Thursday, December 10, 2009

Other human groupings in Ruth

We have looked at ish and ishah, at immediate family relationships and in-laws, at the groups of workers and the elders, now at the more generic groups, excluding that last one - the kinsman redeemer.
Because we are looking at nouns, the grammar lessons are similar to the ones we have already seen: plurals, pronouns, male and female forms. What do the different groups mean semantically - i.e. what does it tell of personal and family relationships at this time in this society?

א וַיְהִי בִּימֵי שְׁפֹט הַשֹּׁפְטִים
וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ
וַיֵּלֶךְ אִישׁ מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה
לָגוּר בִּשְׂדֵי מוֹאָב
הוּא וְאִשְׁתּו וּשְׁנֵי בָנָיו
Now there was in the days of the judgment of the judges,
and there was a famine in the land.
and he went a man from the house of bread (Bethlehem) of Judah
to stay in the fields of Moab
he, his wife, and his two sons
This house is of course Bethlehem (remaining 4 occurrences not listed though Ephrata and Bethlehem are part of the story frame.)
ו וַתָּקָם הִיא וְכַלֹּתֶיהָ
וַתָּשָׁב מִשְּׂדֵי מוֹאָב
כִּי שָׁמְעָה בִּשְׂדֵה מוֹאָב
כִּי-פָקַד יְהוָה אֶת-עַמּוֹ
לָתֵת לָהֶם לָחֶם
and she arose, she and her daughters in law
to return from the fields of Moab
for she had heard in the fields of Moab
that יְהוָה had visited his people
to give to them bread
his people - 'people' is almost as important as 'God' in this story
ח וַתֹּאמֶר נָעֳמִי לִשְׁתֵּי כַלֹּתֶיהָ
לֵכְנָה שֹּׁבְנָה אִשָּׁה לְבֵית אִמָּהּ
יעשה יְהוָה עִמָּכֶם חֶסֶד
כַּאֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם עִם-הַמֵּתִים וְעִמָּדִי
and Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law
Go - return - each to the house of her mother (a-b)
may יְהוָה deal with you with mercy
as you have dealt with those who died and with me
'house' as clan

The issue of those who have died creates a separate collective in the story - but I did not list these here
ט יִתֵּן יְהוָה לָכֶם וּמְצֶאןָ מְנוּחָה
אִשָּׁה בֵּית אִישָׁהּ
וַתִּשַּׁק לָהֶן
וַתִּשֶּׂאנָה קוֹלָן וַתִּבְכֶּינָה
may יְהוָה give to you and may you find rest
each in the house of her husband
and she kissed them
and they lifted up their voice and wept
definiteness comes from the specifically modified noun following house
י וַתֹּאמַרְנָה-לָּהּ
כִּי-אִתָּךְ נָשׁוּב לְעַמֵּךְ
and they said to her
for with you we will return to your people
to-the-people-of-you (definiteness implied)
טו וַתֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה שָׁבָה יְבִמְתֵּךְ
אֶל-עַמָּהּ וְאֶל-אֱלֹהֶיהָ
שׁוּבִי אַחֲרֵי יְבִמְתֵּךְ
and she said, behold your sister-in-law returns
to her people and to her God
you return also after your sister-in-law
the-people-of-her (definiteness implied)
טז וַתֹּאמֶר רוּת אַל-תִּפְגְּעִי-בִי
לְעָזְבֵךְ לָשׁוּב מֵאַחֲרָיִך
כִּי אֶל-אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ
וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין
עַמֵּךְ עַמִּי
וֵאלֹהַיִךְ אֱלֹהָי
and Ruth said, do not force me
to leave you to turn back from following you
for wherever you go I go
and in whatever you stop over I stop over
your people my people
your God my God

