in Apollos Old Testament Commentary

by L. Daniel Hawk

4.93 Rank Score: 5.41 from 3 reviews, 1 featured collections, and 4 user libraries
Pages 176
Publisher IVP Academic
Published 8/10/2015
ISBN-13 9780830825257
On the surface, the book of Ruth tells the tale of an unlikely marriage between a destitute Moabite widow and an upstanding citizen of a Judean village. The deeper import of the story, however, has to do with the internal boundaries that define the people of God. Is Israel a closed community, held together exclusively by bonds of kinship, or a nation that welcomes faithful outsiders into its sphere of belonging? Ruth appropriates marriage as the symbolic vehicle of a transformation in Israel's self-understanding from a community articulated by Naomi’s declaration that her daughters-in-law marry within their own people, to the acclamations by the people of Bethlehem that endorse Boaz’s marriage to a Moabite.

L. Daniel Hawk undertakes a detailed narrative analysis of Ruth that goes beyond the description of its content and stylistic features to illumine its deep structure and use of metaphor. Informed by contemporary studies on ethnicity, he discovers a work of remarkable sophistication that employs a story of intermarriage to address opposing ideas of Israelite identity. Hawk’s meticulous attention to patterned structures, stylistic devices and characterization reveals the strategy by which the narrator constructs a vision of Israel that looks beyond rigid internal boundaries to the welcome of faithful foreigners as agents of blessing.


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ThomasCreedy ThomasCreedy March 20, 2023
Ruth often gets sidelined or bundled with Judges, so having a standalone volume is helpful. Hawk doesn't overstay his welcome, though, offering a readable, careful and thoughtful commentary that I believe has value for scholars and bible-studying people alike.
Hawk addresses important topics such as genre, ethnicity, exogamy, gender, social class, and sexual ambiguity, composition of the text, and the theology of Ruth. One of the main strengths of this volume is Hawk’s exposition of the text and its connection and application to contemporary contexts (e.g., demonstrating God’s ḥesed to the marginalized). This is an excellent resource for pastors, teachers, and students. [Full Review]
Phillip J. Long Phillip J. Long January 11, 2016
The Apollos Old Testament Commentary Series intends to accurately interpret the original text of the Old Testament but also to assist pastors and teachers present the Old Testament in a modern context. Daniel Hawk’s contribution to this series on Ruth is an excellent example of commentary writing. The book is neither too brief nor overly burdened with excessive background materials which have had a tendency to inflate commentaries in recent year... Hawk’s commentary will serve scholars, pastors as well as laymen as they read and study the book of Ruth. Although it is faithful to the Hebrew text of Ruth, it is not overly technical nor is it distracted by social issues Ruth extraneous to the theology of Ruth. [Full Review]