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Ruth did not know who Boaz was and that he already had some knowledge about her. She had only recently arrived in Judah and therefore thought that Boaz would only view her as a stranger of unknown identity. She thought in his eyes she must have been a. Therefore his unexpected grace was inexplicable for Ruth. Perhaps she was prepared to plead her cause and declare that she indeed wanted to stay in Israel, that she accepted the God of Israel and broke down every bridge behind her leading back to Moab.

None of this was necessary and she was astonished. Boaz even did much more than she could have expected as a stranger - and that although in his eyes she could not be more than a. The answer of Boaz makes this explanation probable. He answers: "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband - how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before.

Boaz therefore knew that Ruth in fact was a stranger , not a and he treated her in that way: with loving care and help. We could therefore say that Ruth seems to demonstrate the process of a stranger moving from foreigner to becoming a guest. We have looked at the three main terms for "stranger" in the hb. These terms are not "labels" in a strict sense of the word or definitions for a particular kind of people.

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They are terms used to describe strangers and sometimes not only foreigners from different angles. We first explored the usage of the term. It is used to describe someone or something with quite a distance to its surrounding. Similarly the term also contains this sense of distance, but it always seems to carry a more or less visible aspect of dangerousness.

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It is almost exclusively used for foreigners coming to Israel but keeping their strangeness and distance. On the other end of the spectrum is the term. They also seem to be in most cases a foreigner. But instead of keeping their strangeness and distance they want to stay and live in Israel and therefore try to integrate into Israelite society.

But they are also allowed to adhere to their own national and religious identity as long as they follow a certain canon of laws, whose obedience was vital for a good and longstanding relationship with Israelite society. These terms were not strictly distinct from one another. Sometimes they could be interchanged and hence there is a semantic overlap. Sometimes they were used side by side.

The Road to Emmaus: A Walk with a Stranger from Jerusalem | Logos Bible Software

But it still remains a fact that each of them carries a special overtone as displayed above. Let me sketch out a few things we might learn from this for our present day situation.

And besides this they were strangers on God's earth like we all are. The fact that God created everything, that he created mankind in his image, applies to every human being in every nation in the same way. There is no such thing as a master race as Hitler once called it. Israel was reminded of the fact that God had given them their land, and that it always remained the land of God. They could not sell this land permanently because it did not belong to them. For us this might mean: your land, your property, your money - everything is given to you by God. Therefore be prepared to share it with others who are in need.

In Israel God wanted his people to create such an atmosphere, an atmosphere of loving kindness where strangers could feel at home. We often complain that foreigners do not want to integrate into our society. At least in Germany this is true. My question is whether or not there is enough reason for them to do so. What can they gain from integration?

Is there a stranger-friendly atmosphere? Do we as Christians love strangers?

The Road to Emmaus: A Walk with a Stranger from Jerusalem

Do we help them integrate? Do we care about their welfare? Do we remember the fact that God indeed loves the stranger Deut and that he asks us to love them too? Achenbach, Reinhard. Edited by Reinhard Achenbach. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, Beihefte zur Zeitschrift fur altorientalische und biblische Rechtsgeschichte Albertz, Rainer. Rainer Albertz; Stuttgart: Calwer Verlag, , Amusin, Joseph D. Assmann, Jan.

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Colloquium Rauricum 4. Edited by Meinhard Schuster. Teubner, Barbiero, Gianni. Edited by Gianni Barbiero. Stuttgarter biblische Beitrage Stuttgart: Katholische Verlagsanstalt, Ben Zvi, Ehud. Edited by Stephen W. Holloway and Lowell K. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, Bertholet, Alfred.

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Freiburg i. B: Mohr, Blenkinsopp, Joseph. Botterweck, Gerhard J. Theologisches Worterbuch zum Alten Testament. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, Breit, Herbert. Edited by Manfred Seitz and Herbert Breit. Stuttgart: Calwer, Brett, Mark G. Ethnicity and the Bible. Biblical Interpretation Series Leiden u. Bultmann, Christoph. Caero Bustillo, Bernhardeth Carmen. Cohen, Shaye J.

Eising, Hermann. Edited by Joseph Hofner and Willhelm Weber. Fleckenstein, Wolfgang. Fretheim, Terence E. Gesenius, Wilhelm. Hebraisches und Aramaisches Handworterbuch uber das Alte Testament. Berlin: Springer, [], Berlin: Springer, Greger, Barbara. Biblical Theology Bulletin 63 : Guttmann, Michael.

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Kaiser, Otto. Jahrbuch der Religionspadagogik Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, Kellermann, Diether. Edited by Gerhard J. Klein, Hans.