Original Research

David and the matriarch in the Book of Ruth

J. A. Loader
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 28, No 1 | a1482 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v28i1.1482 | © 1994 J. A. Loader | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 June 1994 | Published: 11 June 1994

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J. A. Loader,, South Africa

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In this paper it is argued that the motif of the matriarch is not only present in the Book of Ruth, but that it also fulfils an important role. Several motifs and clusters of motifs established in the patriarchal narratives, especially that of the protection of the matriarch, are shown to be used in such a way that Ruth is portrayed as a typical matriarch. Since a matriarch is a matriarch by virtue of the importance of her offspring, the David motif in 4:17 is by no means secondary, but an inherent part of the narrative itself. This in turn has implications for the theological basis of the Davidic dynasty: Since the motif of the matriarch in this way becomes part of the royal theme, its meaning is determined by the overarching theme of solidarity and love, viz. that the royal house is founded not on 'pure' descent, but on solidarity and love.


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