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This unit is designed primarily as a continuation course in biblical Hebrew, although it will also cover exegetical issues. Apart from work in grammar and textual criticism, we will look at issues of translation and the date of Ruth from a linguistic perspective. The examination will reflect the emphases of the chosen Field – A or B.

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Translate and exegete selected passages from the book of Ruth.
  2. Discuss text-critical issues in the book of Ruth.
  3. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of Hebrew grammar and syntax.
  4. Discuss the linguistic evidence for the date of writing of the book of Ruth
  5. Level 8: Undertake postgraduate-level research and demonstrate appropriate exegetical skills


Pre-requisites: Level 2: AL1011W and BA1001W (previous AL111.15 and BH101.15)
Level 8: AL8011W and BA8001W (previous AL111.15 and BH101.15)
Level 2:
Weekly translation exercises (equivalent to 1,500 words total) 30%
One 1,000 word exegetical paper 30%
One two-hour examination 40%
Level 8:
Weekly translation exercises (equivalent to 2,000 words total) 30%
One 2,000 word exegetical paper 30%
One two-hour examination 40%
Class Time:

 Select Bibliography

Alter, Robert. The art of biblical narrative. New York: Basic Books, 1981
Beattie, Derek R G. Jewish exegesis of the book of Ruth. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1977
Brotzman, Ellis R. Old Testament textual criticism. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999
Brown, Francis, S R Driver and Charles A Briggs. A Hebrew and English lexicon of the Old Testament. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1906
Bush, Frederic. Ruth/Esther. Dallas: Word, 1996
Campbell, Edward F. Ruth. Garden City: Doubleday, 1975
Clines, David J A (ed.). The dictionary of classical Hebrew. (2 vols) Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993, 1995
Holladay, William L. A concise Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament. Leiden: E J Brill, 1971
Hubbard, Robert L Jr. The book of Ruth. Grand Rapids: William B Eerdmans, 1988
LaCocque, Andre. The feminine unconventional. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990
Lambdin, Thomas O. Introduction to biblical Hebrew. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1973
Sasson, Jack M. Ruth: A new translation with a philological commentary and a formalist – folklorist interpretation. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1979
Seow, C L. A grammar for biblical Hebrew. Nashville: Abingdon, 1987