Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ruth 1-2

This section of the book is titled Ruth. A woman has a name? AND her name is in the title? I want to be excited about it but I assume horrible things will happen to Ruth. 

Chapter 1:

The chapter opens to tell us we're still in the time of Judges,so in a way, we haven't escaped that section of the book and possibly never will.

Elimelek a simple man just trying to raise his family during a time period when the government sanctions kidnapping for diplomatic purposes, lived in Bethlehem with his wife, Naomi, and his two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. 

But there's a famine in Bethlehem and the schools PTA is really intense, so Elimelek takes his family to Moab.

Let's visualize this family so you can care when bad things happen to them:

Picture this but with more famine. 

Elimelek dies in some way that is not mentioned.  

Oh, Elimelek we hardly knew ye.

Naomi raises her two sons alone which is rough but at least they're slightly less likely to be kidnapped. 

Mahlon and Kilion get married...soooo picture them as slightly older than the above photo. Their new wives are Orpah and Ruth. They spend an adjective-less ten years together.

Then, the two sons die. No. No the book does not explain how. 

Oh, interchangeable sons who didn't matter. We hardly knew ye.

Wait. Is this book about to give us a story about women and only women? AND they ALL get names?!

Please don't get kidnapped please don't get kidnapped please don't get kidnapped

Naomi decides to head back home after hearing the famine is over. Her daughter-in-laws want to come with her. Naomi tells them politely that they should go home to their parents. Orpah and Ruth insist on coming with her. Naomi then gives them a reality check.

"Am I going to have any more sons, who would become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for meeven if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sonswould you wait until they grew up?"

Women can only hang out if they're married to each other's male relatives. This book is failing the Bechtel test pretty hard. 

This convinces Orpah not Oprah to give up and return to her family. Ruth isn't convinced. She doesn't need a man to hang out with Naomi. Ruth is the most progressive person in this book and also potentially in love with Naomi. 

"Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me." 

No one has ever loved their mother in law this much. 

The two of them go on a road trip to Bethlehem where Naomi insists on nicknaming herself:

"Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter."

Naomi has been listening to a lot of Morrissey albums. 

Chapter 2:

Ruth goes to work in the field picking up leftover grains to sell, when a man named Boaz notices her. 

"Who does that young woman belong to?"

Boaz makes a move with his unparalleled flirting skills:

"Hey daughter,"

Hey daddy.

"I have told the men not to lay a hand on you."

The other women are totally fair game, but you girl, you're special.  

"And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled."

Remember dumb woman, when you get thirsty, drink water. 

Ruth is into it. She falls at his feet and asks 

"How have i found such favor in your eyes?"

Boaz heard what she did for Naomi so she gets that special treatment: water and going unassaulted. 

The flirting continues, at meal time he shares bread and dipping sauces with her. He secretly tells the men not to yell at her and to help her by essentially doing the work for her without her knowing it. 

Awww how sweet, he doesn't think she's capable of working. What a romantic story of mutual respect. I'll stick with the Samson romance of multiple wives actively trying to murder him thank you.

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