accompanying her mother-in-law to a foreign land. Then she goes out to the fields to glean, in order to provide for mother-in-law and herself (Ruth 2). Although there was provision in the law (e.g., Leviticus 23:22), it was considered a menial task, below the level of even the servants (Ruth 2:19-20). Yet Ruth chose to glean, despite the danger she faced in the field (Ruth 2:15) and the lower social status of the job. Finally, Ruth agrees with Naomi’s plan to marry Boaz, even though she was free of family obligations, once again demonstrating her loyalty and obedience (Ruth 3:10). Boaz is also a model of hesed. He is kind to Ruth when she worked in his field (Ruth 2), providing for her beyond the requirements of the law. He also demonstrates hesed to Ruth by marrying her, despite the cost to himself (especially of redeeming the field) and the risks involved. By contrast, the nearer kinsman reveals the choices of someone lacking hesed. 3. Divine providential care: Naomi was a widow who was destitute and aged at the time she re-entered Bethlehem.Yet by the end of the narrative, we see her embracing her grand-son as her foster-child. From empty in chapter 1, she is filled again by God at the end of chapter 4. This shows God’s providential care for Naomi. God's providential care also extends to Ruth. This is especially seen in chapter 2. Even though the narrator says that she "just happens" to find Boaz's field (Ruth 2:3), in the thought world of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, there is no chance, just God's control. In the end, Ruth, a destitute foreigner, childless after up to ten years of marriage, becomes an ancestress of King David through God's enabling (Ruth 4:13). 4. Integrity: The book highlights the virtue of maintaining integrity in one’s life. The example of Boaz, who is of high stature not only based on his wealth, but also based on his benevolence. His standing is underlined by his authoritativeness during the legal proceedings at the town gate (4:1-10). His integrity is also demonstrated on the threshing floor, when Ruth “visits” Boaz at night. Many scholars debate over what happened on the threshing floor; yet it seems unlikely Boaz and Ruth had sexual relations based on the narrative's portrayal of their character (esp. 2:1; 3:11). Establishing their good character then tarnishing it does not seem likely.[26]

[edit] Family tree of those mentioned

Elimelech Naomi Boaz Ruth Mahlon Orpah Chilion Obed Jesse David Rut la Moabita - Ruth

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Coogan, Michael D. "A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament." Oxford University Press, 2009. p. 8.
  2. ^ Gregory Goswell, "What's in a Name? Book Titles in the Latter Prophets and Writings," Pacfica 21 (2008), 8.
  3. ^ Attridge, Harold W. & Meeks, Wayne A., ed. "The HarperCollins Study Bible." HarperCollins Publishers, 2006. footnote on 3:9, p. 387.
  4. ^ Gow, Murray D. The Book of Ruth: Its Structure, Theme and Purpose. Leicester: Apollos, 1992, 207-210.
  5. ^ Brenner, Athalya and Fontaine, Carole R. (1999). The Feminist Companion to the Bible. Sheffield Academic Press. p. 34. ISBN 9781850759782. Retrieved December 30, 2007. 
  6. ^ Hubbard, Robert L. (1989). Book of Ruth. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 47. ISBN 9780802825261. Retrieved December 30, 2007. 
  7. ^ Coogan, Michael D. "A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament." Oxford University Press, 2009. p. 187.
  8. ^ Elimelech, Blue Letter Bible Lexicon
  9. ^ Naomi, Blue Letter Bible Lexicon
  10. ^ Mara, Blue Letter Bible Lexicon
  11. ^ Mahlon, Blue Letter Bible Lexicon
  12. ^ /lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H03630&t=kjv Chilion, Blue Letter Bible Lexicon
  13. ^ Orpah, Blue Letter Bible Lexicon
  14. ^ Ruth, Blue Letter Bible Lexicon
  15. ^ Boaz, Blue Letter Bible Lexicon
  16. ^ Obed, Blue Letter Bible Lexicon
  17. ^ Easton Dictionary
  18. ^ Easton Dictionary
  19. ^ LaSor et al.
  20. ^ "Kinsman Redeemer". Hope of Israel Baptist Mission. 2008. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved December 30, 2007. 
  21. ^ Frederic Bush, Ruth/Esther, WBC, Nashville:Word, 1996.
  22. ^ Attridge, Harold W. & Meeks, Wayne A., ed. "The HarperCollins Study Bible." HarperCollins Publishers, 2006. p. 383.
  23. ^ Lessons from the Book of Ruth
  24. ^ J. Gordon Harris, Cheryl A. Brown, Michael S. Moore. "Joshua, Judges, Ruth". (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 2000), 302.
  25. ^ Katherine D. Sakenfeld. Ruth (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1999), 11-12.
  26. ^ Daniel I. Block. “The New American Commentary: Judges, Ruth.” (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 1999), 686.

