The Psalm of Ruth

By Allen Quist 

This work birthed out of an assignment in an Old Testament Survey class with Dr. Bruce Fong as the instructor. I had for some time fell in love with Hebrew poetic styles, so I decided to write a poem using the various styles available. However, not being sufficiently creative to come up with some meaningful themes to engage, I decided to rewrite a book of the Bible. I picked the book of Ruth because I believed it held a number of heart themes concentrated in this brief work. I structured the presentation in a way as to demonstrate many of the Hebrew poetic styles so the readers could follow the various tools.

This is not a rewrite of the Bible nor is it intended to in any way replace or reword scripture. This psalm is designed to show some of the themes in Ruth while providing an opportunity to experience many of the Hebrew poetic styles.

Inclusio
Synonymous parallelism

 

Emblematic parallelism

When the testing comes, I am in your mind.
In the midst of my ill fortune, you are with me.
Lord, you say that friendship must always be faithful.
You know my name and you direct my paths.

The mountains and the oceans are at your feet, and your loyalty lasts forever.
All creation is at your beckoning call.
As the sun always gives warmth in the morning,
Your covenant is forever before us.

Inverted parallelism
1:1 -7

Acrostic

The Lord redeems me from the desert.
Out of the dry land, He waters my soul.

Now Judah, I crouch before you.
And Bethlehem, my need drives me on.
Oh Judah, my Joy is hungry.
My Bethlehem, the home of my future.
In Judah, there is rest for my soul.

Assonance and Acrostic
1:8-18

 

Synonymous parallelism

Refuse to cast me away - for
Under my care you will stay.
To your kinsmen we will proceed indeed.
Home in your land we will stand.

Don’t even think of me leaving, I must be with Joy.
Where you travel I’ll travel, it is pleasantness.
At the end of the light, you will have love.
After the setting of the sun, I will be there.

Alliteration and Climactic parallelism
1:19-22

 

Inverted parallelism

 

With pleasantness I live in misfortune.
We embrace our misfortune, in sorrow and peace.
While in our sorrow, we trust in the Lord.
Where the Lord is, the heart is lifted.
When we are empty, we have you.

Fruit of the flower has turned bitter.
The Lord has determined the taste.
Honey is gone, but Joy is pleasant..
His covenant is everlasting.

Emblematic parallelism
2:1-4

 

Antithetic parallelism

As a chick is eager to take wing,
My heart longs to be in your service.
The ant prepares its storehouse with energy,
So friendship enters the field with quickness.

In the unknown, there is no death.
With blindness, the Lord gives life.
From Bethlehem my redeemer comes quickly.
From Judah, he does not tarry long.


Ellipsis
2:5-7

 

Onomatopoeia

Your eyes are on me, with concern in your heart.
The gaze is never broken.
Kindness is like oil, it is soothing to the soul.
Like a salve to the heart.

Serving in the sun midst spatters of laughter.
Whistling of the wind in the standing grain.
Whoose of the flint as they thresh the barley.
The crunch of the kernels under the feet.

Paronomasia
2:8-9

 

Climactic parallelism

Oh Kindness, remain in my field,
for your thirst, my containers will yield,
clear water with which you will be healed,
and from danger you have been sealed.

You save me, Praise your name.
I am a foreigner, and you protect me.
Under your shelter, you nourish my soul.
Though I am lowest of the lowly, you lift me up.
When I am thirsty, you give a drink.
The water comes from your abundant reserve.

Antithetic parallelism
2:10-16

 

Emblematic parallelism

In the days of my sorrow, you remember me Lord.
When tears of pain flow, you never forget.
From my redeemer, there is nothing withheld.
With quickness I feast at your table.

As a sparrow in the field nurtures her young,
So the Lord, provides His children with fare.
Blessed is the princes at the table of the King.
The sojourner’s delight is the basket of my redeemer.

Climactic Parallelism
2:17-23

 

Inverted Parallelism

From the land comes blessing.
The blessing is from the Lord.
The hand of the Lord holds the bread of life.
The redemption of life is from the Lord.

Oh Joy, the Lord is our supplier.
From His basket, we are content.
In showing kindness, he never ceases.
He is forever giving His love.


Climactic parallelism
3:1 -18

 


Inverted parallelism

Antithetic parallelism

The corner of His garment gives hope,
But spread over me gives repose.
From the garment to the heart,
From the heart to the home,
Blessed be the name of my redeemer.

By my redeemer’s hand, the ransom is paid.
I am delivered, in my humility.
You fill the need, in the dark of the night.
Before the morning, my Joy will sing.

Acrostic
4:1-12

Buy the land that pays the ransom.
Redeem us from our affliction.
Under his protection we find salvation.
Crying out in our ill fortune.
Every tear he has wiped away.

Bring the Elders of the town as council.
Offer mercy to Joy and Kindness.
Accept with Quickness the call of the Lord.
Zealousness in honor returns blessing.

Emblematic parallelism
4:13 -22

 

Climactic parallelism

As a baby sleeps in his fathers arms,
so is the soul who trusts in the Lord.
Like a lamb is with the shepherd,
is a foreigner with the redeemer.

Out of Friendship came the Servant.
From the Servant came the King.
From the King comes the Redeemer.
From the Redeemer comes the Bride.

Inclusio
Synonymous parallelism

 


Emblematic parallelism


When the testing comes, I am in your mind.
In the midst of my ill fortune, you are with me.
Lord, you say that friendship must always be faithful.
You know my name and you direct my paths.

The mountains and the oceans are at your feet, and your loyalty lasts forever.
All creation is at your beckoning call.
As the sun always gives warmth in the morning,
Your covenant is forever before us.

Contact Allen with any questions or comments
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