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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on Ruth

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1.1–22 : Naomi and Ruth.

1–5 :

Introduction.

1 :

Bethlehem in Judah distinguishes it from Bethlehem in the tribe of Zebulun (Josh. 19.15 ). Moab: east of the Dead Sea. In the late biblical period the Moabites were regarded as special enemies of the Israelites; see Deut. 23.3–6 n.

2 :

Ephrathites from Bethlehem: they belonged to a Judean clan settled in Bethlehem; see 1 Chr. 2.50–51 .

6–18 :

Ruth chooses to return to Judah with Naomi.

11 :

More sons to be husbands for you: according to levirate law; see Deut. 25.5–10 .

15–18 :

Orpah goes back to her god, the god of Moab, i.e. Kemosh, the chief god of Moab. Ruth chooses Israel and Israel's God. However, Orpah is not being condemned here; there are no villains in the Book of Ruth. Though the setting is in the time of the judges, the characters seem unmarked by the violent spirit manifested in the Book of Judg. Verses 16–17 are poetic prose, and reflect a meter found in Hebrew poetry.

19–22 :

Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem.

22 :

The barley harvest usually began in April.

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