Women in Biblical Tradition
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Kathryn Smith
March 7, 2003
"Tale of Two Women"

I.   This book would have been written from people who affirm David's kingship and had to explain how a Moabite women could become part of this divine kingly line
II.   Ruth
A.   Problem for the tradition - Ruth is a Moabite
1.   No one from the Moabite clan is not allowed to marry into Israel
2.   Deut 23:3-4
B.   Four strikes against her given her community
1.   She is a gentile
2.   She is a Moabite (one of the worst types of gentiles)
3.   She is a widow
4.   She is childless
C.   A live tale between two widows
1.   "Your people will be my people; your God my God" (1:16-17)
2.   Ruth loves Naomi
a.   It never says she loves Boaz
b.   The story is focuses on two very disadvantaged women
3.   Two deeply disadvantaged women need each other to survive
III.   Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi
A.   Assertive and calculating women
1.   Boaz is passive
2.   Naomi plans Ruth's seduction of Boaz
3.   Ruth is applauded for escaping her state of social marginalization through her cleverness and boldness
B.   Ruth and Boaz
1.   She leaves her family and comes to a strangers (compare to Abram)
a.   Her father, if he had the means, would have taken and provided for her again
b.   She decided to leave and join a new community
2.   "Spread out your wings" (3:9) - Ruth is a metaphor for Israel
3.   Boaz calls her an eshet chayil (3:11)
a.   Translated a virtuous women
b.   chayil is a soldier
c.   Only other place this word is used is Proverbs 31
C.   Ruth and Naomi
1.   When the child is born, the women bless Naomi, not Ruth
2.   "May his [your - according tot he Septuagint] name be proclaimed" - 4:14
3.   The women's blessings (4:11-15)
4.   "A son has been born to Naomi" (4:17)
a.   Although Boaz was the "father" it was suppose to be born to "Mahlon" (Ruth's first's husband)
b.   It should never been given to Naomi
c.   It is the women who name the child
D.   Boaz is the formal redeemer, but for Naomi, the real redeemer is Ruth