Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lads and lasses in Ruth

Here are the lads and lasses of chapter 2, the elders of chapter 4, and a pair of unique self-designations that Ruth makes for herself. We saw that family relationships dominate chapters 1 and 4. The family is also a thread through chapters 2 and 3 but there is considerable involvement of groups of non-family members. Lad נַעַר and lass נַעֲרָה are slightly archaic for us but I think reflect the contrast between youngster and elder זָקֵן in the story - also lad and lass sound alike in English as na`ar and na`arah do in Hebrew.

ה וַיֹּאמֶר בֹּעַז לְנַעֲרוֹ
הַנִּצָּב עַל-הַקּוֹצְרִים
לְמִי הַנַּעֲרָה הַזֹּאת
and Boaz said to his lad
standing by the reapers
who is that lass?

to the lad of him

the lass

ו וַיַּעַן הַנַּעַר הַנִּצָּב עַל-הַקּוֹצְרִים וַיֹּאמַר
נַעֲרָה מוֹאֲבִיָּה הִיא
הַשָּׁבָה עִם-נָעֳמִי
מִשְּׂדֵי מוֹאָב
and the lad standing by the reapers said
that is the Moabite lass
the one who returned with Naomi
from the fields of Moab
the lass is definite due to the modifiers
ח וַיֹּאמֶר בֹּעַז אֶל-רוּת
הֲלוֹא שָׁמַעַתְּ בִּתִּי
אַל-תֵּלְכִי לִלְקֹט בְּשָׂדֶה אַחֵר
וְגַם לֹא תַעֲבוּרִי מִזֶּה
וְכֹה תִדְבָּקִין עִם-נַעֲרֹתָי
and Boaz said to Ruth
do you not hear, my daughter
do not go to glean in the field of another
and also do not pass beyond this one
but stay close here with my lasses
In these first three verses we have the definite using the definite article, the definite by association with Moab and Naomi, and the plural with the singular first person possessive pronoun
ט עֵינַיִךְ בַּשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר-יִקְצֹרוּן
וְהָלַכְתְּ אַחֲרֵיהֶן
הֲלוֹא צִוִּיתִי אֶת-הַנְּעָרִים לְבִלְתִּי נָגְעֵךְ
וְצָמִת וְהָלַכְתְּ אֶל-הַכֵּלִים
וְשָׁתִית מֵאֲשֶׁר יִשְׁאֲבוּן הַנְּעָרִים
your eyes on the field where they reap
and you go behind them
have I not instructed the lads not to touch you
and you thirst, and you go to the vessels
and drink from what the lads have drawn

יג וַתֹּאמֶר
אֶמְצָא-חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ אֲדֹנִי
כִּי נִחַמְתָּנִי
וְכִי דִבַּרְתָּ עַל-לֵב שִׁפְחָתֶךָ
וְאָנֹכִי לֹא אֶהְיֶה כְּאַחַת שִׁפְחֹתֶיךָ
and she said,
let me find favor in your eyes my Lord
for you have comforted me
for you have spoken to the heart of your handmaid
and I myself am not one or your handmaids
This self-descriptor is used only here - what is its significance?
טו וַתָּקָם לְלַקֵּט
וַיְצַו בֹּעַז אֶת-נְעָרָיו לֵאמֹר
גַּם בֵּין הָעֳמָרִים תְּלַקֵּט
וְלֹא תַכְלִימוּהָ
and she arose to glean
and Boaz said to his lads
even between the sheaves let her glean
and do not reproach her
note the direct object marker in Hebrew, but it is an indirect object in English
כא וַתֹּאמֶר רוּת הַמּוֹאֲבִיָּה
גַּם כִּי-אָמַר אֵלַי
עִם-הַנְּעָרִים אֲשֶׁר-לִי תִּדְבָּקִין
עַד אִם-כִּלּוּ אֵת כָּל-הַקָּצִיר אֲשֶׁר-לִי
and Ruth the Moabite said
for he even said to me
with the lads that are mine stay close
until they complete all the harvest that is mine

כב וַתֹּאמֶר נָעֳמִי אֶל-רוּת כַּלָּתָהּ
טוֹב בִּתִּי כִּי תֵצְאִי עִם-נַעֲרוֹתָיו
וְלֹא יִפְגְּעוּ-בָךְ בְּשָׂדֶה אַחֵר
and Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law
good my daughter to go out with his lasses
that none force you into another field

