Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Ruth: Argument of the Book

3. The argument and uses of the book.



The argument of the book is plainly comic.[1] That is, it is a narration of the grievous trials and difficult circumstance of Ruth the Moabitess, married to Mahlon, the second son of Elimelech and Naomi, peregrinating from Bethlehem-Judah into the land of Moab (the storytelling Hebrews in vain make Ruth a relation of Balak of Eglon,[2] and so of the Royal family); and of her end, namely, a most joyous marriage entered into with Boaz. Hence it teaches that virtues have their own rewards, that God assigns a joyous conclusion to lamentable circumstances, provided that we study honesty, and spare no holy labor. It also weaves a catalog of the Davidic lineage, and so of Messiah Himself, to be born of David, to the subsequent history, and the knowledge of the promises of God, and the exceedingly useful genealogy of Christ. Whence also concerning the scope/goal of book the judgment is effortless.

[1] Comedy is an ancient theatric genre, moving from conflict to resolution, and frequently ending in a wedding. [2] See Numbers 22-24; Judges 3:12-30.

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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