Monday, July 21, 2014

Boaz, Drunk-az, Cheatin'-az and Ruth

Often these days I hear women say they are waiting for their "Boaz." This implies they have at least the spirit of Ruth, and they seek to be worthy and find a worthy man, like Boaz, to be their husband. Many times I hear this from divorced women, who I shall assume for the sake of discussion, are not divorced because of their own failings, but of their former husband. It should be noted though that Ruth was a widow, and childless. It cannot be said of Ruth that any of her actions led to her status.

So, we know largely who Ruth is, but often we forget who Boaz is. I think one of the assumptions about Boaz that no one talks about was his marital status at the time of his acquisition of Ruth as his wife, was that he was single. This "given" is contained in the little bit of doggerel floating about the internet, often borrowed, but never attributed:
" 'Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz.' While you are waiting on YOUR Boaz, don’t settle for any of his relatives: Broke-az, Lyin-az, Cheatin-az, Dumb-az, Drunk-az, Cheap-az, Lockedup-az, Goodfornothingaz, Lazyaz and especially his third cousin Beatinyouaz. Wait on your Boaz and make sure he respects Yoaz!"

The "Cheatin-az" relative of the internet Boaz, would be, I assume, a man with other "girlfriends." This would include "Cheatin-az," who is a bigamist. Boaz, was also in his cups when Ruth made her offer to him, so there is some family resemblence to "Drunk-az." Was there a family trait tying him to "Cheatin-az?"

The word "nah·ar·ä' (נַעֲרָה)," Strongs H5291, is exactly the word used in Ruth for Boaz speaking of his "maids." It is the word used in Judges 19-21 to refer to the Levite's concubine, and if there was an argument as to exactly the role or relationship the Levite's "nah·ar·ä' " had with respect to him, two things make it clear. She "played the harlot" and her father was referred to as the Levite's "Father in Law." The word is used ten times in Ruth, it's most frequent usage, and on three occasions, it is "doubled" (used twice in a row), a feature of Hebrew that seems to change or emphasize a meaning to something more specific. All of the "doublings" are in reference to Ruth herself, once with the word for Moab placed between the two consecutive instances, the two straight doublings are used by Boaz, and it is Boaz who uses the word "nah·ar·ä' " to refer to his own maids.

Boaz uses nah·ar·ä', the word used in Judges for the Levite's concubine to describe his own maids. He seems to elevate the status of Ruth by "doubling" it as the translation would indicate. It is sometimes used for "damsel, young woman, virgin or even (oddly), " prostitute." This last meaning would seem to support my contention that a harlot or prostitute constituted a "concubine for a day" or "female day laborer." I do not defend harlotry or seek to legitimize it, but the condemnations of prostitution seem more directed at the "Johns" (whoremongers), than at the unfortunate women driven to prostitution. It's all the more significant then that Boaz makes sure that Ruth is kept close to HIS maids, so that Ruth is not accosted by other men in her unattached and "adrift" status.

For her part, Ruth refers to herself as a maidservant, but this time the Hebrew word is quite different, she calls herself a "shif·khä' " (שִׁפְחָה), a word meaning at times, a possession or female slave of a woman. The word means to "spread out a family" in some of it's usages. Ruth seems to see herself as the method by which the name of Elimelech might survive. "Shif·khä' " (שִׁפְחָה) is the word used to describe Hagar, Bilhah and Zilpah. Bilhah's and Zilphah's children are counted by no less than the LORD, as children of Rachel and Leah. Boaz and Ruth later have a child, who is given to Naomi, seeming to fulfill this bargain.

To underscore this even more, let us look at how a man might treat a "maid" In his house, in Exodus 21. He was to designate them for his sons, himself, and possibly a male servant. He had a DUTY of marriage to that maidservant.

So Boaz had maids. That meant he at least had concubines. He wasn't dead, as noticed by Naomi who says to Ruth that Boaz will make all due haste to get the job done of getting her as a bride, so we can conclude that Ruth wasn't his only bride at the time. Boaz and Cheatin-az are indeed related.

Finally, lets look at Boaz and his appraisal of himself:
"Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich."
Boaz is an older man.

So are you looking for your Boaz? Really? An older guy that drinks on occasion(Drunk-az), lies about on the threshing floor (Lazy-az?) and has other women (Cheatin-az)? Are you really looking for your Boaz or is the rhyme just kinda a cute little in someone's face about how you're worth the right man?

In the end, I encourage you to wait for your Boaz, but he may not come dressed up the way society has taught you to recognize. It's also not about you either, since if you are Ruth, examine what Ruth called herself, the one who was chattel to her mother in law, whose purpose was to spread out her dead father in law's name. That's not getting in someone's face and saying "because I'm worth it." It's not about you if you're Ruth, and who you're looking for, if it's Boaz, quite often looks a lot different than what the world asks you to seek, Old Boaz-Drunkaz-Cheatinaz-Lazyaz.

Well, that last one is just a joke. Boaz may have liked to relax, but I hardly think he was lazy.
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Governor Perry

You were able to move at lighting speed with the threat of deadly force, well coordinated, with respect to American Citizens.

Does this mean you won't do it again, because politically, it works for you and you're cynically using a conflict with the President to further your own political career?

Does it mean you can't do it, and had to have collusion with the Federal Government to do it the first time, in 2008? More →

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