כג וַתִּדְבַּק בְּנַעֲרוֹת בֹּעַז
לְלַקֵּט עַד-כְּלוֹת קְצִיר-הַשְּׂעֹרִים
וּקְצִיר הַחִטִּים
וַתֵּשֶׁב אֶת-חֲמוֹתָהּ
so she stayed close with the lasses of Boaz
to glean to the completion of the barley harvest
and the wheat harvest
and she lived with her mother-in-law

ב וְעַתָּה הֲלֹא בֹעַז מֹדַעְתָּנוּ
אֲשֶׁר הָיִית אֶת-נַעֲרוֹתָיו
הִנֵּה-הוּא זֹרֶה אֶת-גֹּרֶן
and now is not Boaz of our acquaintance
whom you were with his lasses
behold he winnows at the threshing-floor
barley -- tonight

ט וַיֹּאמֶר מִי-אָתְּ
וַתֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי רוּת אֲמָתֶךָ
וּפָרַשְׂתָּ כְנָפֶךָ עַל-אֲמָתְךָ כִּי גֹאֵל אָתָּה
and he said - who are you?
and she said - I myself am Ruth your maidservant
so spread your wings over your maidservant
for the one redeeming is you yourself
another unique pair of self-descriptors from Ruth
ב וַיִּקַּח עֲשָׂרָה אֲנָשִׁים מִזִּקְנֵי הָעִיר
וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁבוּ-פֹה וַיֵּשֵׁבוּ
and he got ten men of the elders of the city
and he said sit here and they sat
the elders at the gate witness the redemption
ד וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי אֶגְלֶה אָזְנְךָ
לֵאמֹר קְנֵה נֶגֶד הַיֹּשְׁבִים
וְנֶגֶד זִקְנֵי עַמִּי
אִם-תִּגְאַל גְּאָל וְאִם-לֹא יִגְאַל
הַגִּידָה לִּי וְאֵדְעָה
כִּי אֵין זוּלָתְךָ לִגְאוֹל
וְאָנֹכִי אַחֲרֶיךָ
וַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי אֶגְאָל
and I myself had said I will disclose in your ear
to say will you buy before those sitting here
and before these elders of my people
if you will redeem, redeem and if he will not redeem,
tell me and I will know
for there is none except you to redeem
and I myself after you
and he said I myself will redeem

ט וַיֹּאמֶר בֹּעַז לַזְּקֵנִים וְכָל-הָעָם
עֵדִים אַתֶּם הַיּוֹם
כִּי קָנִיתִי אֶת-כָּל-אֲשֶׁר לֶאֱלִימֶלֶךְ
וְאֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר לְכִלְיוֹן וּמַחְלוֹן
מִיַּד נָעֳמִי
and Boaz said to the elders and all the people
witnesses you are today
that I have bought all that was Elimelek's
and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's
from the hand of Naomi

יא וַיֹּאמְרוּ
כָּל-הָעָם אֲשֶׁר-בַּשַּׁעַר וְהַזְּקֵנִים--עֵדִים
יִתֵּן יְהוָה אֶת-הָאִשָּׁה הַבָּאָה אֶל-בֵּיתֶךָ
כְּרָחֵל וּכְלֵאָה אֲשֶׁר בָּנוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶם אֶת-בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל
וַעֲשֵׂה-חַיִל בְּאֶפְרָתָה וּקְרָא-שֵׁם בְּבֵית לָחֶם
and they said -
all the people that were in the gate and the elders - witnesses
let יְהוָה give to the wife coming to your house
as to Rachel and as to Leah which two built the house of Israel
and you do well in Ephratha and make a name in Bethlehem

יב וִיהִי בֵיתְךָ כְּבֵית פֶּרֶץ
אֲשֶׁר-יָלְדָה תָמָר לִיהוּדָה--מִן-הַזֶּרַע
אֲשֶׁר יִתֵּן יְהוָה לְךָ מִן-הַנַּעֲרָה הַזֹּאת
and let your house be as the house of Perez
which Tamar bore to Judah from the seed
which יְהוָה will give you from this lass

No comments: