Book of Jonah
The Book of Jonah is a book of the Nevi'im in the Hebrew Bible. It tells of a Hebrew prophet named Jonah son of Amittai, sent by God to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh but tries to escape the divine mission. Set in the reign of Jeroboam II, it was written in the post-exilic period, some time between the late 5th to early 4th century BC; the story has a long interpretive history and has become well known through popular children's stories. In Judaism, it is the Haftarah portion read during the afternoon of Yom Kippur to instill reflection on God's willingness to forgive those who repent, it is retold in the Quran. Unlike the other Prophets, the book of Jonah is entirely narrative, with the exception of the poem in chapter 2; the actual prophetic word against Nineveh is given only in passing through the narrative. As with any good narrative, the story of Jonah has a setting, characters, a plot, themes, it relies on such literary devices as irony. Jonah Flees His Mission Jonah's Commission and Flight The Endangered Sailors Cry to Their gods Jonah's Disobedience Exposed Jonah's punishment and Deliverance His Prayer of Thanksgiving Jonah Reluctantly fulfills His Mission Jonah's Renewed Commission and Obedience The Endangered Ninevites' Repentant Appeal to the Lord The Ninevites' Repentance Acknowledged Jonah's Deliverance and Rebuke Jonah is the central character in the Book of Jonah, in which God commands him to go to the city of Nineveh to prophesy against it "for their great wickedness is come up before me," but Jonah instead attempts to flee from "the presence of the Lord" by going to Jaffa, sailing to Tarshish.
A huge storm arises and the sailors, realizing that it is no ordinary storm, cast lots and discover that Jonah is to blame. Jonah admits states that if he is thrown overboard, the storm will cease; the sailors refuse to do this and continue rowing, but all their efforts fail and they are forced to throw Jonah overboard. As a result, the storm calms and the sailors offer sacrifices to God. Jonah is miraculously saved by being swallowed by a large fish, in whose belly he spends three days and three nights. While in the great fish, Jonah prays to God in his affliction and commits to thanksgiving and to paying what he has vowed. God commands the fish to vomit Jonah out. God again commands Jonah to prophesy to its inhabitants; this time he goes and enters the city, crying, "In forty days Nineveh shall be overthrown." After Jonah has walked across Nineveh, the people of Nineveh begin to believe his word and proclaim a fast. The king of Nineveh puts on sackcloth and sits in ashes, making a proclamation which decrees fasting, the wearing of sackcloth and repentance.
God spares the city at that time. The entire city is broken with the people in sackcloth and ashes. Displeased by this, Jonah refers to his earlier flight to Tarshish while asserting that, since God is merciful, it was inevitable that God would turn from the threatened calamities, he leaves the city and makes himself a shelter, waiting to see whether or not the city will be destroyed. God causes a plant to grow over Jonah's shelter to give him some shade from the sun. God causes a worm to bite the plant's root and it withers. Jonah, now being exposed to the full force of the sun, becomes pleads for God to kill him, and God said to Jonah: "Art thou angry for the Kikayon?" And he said: "I am angry unto death."And the LORD said: "Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow, which came up in a night, perished in a night. The story of Jonah has numerous theological implications, this has long been recognized. In early translations of the Hebrew Bible, Jewish translators tended to remove anthropomorphic imagery in order to prevent the reader from misunderstanding the ancient texts.
This tendency is evidenced in the Greek translations. As far as the Book of Jonah is concerned, Targum Jonah offers a good example of this: In Jonah 1:6, the Masoretic Text reads, "...perhaps God will pay heed to us...." Targum Jonah translates this passage as: "...perhaps there will be mercy from the Lord upon us...." The captain's proposal is no longer an attempt to change the divine will. Furthermore, in Jonah 3:9, the MT reads, "Who knows, God may turn and relent?" Targum Jonah translates this as, "Whoever knows that there are sins on his conscience let him repent of them and we will be pitied before the Lord." God does not change His mind. Fragments of the book were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, most of which follows the Masoretic Text and with Mur XII reproducing a large portion of the text; as for the non-canonical writings, the majority of references to biblical texts were made as appeals to authority. The Book of Jonah appears to have served less purpose in the Qumran community than other texts, as the writings make no references to it.