[edit] References

  • Atkinson, David J. Message of Ruth (Bible Speaks Today). Repr. ed. IVP., 1985.
  • Baylis, Charles P. "Naomi in the book of Ruth in Light of the Mosaic Covenant". Bibliotheca Sacra161, no. 644 (October–December 2004): 413–431.
  • Bos, Johanna. Ruth, Esther, Jonah. Paperback ed. Westminster John Knox Pr., 1986.
  • Brenner, Athalya, ed. Ruth and Esther: A Feminist Companion to the Bible. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999.
  • Bush, Bush, Frederic W. Ruth, Esther. WBC 9. Dallas: Word Books, 1996.
  • Buttrick, George Arthur and board, eds. The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 4. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 1962.
  • Carmody, Denise Lardner and John Tully Carmody. Corn & Ivy: Spiritual Reading in Ruth and Jonah. Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International, 1995.
  • Coogan, et al., eds. The New Oxford Annotated Bible, 3d. ed. NRSV. Oxford: University Press, 2001.
  • Gow, Murray D. The Book of Ruth: Its Structure, Theme and Purpose. Leicester: Apollos, 1992.
  • Harris, J. Gordon, Cheryl A. Brown, and Michael S. Moore. Joshua, Judges, Ruth. NIBCOT 5. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2000.
  • Hubbard, Robert L., Jr. The Book of Ruth. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1988.
  • Korpel, Marjo C.A. The Structure of the Book of Ruth. The Netherlands: Royal Van Gorcum, 2001.
  • Larkin, Katrina J.A. Ruth and Esther. England: Sheffield Academic Press Ltd., 1996.
  • LaSor, William Sanford et al. Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament, 2d. ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996.
  • Nielsen, Kirsten. Ruth: A Commentary. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997.
  • Olson, Harriett Jane, ed. director. The New Interpreter’s Bible: Volume II, 2nd ed. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 1998. 891–896.
  • Roop, Eugene F. Believers Church Bible Commentary. Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 2002.
  • Sakenfeld, Katharine Doob. Ruth. Louisville, Kentucky: John Knox Press, 1999.
  • Webb, Barry G. Five Festal Garments. NSBT 10. Leicester: Apollos, 2000.
  • Younger, K. Lawson. Judges/Ruth. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002.

[edit] External links

Jewish translations and study guides
Christian translations and study guides
Other links
Book of Ruth
Preceded by
Song of Songs
Hebrew Bible Succeeded by
Preceded by
Old Testament
Succeeded by
1–2 Samuel


Libro de Rut

De Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
Para otros usos de este término, véase Número (desambiguación).
Libro de Rut
Noemí, Rut y Orfa (pintura de William Blake, 1795)
Libros Históricos
Jueces Libro de Rut Primer Libro de Samuel
Rut, también llamado Libro de Ruth, es uno de los libros bíblicos del Antiguo Testamento, precedido en la versión católica por el Libro de los Jueces y seguido por I Samuel. En el Tanaj hebreo se lo cuenta entre los Ketuvim ("escritos").



[editar] Autor y época

El autor del libro de Rut es desconocido; algunos detalles de su estilo y argumento ubican la fecha de su composición en la época posterior al Exilio en Babilonia.
Otros por su parte argumentan la posibilidad de que el escrito date de fechas posteriores a la coronación de David, pues al final de libro se encuentra su genealogía. El hecho de que no se mencione a Salomón convence a muchos estudiosos de que debe ser fechado antes del reinado de este.

[editar] Origen del nombre

El libro ha sido bautizado con el nombre de una de sus protagonistas, mujer moabita llamada Rut, viuda y sin hijos (lo que la emparenta con la heroína Judit). Por su bondad y piedad para con su suegra fue aceptada por Dios y el pueblo judío.
Rut, una moabita que después de la muerte de su esposo se dirigió a Belén con su también enviudada suegra ocupa un lugar importante en la historia israelita, ya que llegó a ser antecesora de David (rut 4:18-2) y de Jesús (mateo 1:1-5).

[editar] Argumento

El libro narra la historia de Elimelec, un hombre de Belén de Judá que emigró con su familia al país de Moab. Su mujer se llamaba Noemí y sus hijos, Quelyón y Majalón. Al morir Elimelec, sus dos hijos se casaron con Orfa y Rut de Moab, respectivamente.
Diez años más tarde, murieron también los hijos y Noemí, acompañada de su nuera Rut, regresó a Belén. Rut trabajaba en el campo de Booz, quien era uno de los goeles de la familia de Elimelec. Como otro goel no estuvo dispuesto a casarse con Rut, ese deber le correspondió a Booz, que ya se había sentido atraído por la moabita. De este matrimonio nació un hijo, Obed, que más tarde sería abuelo del rey David. Así, Rut ingresa por sus propias virtudes en la religion judía.

[editar] Propósito

Las intenciones principales del libro son :
a) Demostrar que había bondad y fidelidad de Dios en Israel durante el período cruel y desenfrenado de los jueces. No todos los hebreos se dieron a la idolatría, la concupiscencia y el derramamiento de sangre en aquel entonces. Ross comenta: “esta hermosa órbita nos pinta un cuadro de las santas bendiciones que descienden sobre la vida social y doméstica de cualquier época, cuando prevalecen una fe sencilla en Dios y un amor sincero al prójimo.
b) Revelar la providencia divina. Dios en sus inescrutables designios, permite grandes males para traer bien a los suyos, y se interesa en las cosas más ordinarias de la vida diaria. Incluso para las personas menos importantes. Aunque la tragedia de la familia de Elimelec fue dolorosa y numerosas sus desgracias, Dios recompensó ampliamente la piedad de Noemí y la bondad de Rut.
c) Proporcionar una lección misionera, demostrando de que manera una mujer gentil se convirtió en la seguidora al del verdadero Dios y como se incorporó a la vida del pueblo Dios. En Dios no hay acepción de razas; él toma bajo sus alas de protección a los extranjeros que confían en él.
d) Demostrar de qué manera David descendió de una mujer cuya fe –no su raza- fue lo que la salvó. Puesto que la misión de Jesús sería Universal convenía que los gentiles piadoso tuvieran lugar entre sus antepasados.
Casi todos los comentaristas consideran el libro de Rut como un ensayo sobre la soberanía de Dios que destaca su misericordia y relata el final feliz de una historia que comienza con una escena de hambre, muerte y desconsuelo. Desafortunadamente, esas observaciones se hacen a menudo invocando los reiterados lamentos de Noemí, quien se quejaba amargamente de que la mano de Dios se había levantado contra ella (1.13, 20, 21). Dos veces, en sus lamentaciones, Noemí usa el término «Todopoderoso» para referirse a Dios, haciendo énfasis en que su irresistible poder se había vuelto contra ella. Sin embargo, no es necesario presumir que el punto de vista de Noemí deba ser aceptado como una revelación espiritual llamada a convertirse en doctrina. Por el contrario, se comprenden mejor sus palabras como una expresión de humana perplejidad recogida por la historia.
Esta aclaración, a la hora de considerar las palabras de Noemí, parece imprescindible para una sana interpretación del texto. Atribuir a la intención o a la mano de Dios los desastres que aparecen en este libro no concuerda con la revelación que ofrece la Escritura, en su conjunto, sobre la naturaleza divina. La hambruna (1.1) era un subproducto natural del pecado, un castigo que el pueblo se impuso a sí mismo por su desobediencia. El Señor les había advertido que la propia tierra se volvería en su contra si le eran infieles (Dt 28.15, 16, 23, 24, 38–40). Aun más, la decisión de Elimelec de mudarse con su familia a los campos de Moab (1.2) no se presenta como fruto de indicación divina alguna, sino de su propia elección. ¿Por qué sugerir que los acontecimientos que ocurrieron a continuación (su muerte y la de sus hijos) se debieron a la providencia divina? Existe otra razón para afirmar que estos infortunados acontecimientos, aunque no escapaban a la omnisciencia divina, no constituyeron un castigo de Dios, sino el resultado natural de circunstancias ajenas a la promesa divina. La protección de Dios es para aquellos que se mantienen obedientes en la heredad que de Él han recibido. Por lo tanto, Noemí representa algo más que una teología folklórica. Aunque obviamente era una mujer sincera y creyente, se revela vulnerable a la práctica común de culpar a Dios por aquellos acontecimientos que alejan, causan la muerte o perjudican a su gente, y frente a los cuales la humanidad indefensa no puede hacer nada. Pero la Escritura revela, a través de la integridad de su mensaje, que tales infortunios no proceden directamente de Dios, sino son el resultado del castigo que pesa sobre los seres humanos por el pecado original o el fruto de la carne cuando decide seguir sus propios caminos, no importa lo malicioso o inocente del intento, o consecuencia del asalto directo de nuestro gran adversario, el diablo (Jn 10.10).
Rut es un libro que demuestra que la soberanía de Dios no está minimizada por esas observaciones. Por el contrario, subraya que el objetivo de Él es su soberana gracia y poder. Como Todopoderoso deja en libertad al hombre y no se opone, pero transforma las restricciones, los daños, las dificultades y los consejos que nos llevan al fracaso y que son el resultado del pecado, la carne o el diablo.

