Well, Judges was thoroughly censored for E100, as it is for most church use, the bits we got were the rare good bits, cf. my Twisted tales: or should the book of Judges be censored? (which got me into trouble with a fundamentalist who could not be bothered to actually listen to what I was saying before condemning me to hell – so it may be worth listening to 😉
Ruth is about “redemption”, the need for husband for Ruth and so a baby to continue the “house of Elimelek” and to provide for the two widows, and so it’s about the primary virtue of the OT (and of redeemers) “hesed” faithfulness/love/kindness in covenant relationships.
So Ruth (in the Christian Bible placed between Judges and Samuel) redeems:
- it echoes and redeems the ancestral stories of failure: Judah and Tamar
- it announces and prefigures David (remember David & foreign woman, Bathsheba?) and redeems him
- it stands between the terror and chaos of Judges and presents a world where God’s virtue is revealed in his creatures lives!
An everyday tale of country folk – but crammed with theology and incidentally a crackingly well-told tale with no violence, death or hatred, but which keeps our interest all through 🙂
I have a few other podcasts on this lovely book.