The earliest Christian interpretations of Jonah are found in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke. Both Matthew and Luke record a tradition of Jesus’ interpretation of the Book of Jonah (notably, Matthew includes two similar
Book of Genesis
The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament. It is divisible into the Primeval history and the Ancestral history; the primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world, good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God. The Ancestral History tells of God's chosen people. At God's command Noah's descendant Abraham journeys from his home into the God-given land of Canaan, where he dwells as a sojourner, as does his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Jacob's name is changed to Israel, through the agency of his son Joseph, the children of Israel descend into Egypt, 70 people in all with their households, God promises them a future of greatness. Genesis ends with Israel in Egypt, ready for the coming of the Exodus; the narrative is punctuated by a series of covenants with God, successively narrowing in scope from all mankind to a special relationship with one people alone.
In Judaism, the theological importance of Genesis centers on the covenants linking God to his chosen people and the people to the Promised Land. Christianity has interpreted Genesis as the prefiguration of certain cardinal Christian beliefs the need for salvation and the redemptive act of Christ on the Cross as the fulfillment of covenant promises as the Son of God. Tradition credits Moses as the author of Genesis, as well as the books of Exodus, Leviticus and most of Deuteronomy, but modern scholars see them as a product of the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Genesis appears to be structured around the recurring phrase elleh toledot, meaning "these are the generations," with the first use of the phrase referring to the "generations of heaven and earth" and the remainder marking individuals—Noah, the "sons of Noah", etc. down to Jacob. It is not clear, what this meant to the original authors, most modern commentators divide it into two parts based on subject matter, a "primeval history" and a "patriarchal history".
While the first is far shorter than the second, it sets out the basic themes and provides an interpretive key for understanding the entire book. The "primeval history" has a symmetrical structure hinging on chapters 6–9, the flood story, with the events before the flood mirrored by the events after. God consecrates the seventh as a day of rest. God creates the first humans Adam and Eve and all the animals in the Garden of Eden but instructs them not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A talking serpent portrayed as a deceptive creature or trickster, entices Eve into eating it anyway, she entices Adam, whereupon God throws them out and curses them—Adam to getting what he needs only by sweat and work, Eve to giving birth in pain; this is interpreted by Christians as the fall of humanity. Eve bears two sons and Abel. Cain kills Abel but not Cain's. God curses Cain. Eve bears Seth, to take Abel's place. After many generations of Adam have passed from the lines of Cain and Seth, the world becomes corrupted by human sin and Nephilim, God determines to wipe out humanity.
First, he instructs the righteous Noah and his family to build an ark and put examples of all the animals on it, seven pairs of every clean animal and one pair of every unclean. God sends a great flood to wipe out the rest of the world; when the waters recede, God promises he will never destroy the world with water again, using the rainbow as a symbol of his promise. God sees mankind cooperating to build a great tower city, the Tower of Babel, divides humanity with many languages and sets them apart with confusion. God instructs Abram to travel from his home in Mesopotamia to the land of Canaan. There, God makes a covenant with Abram, promising that his descendants shall be as numerous as the stars, but that people will suffer oppression in a foreign land for four hundred years, after which they will inherit the land "from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates". Abram's name is changed to Abraham and that of his wife Sarai to Sarah, circumcision of all males is instituted as the sign of the covenant.
