Engage the challenging books of Ruth and Esther utilizing the dynamic expertise of Frederic Bush. Study the narratives of these books by drawing on Bush’s knowledge of ancient Near Eastern customs, languages, and Hebrew narrative and poetry to illuminate the meaning of these books, and the development and transmission of each book’s textual witnesses. Organized for easy reference, Word Biblical commentaries make an ideal Bible study companion whether you are studying a single passage or a complete biblical book.
“Thus, the book of Ruth affirms that God often effects his purposes in the world through the ordinary motivations and events of his people—ordinary people like Ruth and Boaz, or like you and me, the ripple of whose lives stirs little beyond the pool of their own community—and in particular through their acts of gracious and loving kindness that go beyond the call of duty.” (Page 55)
“First of all, it is supremely important to note that the discourse structure unmistakably and emphatically makes clear that the problem of the story is the death and emptiness that have afflicted the life of Naomi.” (Page 51)
“True, he has used language capable of double entendre, and he leaves unstated and hence shrouded in ambiguity exactly what transpired between this man and this woman on the threshing floor in the dark of the night. However, he has depicted both of them throughout his narrative as people of unmatched integrity (cf. 2:1; 3:11) whose lives exhibit that faithful loyalty to relationships described by the Hebrew word חסד ḥesed (see 1:8; 2:20; 3:10), and so it is clear that his silence means to imply that they met this moment of choice with that same integrity.” (Pages 155–156)
“Conclusion: The theme of Esther 1:1–9:5; 10:1–3. On the grounds of this study of the characterization of the plot and its characters, the theme of the story can be stated as follows. In the dangerous world of the diaspora with its opulence, excess, uncertainty, and evil, the loyalty of Mordecai to the Jewish people and the king, the courage, shrewdness, and sagacity of Esther, both of whom willingly accepted roles of leadership in that world, and the reliable providence of God delivered the diaspora Jewish community from the terrible threat of annihilation, demonstrating that a viable life for diaspora Jews is possible even in the face of such propensity for evil.” (Page 326)
The Word Biblical Commentary delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars of our day who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. This series emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology. These widely acclaimed commentaries serve as exceptional resources for the professional theologian and instructor, the seminary or university student, the working minister, and everyone concerned with building theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship. Contributors—all of whom rank among the leading Christian scholars of the English-speaking world—write authoritatively on the portions of Scripture in which they specialize. This collection also includes an enviable scholar’s array of Bible translations and Greek and Hebrew resources for in-depth research.
Each section of the commentary includes:
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