Ruth: An Allegorical ReadingMack Stirling
The 2020 Temple on Mount Zion Conference
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Sponsored by The Interpreter Foundation and Brigham Young University College of Humanities
The book of Ruth easily lends itself to an allegorical interpretation, which corresponds in many ways to the endowment. Ruth, typifying any individual or Israel as a whole, undertakes and completes a journey to the Lord, typified by Boaz, the kinsman-redeemer. Ruth goes from emptiness/famine and the bitterness of family death to fulness and renewed family. As Ruth demonstrates obedience, initiative, and creativity, her ever strengthening relationship with Boaz (kinsman-redeemer) is betokened by intermittent gifts of food/grain (word of God, spiritual nourishment) from Boaz, which go beyond the requirements of the law. Finally, after washing, anointing, and putting on special clothing and under the cover of a night-veil Ruth achieves union with Boaz, the kinsman-redeemer. Afterwards, Boaz makes sure there is no legal claim to prevent his marriage to Ruth, Ruth brings forth a son, and she is acclaimed a mother in Israel.
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