Due to her old age, Sarah tells Abraham to take Hagar, as a second wife. Through Hagar, Abraham fathers Ishmael. God resolves to destroy the cities of Gomorrah for the sins of their people. Abraham gets God to agree not to destroy the cities for the sake of ten righteous men. Angels save Abraham's nephew Lot and his family, but his wife looks back on the destruction against their command and turns into a pillar of salt. Lot's daughters, concerned that they are fugitives who will never find husbands, get him drunk to become pregnant by him, give birth to the ancestors of the Moabites and Ammonites. Abraham and Sarah go to the Philistine town of Gerar, pretending to be sister; the King of Gerar takes Sarah for his wife, but God warns him to return her, a
Book of Numbers
The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah. The book has a long and complex history, but its final form is due to a Priestly redaction of a Yahwistic source made some time in the early Persian period; the name of the book comes from the two censuses taken of the Israelites. Numbers begins at Mount Sinai, where the Israelites have received their laws and covenant from God and God has taken up residence among them in the sanctuary; the task before them is to take possession of the Promised Land. The people are counted and preparations are made for resuming their march; the Israelites begin the journey, but they "murmur" at the hardships along the way, about the authority of Moses and Aaron. For these acts, God destroys 15,000 of them through various means, they send spies into the land. Upon hearing the spies' fearful report concerning the conditions in Canaan, the Israelites refuse to take possession of it. God condemns them to death in the wilderness until a new generation can grow up and carry out the task.
The book ends with the new generation of Israelites in the Plain of Moab ready for the crossing of the Jordan River. Numbers is the culmination of the story of Israel's exodus from oppression in Egypt and their journey to take possession of the land God promised their fathers; as such it draws to a conclusion the themes introduced in Genesis and played out in Exodus and Leviticus: God has promised the Israelites that they shall become a great nation, that they will have a special relationship with Yahweh their god, that they shall take possession of the land of Canaan. Numbers demonstrates the importance of holiness and trust: despite God's presence and his priests, Israel lacks faith and the possession of the land is left to a new generation. Most commentators divide Numbers into three sections based on locale, linked by two travel sections. God orders Moses, in the wilderness of Sinai, to number those able to bear arms—of all the men "from twenty years old and upward," and to appoint princes over each tribe.
A total of 603,550 Israelites are found to be fit for military service. The tribe of Levi is exempted from military service and therefore not included in the census. Moses consecrates the Levites for the service of the Tabernacle in the place of the first-born sons, who hitherto had performed that service; the Levites are divided into three families, the Gershonites, the Kohathites, the Merarites, each under a chief. The Kohathites were headed by Eleazar, son of Aaron, while the Gershonites and Merarites were headed by Aaron's other son, Ithamar. Preparations are made for resuming the march to the Promised Land. Various ordinances and laws are decreed; the Israelites set out from Sinai. The people are punished by fire. Miriam and Aaron insult Moses at Hazeroth. Twelve spies are come back to report to Moses. Joshua and Caleb, two of the spies, report that the land is abundant and is "flowing with milk and honey", but the other spies say that it is inhabited by giants, the Israelites refuse to enter the land.
Yahweh decrees that the Israelites will be punished for their loss of faith by having to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Moses is ordered by God to make plates to cover the altar; the children of Israel murmur against Moses and Aaron on account of the destruction of Korah's men and are stricken with the plague, with 14,700 perishing. Aaron and his family are declared by God to be responsible for any iniquity committed in connection with the sanctuary; the Levites are again appointed to help in the keeping of the Tabernacle. The Levites are ordered to surrender to the priests a part of the tithes taken to them. Miriam dies at Kadesh Barnea and the Israelites set out for Moab, on Canaan's eastern border; the Israelites blame Moses for the lack of water. Moses is ordered by God to speak to a rock but disobeys, is punished by the announcement that he shall not enter Canaan; the king of Edom refuses permission to pass through his land and they go around it. Aaron dies on Mount Hor; the Israelites are bitten by Fiery flying serpents for speaking against Moses.
A brazen serpent is made to ward off these serpents. The Israelites arrive on the plains of Moab. A new census gives the total number of males from twenty years and upward as 601,730, the number of the Levites from the age of one month and upward as 23,000; the land shall be divided by lot. The daughters of Zelophehad, who had no sons, are to share in the allotment. Moses is ordered to appoint Joshua as his successor. Prescriptions for the observance of the feasts and the offerings for different occasions are enumerated. Moses orders the Israelites to massacre the people of Midian; the Reubenites and the Gadites request Moses to assign them the land east of the Jordan. Moses grants their request after they promise to help in the conquest of the land west of the Jordan; the land east of the Jordan is divided among the tribes of
Books of Kings
The two Books of Kings a single book, are the eleventh and twelfth books of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. They conclude the Deuteronomistic history, a history of Israel comprising the books of Joshua and Judges and the two Books of Samuel, which biblical commentators believe was written to provide a theological explanation for the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah by Babylon in c. 586 BCE and a foundation for a return from exile. The two books of Kings present a history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of King David to the release of Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years. Scholars tend to treat the books as made up of a first edition from the late 7th century BCE and a second and final edition from the mid 6th century BCE; the Jerusalem Bible divides the two books of Kings into eight sections: 1 Kings 1:1–2:46 = The Davidic Succession 1 Kings 3:1–11:43 = Solomon in all his glory 1 Kings 12:1–13:34 = The political and religious schism 1 Kings 14:1–16:34 = The two kingdoms until Elijah 1 Kings 17:1 – 2 Kings 1:18 = The Elijah cycle 2 Kings 2:1–13:25 = The Elisha cycle 2 Kings 14:1–17:41 = The two kingdoms to the fall of Samaria 2 Kings 18:1–25:30 = The last years of the kingdom of JudahIn David's old age, Adonijah proclaims himself his successor but Solomon's supporters arrange for David to proclaim Solomon as his successor, so he comes to the throne after David's death.
At the beginning of his reign he assumes God's promises to David and brings splendour to Israel and peace and prosperity to his people. The centrepiece of Solomon's reign is the building of the First Temple: the claim that this took place 480 years after the Exodus from Egypt marks it as a key event in Israel's history. At the end, however, he oppresses Israel; as a consequence of Solomon's failure to stamp out the worship of gods other than Yahweh, the kingdom of David is split in two in the reign of his own son Rehoboam, who becomes the first to reign over the kingdom of Judah. The kings who follow Rehoboam in Jerusalem continue the royal line of David. At length God brings the Assyrians to destroy the northern kingdom, leaving Judah as the sole custodian of the promise. Hezekiah, the 14th king of Judah, does "what right in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestor David had done" and institutes a far reaching religious reform, centralising sacrifice at the temple at Jerusalem and destroying the images of other gods.
Yahweh saves the kingdom from an invasion by Assyria. But Manasseh, the next king, reverses the reforms, God announces that he will destroy Jerusalem because of this apostasy by the king. Manasseh's righteous grandson Josiah reinstitutes the reforms of Hezekiah, but it is too late: God, speaking through the prophetess Huldah, affirms that Jerusalem is to be destroyed after the death of Josiah. In the final chapters, God brings the Neo-Babylonian Empire of King Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem; the final verses record how Jehoiachin, the last king, is set free and given honour by the king of Babylon. In the Hebrew Bible and Second Kings are a single book, as are the First and Second Books of Samuel; when this was translated into Greek in the last few centuries BCE, Kings was joined with Samuel in a four-part work called the Book of Kingdoms. Orthodox Christians continue to use the Greek translation, but when a Latin translation was made for the Western church, Kingdoms was first retitled the Book of Kings, parts One to Four, both Kings and Samuel were separated into two books each.
What it is now known as 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel are called by the Vulgate, in imitation of the Septuagint, 1 Kings and 2 Kings respectively. What it is now known as 1 Kings and 2 Kings would be 3 Kings and 4 Kings in old Bibles before the year 1516 such as the Vulgate and the Septuagint respectively; the division we know today, used by Protestant Bibles and adopted by Catholics, came into use in 1517. Some Bibles still preserve the old denomination, for the Douay Rheims Bible. According to Jewish tradition the author of Kings was Jeremiah, who would have been alive during the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BCE; the most common view today accepts Martin Noth's thesis that Kings concludes a unified series of books which reflect the language and theology of the Book of Deuteronomy, which biblical scholars therefore call the Deuteronomistic history. Noth argued that the History was the work of a single individual living in the 6th century BCE, but scholars today tend to treat it as made up of at least two layers, a first edition from the time of Josiah, promoting Josiah's religious reforms and the need for repentance, a second and final edition from the mid 6th century BCE.
Further levels of editing have been proposed, including: a late 8th century BCE edition pointing to Hezekiah of Judah as the model for kingship. The editors/authors of the Deuteronomistic history cite a number of sources, including a "Book of the Acts of Solomon" and the "Annals of the Kings of Judah" and a separate book, "Chronicles of the Kings of Israel"; the "Deuteronomic" perspective is e
Song of Songs
The Song of Songs Song of Solomon or Canticles, is one of the megillot found in the last section of the Tanakh, known as the Ketuvim, a book of the Old Testament. The Song of Songs is unique within the Hebrew Bible: it shows no interest in Law or Covenant or the God of Israel, nor does it teach or explore wisdom like Proverbs or Ecclesiastes; the two are in harmony, each rejoicing in sexual intimacy. In modern Judaism the Song is read on the Sabbath during the Passover, which marks the beginning of the grain harvest as well as commemorating the Exodus from Egypt. Jewish tradition reads it as an allegory of the relationship between God and Israel, Christianity as an allegory of Christ and his "bride", the Church. There is widespread consensus that, although the book has no plot, it does have what can be called a framework, as indicated by the links between its beginning and end. Beyond this, there appears to be little agreement: attempts to find a chiastic structure have not been compelling, attempts to analyse it into units have used differing methods and arrived at differing results.
The following schema, from Kugler & al. must therefore be taken as indicative, rather than determinative: Introduction Dialogue between the lovers The woman recalls a visit from her lover The woman addresses the daughters of Zion Sighting a royal wedding procession The man describes his lover's beauty The woman addresses the daughters of Jerusalem The man describes his lover, who visits him Observers describe the woman's beauty Appendix The introduction calls the poem "the song of songs", a construction used in Scriptural Hebrew to show something as the greatest and most beautiful of its class. The poem proper begins with the woman's expression of desire for her lover and her self-description to the "daughters of Jerusalem": she insists on her sun-born blackness, likening it to the "tents of Kedar" and the "curtains of Solomon". A dialogue between the lovers follows: the woman asks the man to meet; the two compete in offering flattering compliments. The section closes with the woman telling the daughters of Jerusalem not to stir up love such as hers until it is ready.
The woman recalls a visit from her lover in the springtime. She uses imagery from a shepherd's life, she says of her lover that "he pastures his flock among the lilies"; the woman again addresses the daughters of Jerusalem, describing her fervent and successful search for her lover through the night-time streets of the city. When she finds him she takes him by force into the chamber in which her mother conceived her, she reveals that this is a dream, seen on her "bed at night" and ends by again warning the daughters of Jerusalem "not to stir up love until it is ready". The next section reports a royal wedding procession. Solomon is mentioned by name, the daughters of Jerusalem are invited to come out and see the spectacle; the man describes his beloved: Her hair is like a flock of goats, her teeth like shorn ewes, so on from face to breasts. Place-names feature heavily: her neck is like the Tower of David, her smell like the scent of Lebanon, he hastens to summon his beloved, saying that he is ravished by a single glance.
