2014-06-15 - Calling on the Elders
Ruth ~ Part 42
Verses 1-2: So, Boaz came to the gate and sat down. He waited until the unnamed kinsman showed up. Huey notes Hebrew tradition, when he speaks to Boaz's salutation of the man.
"The salutation "my friend"(NIV) or "man" (JB) misses the Hebrew idiom peloni 'almoni' which would best be translated "Mr. So-and-so." The idiom was used when the writer did not deem it essential to give the person's name . It does not mean that Boaz did not know his name.
The use of this idiom here has also been interpreted as deliberate on the part of the storyteller. As it was shameful not to fulfill the role of kinsman-redeemer, the kinsman was unworthy of mention by name. His attention gained by Boaz's greeting, the man stopped and sat down at the gate with Boaz."
Having met the kinsman, Boaz calls for ten elders. Again quoting Huey
"Boaz called ten elders who were already nearby to serve as witnesses to the legal brief he was about to set forth. (Years later, ten became the number of men required to constitute a synagogue.) The elders (from zaqan "to have a beard") exercised important roles both judicial and political in all the periods of Israel's history . In matters of dispute, they sat and listened to the opposing parties present their cases, heard witnesses, weighed evidence, and then made their decision."
To be continued.
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