Ruth 1-4*

adapted from  Symmetrical Design in the Book of Ruth, Stephen Bertman, Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 84, No. 2 (Jun., 1965), pp. 165-168. This overview fits  well with the chiasms already posted. [my suggestions for understanding the types].

A. Family history (1:1-5)

B. [Jewish and Gentile widows together destitute in Bethlehem]

(1) Ties of kinship are at issue (1:8-18)
Naomi and Ruth travel and come to Bethlehem (1:19)

(2) The women of Bethlehem speak to Naomi; the afflictions received by Naomi from the LORD are spoken of; Naomi gives herself a name (1:19-21)

C. [Gentile woman shares the blessings of the  inheritance  of Israel]

(1) Ruth asks Naomi if she may go to the fields and tells her what she would do; Naomi bids her go (2:2)
(2) Ruth goes to the fields (2:3)
(3) Boaz asks the identity of Ruth and is told (2:4-7)
(4) Boaz asks Ruth to stay, declares her worthy of being blessed, and gives her food (2:8-14)
(5) Ruth speaks with Naomi: Ruth tells her what has happened and Naomi gives her counsel (2:18-23)

C’. [Gentile woman accepted by the royal line of Judah]

(1) Naomi bids Ruth go to the threshing-floor and tells her what she should do (3:1-5)
(2) Ruth goes to the threshing-floor (3:6)
(3) Boaz asks the identity of Ruth and is told (3:7-9)
(4) Boaz declares Ruth worthy of being blessed, asks her
to stay, and gives her food (3:10-15)
(5) Ruth speaks with Naomi: Ruth tells her what has happened and Naomi gives her counsel (3:16-18)

B’. [Jewish and Gentile widows together redeemed and blessed with royal seed]

(1) Ties of kinship are at issue (4:1-12)
[Boaz and Ruth wed and have a son (4:13)]

(2) The women of Bethlehem speak to Naomi; the blessings received by Naomi from the LORD are told of; the women of Bethlehem give Naomi’s nursling a name (4:14-17)

A’. Family history (4:18-22)

 

One thought on “Ruth 1-4*”

  1. A Setting, family, death (1:1-5)
    B God’s provision (1:6)
    C “Make a choice” [one “no” and one “yes”] (1:7-18)
    D Report (1:19-21)
    E Barley harvest (1:22)
    F Blessing of Boaz (2:1-4)
    G Discovery of Ruth (2:5-7)
    H Ruth given instructions (2:8-9)
    I Establishing connections (2:10-13)
    J Boaz feeds Ruth (2:14)
    K Instructions on gleaning (2:15)
    L “Be generous and do not rebuke her” (2:16)
    K’ Gleaning and threshing (2:17)
    J’ Ruth feeds Naomi (2:18)
    I’ Establishing connections (2:19-23)
    H’ Ruth given instructions (3:1-6)
    G’ Discovery of Ruth (3:7-9)
    F’ Blessing of Boaz (3:10-14)
    E’ Barley harvest (3:15)
    D’ Report (3:16-18)
    C’ “Make a choice” [one “no” and one “yes”] (4:1-10)
    B’ God’s provision (4:11-12)
    A’ Birth, setting, family (4:13-22)

    The point of examining a chiastic structure is to see what lies in the center, for it reveals the focal idea of the pericope. In this case, the admonition to be generous to a Moabite woman rather than rebuking her for trying to become a part of God’s people indicates the message of the inclusive direction of Judaism which developed after the Babylonian exile (in contrast to Ezra-Nehemiah).

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