The section becomes a "garden poem", in which he describes her as a "locked garden". The woman invites the man to taste the fruits; the man accepts the invitation, a third party tells them to eat, drink, "and be drunk with love". The woman tells the daughters of Jerusalem of another dream, she was in her chamber. She was slow to open, when she did, he was gone, she searched through the streets again, but this time she failed to find him and the watchmen, who had helped her before, now beat her. She asks the daughters of Jerusalem to help her find him, describes his physical good looks, she admits her lover is in his garden, safe from harm, committed to her as she is to him. The man describes his beloved; the people praise the beauty of the woman. The images are the same as those used elsewhere in the poem, but with an unusually dense use of place-names, e.g. pools of Hebron, gate of Bath-rabbim, tower of Damascus, etc. The man states his intention to enjoy the fruits of the woman's garden; the woman invites him to a tryst in the fields.
She once more warns the daughters of Jerusalem against waking love. The woman compares love to death and sheol: love is as relentless and jealous as these two, cannot be quenched by any force, she summons her lover, using the language used before: he should come "like a gazelle or a young stag upon the mountain of spices". The Song offers no clue to the date, place, or circumstances of its composition; the superscription st
The Five Scrolls or The Five Megillot are parts of the Ketuvim, the third major section of the Tanakh. The Five Scrolls are the Song of Songs, the Book of Ruth, the Book of Lamentations and the Book of Esther; these five short biblical books are grouped together in Jewish tradition. An early testimony that these five scrolls were grouped together is in the Midrash Rabba; this midrash was compiled on the Five Scrolls. All five of these megillot are traditionally read publicly in the synagogue over the course of the year in many Jewish communities. In common printed editions of the Tanakh they appear in the order that they are read in the synagogue on holidays; the Song of Songs is read publicly in some communities by Ashkenazim, on the Sabbath of Passover. In most Mizrahi Jewish communities it is read publicly each week at the onset of the Shabbat. There is a widespread custom to read it at the end of the Passover Seder. Italian Jews read it at the Maariv of the second day of Passover; the Book of Ruth is read in some communities by Ashkenazim, before the reading of the Torah on the morning of Shavuot.
Others read it in the Tikkun at night, or not at all. The Book of Lamentations is read on the Ninth of Av in all Jewish communities. Ecclesiastes is read publicly in some communities by Ashkenazim, on the Sabbath of Sukkot. In other communities it is not read at all; the Book of Esther is read in all Jewish communities on Purim. The public reading is once again the next morning; when read in the synagogue, these five books are sung with cantillation. In most communities, Esther is the only book accompanied by blessings after, but certain communities adopted the custom of the Vilna Gaon to recite blessings before the other four megillot as well. As indicated above, only two of the megillot are traditionally read in all Jewish communities, Esther on Purim and Lamentations on the Ninth of Av; the practice of reading the other three books on the Three Pilgrimage Festivals is widespread but by no means universal. To read them is a venerable custom among Ashkenazim, but many Sephardic Jews do not associate the three books with the three festivals.
