Ancient Israelite Culture Analysis

argumentative Essay
994 words
994 words

Many similarities can be found when cultures from across the world are examined and compared to one another. Even though these cultures developed completely separate from one another, they share common ideas, beliefs, and practices. This similarities can be found when examining social, political, and religious parts of the culture and cover a broad area. It is possible to pick almost any two cultures from around the world, compare them to on another, and be able to find at least one notable similarity. In this paper, I will put this theory to the test and compare the social, political, and religious aspects of the ancient Israelite community during the setting of the Book of Ruth with the same focus areas in different Native American societies …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Compares the social, political, and religious aspects of the ancient israelite community during the setting of ruth with the same focus areas in different native american societies across north america.
  • Compares the israelites during the monarchic period and native american cultures by comparing kinship. both the cahuilla and israelite societies are patrilineal.
  • Analyzes how lineage was important to both the israelites and the cahuilla. the book of ruth shows that even though kind david was from moabite ancestry, he could still be legitimate for israel.
  • Analyzes how elders in cahuilla and bethlehem-judah were viewed as righteous, knowledgeable men who could decide whether or not the agreement was carried out properly.
  • Compares the story in the book of ruth with the customs of the cahuilla people group, namely the process of naming a child.

Take for instance, the Cahuilla people group located in modern day California. Both the Cahuilla and the Israelite societies are patrilineal. This means that they consider lineage through the father’s line only. They are also both patrilocal societies, which means that after marriage, the newlywed couple would move in with or near the husband’s family. In the Book of Ruth, after marriage Mahlon in Moab, it is understood that Ruth left her family to live with Mahlon’s family. After Mahlon’s death, Ruth is told by Naomi to return to her mother’s house. This is strange in the context of Israelite society, as it would be in Cahuilla society as well. As patrilineal societies, the house would belong to the father and it is him who the woman would return to. In the end, however, Ruth decides to stay with Naomi and they eventually seek out a levirate to support Ruth and in turn, Naomi. In Native American cultures, however, the act of finding a levirate to take the place of the deceased husband would have most likely been the first choice over returning to the father’s home. The entire book of Ruth is centered on this idea of levirate marriage. While it is not found much in the rest of the Hebrew Bible, it was obviously a very important or at least very common practice among Israelites at this …show more content…

This importance of lineage was after all the main reason levirate marriage was practiced in both of these societies. The Cahuilla’s main festival was called the Eagle Killing Ceremony and centered on the continuity of lineages. During this ceremony, an eagle, which was believed to symbolize eternal life, would allow itself to be killed in order to assure the Cahuilla people of life after death. This was very important, because it meant that even though the individual had died, the lineage lived on. In a different way, lineage is key to the story of Ruth. One of the main reasons the story was written was to show that even though Kind David was from Moabite ancestry, he could still be a legitimate kind for Israel. It does this by showing Ruth as a devoted daughter-in-law who was willing to leave her home country to go with Naomi to Bethlehem-Judah in order to ensure her well-being. Boaz, an Israelite, is shown acting on his duty as a kinsman redeemer without hesitation. The author also seems to make sure the reader is aware that Ruth fully pledges herself to Naomi and her god. This was probably a key part in the Israelite community accepting a foreigner into their society in such a monumental way. The Book of Ruth ends by listing a genealogy that traces the line from Perez to David, linking Boaz to David in the process. However, must like the entire Book

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