א וּלְנָעֳמִי מוֹדָע לְאִישָׁהּ
אִישׁ גִּבּוֹר חַיִל
מִּשְׁפַּחַת אֱלִימֶלֶךְ
וּשְׁמוֹ בֹּעַז
Now for Naomi there was an acquaintance of her husband
a man of strength and valor
from the family of Elimelek
and his name was Boaz
must investigate this word family more thoroughly along with the redeemer
ג וַתֵּלֶךְ וַתָּבוֹא וַתְּלַקֵּט
בַּשָּׂדֶה אַחֲרֵי הַקֹּצְרִים
וַיִּקֶר מִקְרֶהָ
חֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה לְבֹעַז
אֲשֶׁר מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת אֱלִימֶלֶךְ
and she went and she came and she gleaned
in the field after the reapers
and she happened to happen
on the part of the field of Boaz
who was of the family of Elimelek
the reapers - may be the lads and lasses or all of them together
ד וְהִנֵּה-בֹעַז בָּא מִבֵּית לֶחֶם
וַיֹּאמֶר לַקּוֹצְרִים
יְהוָה עִמָּכֶם
וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ
יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה
and behold Boaz came from Bethlehem
and he said to the reapers
יְהוָה be with you
and they said to him
יְהוָה bless you

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

ז וַתֹּאמֶר אֲלַקֳּטָה-נָּא
וְאָסַפְתִּי בָעֳמָרִים אַחֲרֵי הַקּוֹצְרִים
וַתָּבוֹא וַתַּעֲמוֹד
מֵאָז הַבֹּקֶר וְעַד-עַתָּה
זֶה שִׁבְתָּהּ הַבַּיִת מְעָט
and she said, please let me glean
and gather among the sheaves after the reapers
and she came and she remained
from then - the morning and until now
she sitting in the house a little

יא וַיַּעַן בֹּעַז וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ
הֻגֵּד הֻגַּד לִי
כֹּל אֲשֶׁר-עָשִׂית אֶת-חֲמוֹתֵךְ
אַחֲרֵי מוֹת אִישֵׁךְ
וַתַּעַזְבִי אָבִיךְ וְאִמֵּךְ
וְאֶרֶץ מוֹלַדְתֵּךְ וַתֵּלְכִי אֶל-עַם
אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדַעַתְּ תְּמוֹל שִׁלְשׁוֹם
and Boaz answered and said to her
to be shown, it has been shown to me
all that you have done for your mother-in-law
after the death of your husband
and you left your father and your mother
and the land of your birth and went to a people
which you did not know before in times past
a people - unknown to her, so indefinite
יד וַיֹּאמֶר לָה בֹעַז
לְעֵת הָאֹכֶל גֹּשִׁי הֲלֹם
וְאָכַלְתְּ מִן-הַלֶּחֶם
וְטָבַלְתְּ פִּתֵּךְ בַּחֹמֶץ
וַתֵּשֶׁב מִצַּד הַקֹּצְרִים
וַיִּצְבָּט-לָהּ קָלִי וַתֹּאכַל
וַתִּשְׂבַּע וַתֹּתַר
and Boaz said to her
at the time of eating draw near here
and eat of the bread
and dip your piece in the vinegar
and she herself sat beside the reapers
and he heaped her parched grain and she ate
and she was sated and had leftovers

יא וְעַתָּה בִּתִּי אַל-תִּירְאִי
כֹּל אֲשֶׁר-תֹּאמְרִי אֶעֱשֶׂה-לָּךְ
כִּי יוֹדֵעַ כָּל-שַׁעַר עַמִּי
כִּי אֵשֶׁת חַיִל אָתְּ
and now my daughter have no fear
all that you say I will do for you
for all the gate, my people, know
that you are a woman of ability

יד וַתִּשְׁכַּב מַרְגְּלוֹתָו עַד-הַבֹּקֶר
וַתָּקָם בְּטֶרֶם יַכִּיר אִישׁ אֶת-רֵעֵהוּ
וַיֹּאמֶר אַל-יִוָּדַע
כִּי-בָאָה הָאִשָּׁה הַגֹּרֶן
and she lay down at his feet till the morning
and she rose before a man could recognize his friend
and he said - let it not be known
that the woman came to the threshing floor
friend - used only twice - perhaps not a significant structural element
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

ז וְזֹאת לְפָנִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל עַל-הַגְּאֻלָּה
וְעַל-הַתְּמוּרָה לְקַיֵּם כָּל-דָּבָר
שָׁלַף אִישׁ נַעֲלוֹ וְנָתַן לְרֵעֵהוּ
וְזֹאת הַתְּעוּדָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל
and this before in Israel, on the redemption
and on the exchange to raise any matter,
a man would remove his sandal and give it to his friend
and this was the attestation in Israel

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
house as clan and as people
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

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