The association is thus weaker among Hasidic Jews who were influenced by Sephardic customs. The term megillah is most used for the book of Esther though it is applied to the rest as well; the term megillah is used in a joking way, in reference to any lengthy story. Eugene H. Peterson's Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work examines the application of the Megillot to Christian pastoral theology; the cantillation marks which guide the singing of the text written in the printed texts of the Five Scrolls are drawn from the same set of markings as the notes in the Humash. However, the tune in which they are read varies depending on the scroll. Esther is read in a happier tune than the sad tune of Lamentations. Traditionally, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs are read with the same festive tune. Cantillation Torah
Book of Ruth
The Book of Ruth is included in the third division, or the Writings, of the Hebrew Bible. It is named after its central figure, Ruth the Moabitess, the great-grandmother of David; the book tells of Ruth's accepting the God of the Israelites as her God and the Israelite people as her own. In Ruth 1:16–17, Ruth tells Naomi, her Israelite mother-in-law, "Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay. Your people will be your God my God. Where you die I will die, there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it so if death separates you and me." The book is held in esteem by Jews who fall under the category of Jews-by-choice, as is evidenced by the considerable presence of Boaz in rabbinic literature. The Book of Ruth functions liturgically, as it is read during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot; the book is structured in four chapters:Act 1: Prologue and Problem: Death and Emptiness Scene 1: Setting the scene Scene 2: Naomi returns home Scene 3: Arrival of Naomi and Ruth in Bethlehem Act 2: Ruth Meets Boaz, Naomi's Relative, on the Harvest Field Scene 1: Ruth in the field of Boaz Scene 2: Ruth reports to Naomi Act 3: Naomi Sends Ruth to Boaz on the Threshing Floor Scene 1: Naomi Reveals Her Plan Scene 2: Ruth at the threshing-floor of Boaz Scene 3: Ruth reports to Naomi Act 4: Resolution and Epilogue: Life and Fullness Scene 1: Boaz with the men at the gate Scene 2: A son is born to Ruth Genealogical appendix During the time of the judges when there was a famine, an Israelite family from Bethlehem – Elimelech, his wife Naomi, their sons Mahlon and Chilion – emigrated to the nearby country of Moab.
Elimelech died, the sons married two Moabite women: Mahlon married Ruth and Chilion married Orpah. After about ten years, the two sons of Naomi died in Moab. Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, she told her daughters-in-law to return to their own mothers and remarry. Orpah reluctantly left. For wherever you go, I will go. Where you die, I will die, there I will be buried, thus and more may the Lord do to me if anything but death parts me from you.". The two women returned to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest, in order to support her mother-in-law and herself, Ruth went to the fields to glean; as it happened, the field she went to belonged to a man named Boaz, kind to her because he had heard of her loyalty to her mother-in-law. Ruth told Naomi of Boaz's kindness, she gleaned in his field through the remainder of barley and wheat harvest. Boaz was a close relative of Naomi's husband's family, he was therefore obliged by the Levirate law to marry Mahlon's widow, Ruth, in order to carry on his family's inheritance.
Naomi sent Ruth to the threshing floor at night and told her to go where he slept, "uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what you are to do.". Ruth did so. Boaz asked her who she was, she replied: "I am your handmaid Ruth. Spread your robe over your handmaid, for you are a redeeming kinsman". Boaz blessed her and agreed to do all, required, he noted that, "all the elders of my town know what a fine woman you are", he acknowledged that he was a close relative, but that there was one, closer, she remained in submission at his feet until she returned into the city in the morning. Early that day, Boaz went to the city gate to meet with the other male relative before the town elders; the relative is not named: Boaz addresses him as ploni almoni "so and so". The unnamed relative is unwilling to jeopardize the inheritance of his own estate by marrying Ruth, so relinquished his right of redemption, thus allowing Boaz to marry Ruth, they transferred the property and redeemed it, ratified by the nearer kinsman taking off his shoe and handing it over to Boaz.
Ruth 4:7 notes for generations that: Now this was done in Israel in cases of redemption or exchange: to validate any transaction, one man would take off his sandal and hand it to the other. Such was the practice in Israel. Boaz and Ruth were married and have a son; the women of the city celebrate Naomi's joy, for Naomi found a redeemer for her family name, Naomi takes the child and places it in her bosom. The child is named Obed, who we discover is "the father of Jesse, the father of David", that is, the grandfather of King David; the book concludes with an appendix which traces the Davidic genealogy all the way back from Perez, "whom Tamar bore to Judah", through to Obed, down to David. The book does not name its author, it is traditionally ascribed to the prophet Samuel, but Ruth's identity as a non-Israelite and the stress on the need for an inclusive attitude towards foreigners suggests an origin in the fifth century BC, when intermarriage had become controversial. A substantial number of scholars therefore date it to the Persian period.
The genealogy that concludes the book is believed to be a post-exilic Priestly addition, as it adds nothing to the plot.