Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fields of Moab

I've been studying the book of Ruth.  A phrase that has captured my imagination is the "fields of Moab" (Ruth 1:1, 2, 6, 22; 2:6; 4:3).  Where is that?  Many translations just say the country of Moab, but the word is field.  Why the fields?  I saw a play a few years ago on the book of Ruth and they portrayed the family as owning a lantern shop.  Somehow I think the fields of Moab implies that they went for agricultural reasons to what is now Jordan.  Perhaps the translators have it right and I am making too much of the word. 

I think the word country talks about a nation in our day and age.  I think the writer was talking about an environment.  Above is from the library of Congress photo of the location where the Moabite Stone was found in Syria.  Not really the Moab of the Bible, but it does look like a field and has a connection with Moab.  It looks pretty rocky to be a good place to escape from a famine.

http://www.bibleplaces.com/images/Fields_of_Moab_south_of_Arnon_with_Ruth,_tb_n031801.jpg


That looks like a great place to raise grain. 
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