The books of Judges and Ruth have relevance for our lives today. Judges, because it reveals a God who employs very human deliverers but refuses to gloss over their sins and their consequences. And Ruth, because it demonstrates the far-reaching impact of a righteous character. K. Lawson Younger Jr. shares literary perspectives on the books of Judges and Ruth that reveal ageless truths for our contemporary lives.
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“However, the Israelites often failed to observe these injunctions. This is clear from a number of passages (see, e.g., Deut 27:19; Isa 1:17; Mal. 3:5; cf. Mark 12:38–40). This underscores the dangers that Ruth and Naomi faced. With the narrative’s setting being the period of the judges, it can be assumed that these injunctions were commonly ignored. This heightens Boaz’s treatment of Ruth all the more.” (Page 553)
“It seems to me that this is difficult to sustain from the text.” (Page 452)
“ The latter seems to be the primary focus of Naomi.” (Page 576)
“Why does Yahweh not intervene to prevent Jephthah from fulfilling his vow?82 The text implies that Jephthah alone is the agent of violence against his daughter. The vow is not Yahweh’s doing. In arrogance, Jephthah attempted to manipulate Yahweh to give him the victory in order to fulfill his own selfish ambition. Yahweh did give the victory, not because of Jephthah’s vow but because of his compassion and grace in saving Israel. Thus Jephthah’s action in fulfilling the vow is due to misunderstanding and ignorance on his part for the role the vow even played in the victory over the Ammonites.” (Page 338)
“If Ruth averages the same each day (i.e., one ephah, cf. v. 21 below) and works the entire seven weeks, she gleans enough barley and wheat to feed the two women, at the minimum rate, approximately two-thirds of a year, or at the maximum rate, more than an entire year.54 Thus, it is most likely that ancient hearers of this book would have perceived the import of this gleaning detail as heightening the generosity of Boaz toward the two widows on a scale greater than modern readers of the story have even begun to perceive.” (Pages 563–564)
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