[editar] Características

Es uno de los libros más breves del Antiguo Testamento, y supone algunas características especiales que lo diferencian de los demás.
Al volver de la cautividad, los judíos en general y el autor del libro en particular se encuentran con Israel dividida ideológicamente en dos tendencias: una de ellas cerrada y exclusivista, que quería mantener la pureza del judaísmo a toda costa, y otra más abierta y universalista que deseaba ampliar el espectro a las naciones vecinas y de ser posible al mundo entero.
El primer grupo quería prohibir hasta los matrimonios mixtos, y los últimos profetas adscribieron a esta teoría y preconizan severamente con las leyes más flexibles de Esdras y Nehemías. Pero el cambio de los tiempos es inexorable y la apertura no puede evitarse: el judaísmo ya no volverá a estar aislado nunca más. A esta corriente pertenece el libro de Rut, al igual que Job, Tobit y Jonás.
El autor de Rut se preocupa de mostrar a Rut como modelo de piedad, amabilidad, fidelidad, obediencia y coraje; es un ejemplo concreto de todas y cada una de las virtudes del judaísmo. Su suegra Noemí recibirá las bendiciones de Yahvéh a través de ella.

[editar] Sentido religioso

Si bien el libro es bastante liberal y universalista, su sentido último es de equilibrio y compromiso entre las dos corrientes contrapuestas. Si bien es cierto que el judaísmo debe conservar su unidad y pureza doctrinaria, los analistas cristianos afirman que esto está balanceado por la aproximación del Evangelio que viene, en el sentido de que, a partir de aquí, será también misión esencial del pueblo judío preparar la difusión de la verdad entre las demás naciones.

[editar] Símbolos presentes

Rut es, como otros libros históricos de la Biblia, una narración histórica cuya finalidad es trazar una parábola moral. Los fines que pretende lograr el autor son éticos y literarios además de históricos.
Los nombres de los personajes encierran significados profundos: Noemí ("mi graciosa"), Mahlon ("languidez"), Kilyon ("consunción"), Orpa ("la que vuelve la espalda") y finalmente Rut ("la compañera"). Todo esto apoya y ayuda a la narración, aunque es posible que algunos sentidos ocultos escapen hoy en día al lector moderno.
Es definitivamente un relato de fe, amor y evidentemente con una gran tipología Mesiánica.

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