Often, scholars debate whether to read the book of Ruth as a polemic against the disparagement of Moabites. Scholars who offer a non-polemical interpretation should provide an alternative explanation for Ruth’s Moabite identity as B. Porten does in a very brief article from 1976. The present article provides further support for Porten’s argument by drawing attention to a possible pun, noted by T. Linafelt, on the word blṭ in Ruth 3:7.
B. Porten“Structure, Style, and Theme of the Scroll of Ruth”Association for Jewish Studies Newsletter17 (1976) pp. 15-16; J. Schipper Ruth: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (ayb 7D; New Haven 2016) pp. 38-44.
GarsielBiblical Names p. 252; B. Porten “The Scroll of Ruth: A Rhetorical Study” Gratz College Annual of Jewish Studies 7 (1978) pp. 23-49 here p. 46; J. M. Sasson Ruth: A New Translation with a Philological Commentary and a Formalist-Folklorist Interpretation (2nd ed.; Sheffield 1999) p. 19; Schipper Ruth p. 9.
SchipperRuth pp. 168 177. I also note that the legal terminology in Ruth 4 rarely clarifies the legal transactions that it describes. Rather it creates rhymes puns assonance and alliteration (Ruth pp. 9 164 168 177).
LinafeltRuth p. 52; cf. LaCocque Ruth p. 95. I would like to thank B. Porten for reminding me of this pun in a private conversation at the 2015 Annual International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature.