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Ruth 1-4


“Let’s Play The Bible: Ruth 1-4”

Preface

Ruth and Naomi

This is the small book. This is the speedrun. It’s the smallest book yet, but not for lack of spiritual weight. There’s a short film based on this that is posted on YouTube, would you look at that. I’ll watch it, why not? I’m just going to get started on my post now.

Debriefing

Ruth with son

In lieu of enough body to dissect, I would simply cast a wide net and denote this book as a parable about faith and loyalty to God. It’s like an emergency supplement to be dosed immediately following the back and forth of the chronicles of Judges. Yes, it is very interesting going from Judges to this book, where loyalty is the locus and focus as opposed to the constant disruption of back-turning. Occurring in the same era as Judges, we get to investigate the small victories of God within even the most regular people, instead of the long and notable line of Judges who ping pong from redemptive victory to pathos.

More specifically, we see an Israelite family living in Bethlehem move to Moab during famine. The father and two sons pass away leaving the mother, but also the Moabite wives of the sons - one of whom is Ruth. Naomi sets to return home to Bethlehem by herself, but, in spite of the dangers and unknowns, Ruth says she will stay with Naomi and move with her.

Ruth with son

As a result of these decisions and loyalty, and despite starting as a stranger in a land of famine after tragedy, Ruth eventually marries to resurrect the lineage of Naomi’s late husband and gives birth to a boy who will eventually be grandfather to the future-king David. That’s the Whole story as best I can tell it, where it fits here in truncated form.

My Ragpickings

Ala Poetry

Ruth Analysis

While unfortunately there are not many oddities or interesting facets to inspect in this book, compared to others, it is still very interesting and enjoyable. Make no mistake on this. In fact, it is widely enjoyed as one of the most artfully designed writings in the Old Testament. It’s rewarded with distinction for this in a nice explainer video I have discovered, which also adds a few details to my description of how things turn out for our loyal lady and Naomi.

‘Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.’

Indeed we see talk of “symmetry” for this book, events that can be lined parallel for a divine gradient of trouble to untroubled through an underpinning and centric loyalty. While the structure is widely appreciated, another interesting, though not entirely contrived or “artful”, is how much exposure or direct reference God receives in the book. Never directly mentioned by the narrator, nevermind a forceful heaping inculcation you might expect as a newcomer, God is instead referred to directly in dialogue only. The lack of evidence of His power on the surface magnifies His grace, and, forgetting the reward entirely, the loyalty of Ruth is rendered all the more powerful.

Melted Pocket-Watch Man

Ruth

On the subject of art, aesthetics or beauty, we have further matters at hand. I’m not a big art-knower, but like many I have tertiary awareness and mind-bookmark for the man Dali. I have read some strange things about him, including on the subject of fecal matter, and I am surprised to find out he was Christian in at least some sense, or perhaps apologetic. Regardless, Mr. Salvador the surreal Spaniard in fact appears to have some Biblically inspired works to his name, including one specific to the very book I am inspecting.

Swaths of rich deep blue comprise the landscape which surrounds Ruth and her fellow harvesters. Ruth is a particularly important figure to Christians since she is a female ancestor of Jesus. [link]

The watercolor painting regarding Ruth in particular is called “The Family of Ruth, The Moabite” and is from a collection produced for 1967. If my art-wordpresser source is to be believed, the collection it belongs to, “The Biblia Sacra”, was commissioned by a friend/collector and consists of 105 lithographs. The project in original form seems to be packaged complete with latin Bible, so we’re looking at the Dali special edition produced with offset prints via Italian publishing house “Rizzoli”.

“During my adolescence, I was an atheist because my father was one. He was kind of anarchist. First I was interested in Freud and then in the sciences—biology and nuclear physics. The more I studied the sciences, the more I realized that everything religion tells us is true. Theoretically, that was fine. But I still lacked that grace which is faith. That is more difficult. I have the feeling it will come in a surer form, but I don’t know just when. It comes and it goes. It oscillates.” [link]

Really you could go on for days reading about this man, but we’re here for the book. I was really about to go on a trip into reading more about him before I felt some minor cringes via some of his reddit-esque science mish-mash paintings that are listed in the above linked article. Sorry man.

Boomers

Closing the Book

Ruth in Book Form

Grand opening, grand closing. I’m a bit ashamed of the relative weight of words offered to Dali artwork here, but it is what it is. I don’t really know much about the guy and it was an interesting rabbit hole - and his painting for Ruth is quite beautiful and blue.

Perhaps almost fittingly we are about to enter the age of the Biblical monarchy. Very exciting times are ahead.