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The King James Version

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Book of Ruth

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The Old Testament book of Ruth is one of the five "Megilloth" of the Old Testament. It is thought by some to have originally belonged to the book of Judges. Some scholars claim the vocabulary and style are consistent with a date between 950 and 750 BC, and that the genealogy giving her as a progenitor of King David was interpolated between 500 and 350 BC. Others claim the entire book was written at the later date. On the one hand the language of the book is in an ancient style. On the other, it includes traces of Aramaic, introduced into Hebrew at a later date.

The book of Ruth is associated with the Jewish spring  harvest holiday of Shavuoth and the Megillah (scroll) is read on that holiday.

The book of Ruth  tells how Ruth, the Moabite daughter of widow of Elimelech, a man of Bethlehem, married an older kinsman, Boaz, preserving her deceased husband's posterity and property, and supposedly becoming an ancestor of King David and in Christian tradition, of Jesus. The marriage is referred to as "levirate" - marrying of a widow by a relative, but Ruth was not a direct relative of Elimelech.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Book of Ruth is the acceptance of a non-Jew into the faith and the people of Israel. If the book of Ruth is post-exilic, it has a very different message from the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  The laws and customs of levirate marriage, redemption of property and gleaning in the fields are believed to be very ancient.

Ruth 1 | Ruth 2 | Ruth 3 | Ruth 4

Ruth and Naomi leaving Moab

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Old Testament  King James Version main page

History of the King James Bible

Meaning and pronunciation of Hebrew names in the Old Testament

Preface to the First Edition of the King James Bible

The bible and Zionism

The Bible, the Old Testament, has become a mainstay of human culture, but it is first and foremost a historical document of the Jewish people and our culture. It tells the story of our ancient kingdoms and civilization in the Land of Israel, and therefore it kept alive the tie of the people of Israel to the land of Israel for 2000 years. It forms the moral and cultural basis of Zionist ideology and aspirations.

The Bible, the Old Testament, is accepted by the three major Western faiths. It is a major work of Western civilization. The Bible documents the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, even for those who do not believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, and even for those who do not believe in God at all. It is the historic epic of the Jewish people in our land.  

Additional Background

Map - Canaan Before the Hebrews

Map - Canaan and the Early Israelite Kingdom

Map - The kingdoms of Israel and Judea; Judea and Samaria in the time of Jesus

Samaria  Judea

Map of Palestine 1845 - Showing biblical and contemporary sites

Jews, Jewish Religion, anti-Semitism the Talmud and Zionism

Map of Canaan (Israel) in the time of Joshua (Black and White)
Map of ancient Canaan (Palestine) after the Conquest by the Israelites
Palestine (Israel, Canaan) in the Time of the Judges
Map of Ancient Israel (Canaan) in the reigns of Kings David and Solomon (Black and White)
Map of Judah (Judea) in the Divided Kingdom
Map of Judah (Judea) in the Maccabean Kingdom of Alexander Janeus (Yannai)
Map of the Roman Province of Judea

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