AAccording to the levirate law Ruth’s son was supposed to be named Mahlon but instead he was named Obed. Can you explain more about the law of levirate marriage so I understand?

Here’s a link to the Q&A blog that discusses the word “goel” and Levirate marriage: https://biblefaq390.com/#hfaq-post-522 After you read that, continue here, where I will attempt to answer the rest of the question. According to the principal of levirate marriage, the goel or redeemer marries the widow of the head of the family if that family […]

Why do ministers bring up the “rapture” when it’s not in the bible? I ask because “rapture” proponents often reject LGTBQ issues.

The rapture question is interesting, because it reflects a preoccupation with last things that was common during the time Jesus and later Paul lived. Both Jesus and Paul probably believed the end would come in their lifetime. We know Paul believed that, and though portraits of Jesus are filtered through later authors, we can infer […]

Why do you believe there was such as focus on fertility in Genesis 35-46? Why is fertility handled so publicly?

You perceptively notice the struggle with fertility between Rachel and Leah. I have mentioned elsewhere that female fertility is central to the post-exile concept of “woman of valor,” a term which is only assigned to Ruth and the “ideal wife” or “woman of valor” of Proverbs 31. It isn’t just that Ruth cares for her […]

How are women usually portrayed in the Bible, historically speaking? Ruth is of only two books named after a woman, so I wonder what else the Bible holds in store for the presentation of women.

Well, the bible was written over many centuries by different authors, and I’d suggest none of them agree wholeheartedly about women. I will generalize and say that the bible, especially the Hebrew bible, is extremely patriarchal and women do not often benefit from their portrayals in it. Probably the collections of laws like Leviticus and […]

Where can I read more about Ruth uncovering Boaz’s feet at the threshing floor? Who came up with that?

What exactly was Ruth was doing at the threshing floor? not everyone agrees with me, but many people do. See, for example, this article: https://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/people/related-articles/seduction-on-the-threshing-floor. Also, this interesting blog: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/what-did-ruth-and-boaz-do-on-the-threshing-floor/. Here’s another article about the feet in general: https://bycommonconsent.com/2006/01/24/weird-ot-euphemisms-uncovering-the-feet/ And, for an example not mentioned in either story, consider several incidents in Genesis which use […]

I’m a little confused as to what happened between Boaz and Ruth. Did he become her second husband or only a sole provider for her to have a child? Was sex outside of marriage less taboo then than later?

You know, as many times as I’ve read this, I’ve never considered this question carefully. Regarding sex outside of marriage, according to a 2005 book on marriage and sex in Judaism by Michael Broide (quoted in Wikipedia): “The written Torah [as opposed to the oral Torah] never forbids sex outside the context of marriage, with […]

Do many women in the bible NOT have husbands or men to take care of them? How are they portrayed? Are they still happy and productive or does the bible mostly portray women who don’t have men in their life as lacking?

You’ve asked an interesting question. I’m  racking my mind but I can only think of a few single women in the bible. I am sure I’ve overlooked some, but here’s a quick list: I’ve mentioned before the midrashic legend of Lilith, who leaves Adam because she does not want to be dominated. She seems to […]