Dec 23, 2019

Exodus, Ruth, and the Prophets

Victor Matthews notes some interesting parallels between the story of the Exodus, the story of Ruth, and the post-exilic return of Israel/Judah. These might be attributed to both sharing a well-worn literary plot line but consider the following.

"The story of Ruth can also be seen as a miniversion of the Exodus account and of the return from exile as envisioned in Isa 40, Jer 32, and Ezek 37. It contains these common elements:

1. Forced departure from the land due to famine (see Gen 12:10; 41:57–46:7)

2. Eventual return after the death of the old way of life and old leadership (Mahlon and sons); compare wilderness experience and Moses' death (Num 27:12-23; Deut 31:1–8; 34:1–9)

3. Restoration of legal rights to the land through struggle (aspects of the conquest narrative [Josh 1] as well as the struggle with the “adversaries” of Judah and Benjamin" described in Ezra 4) 4. Renewal of the covenant with messianic hope; tie to David (see Ezek 34:11–31; Isa 9:6–7; 11:1–5)."

Victor H. Matthews, Judges and Ruth, New Cambridge Bible Commentary (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 212.

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