Ten Tribes Studies (1 February 2016, 22 Shevet, 5776)
1. Letter of Appreciation
2. Acknowledgment of Error re "Land of Moab"
3. Revised Article. Field of Moab. Where Did Ruth Come From?
1. Letter of Appreciation
... I love your teaching and insights. I immensely appreciate your unbelieveable efforts. Frankly, you seem to be very Jewish in these efforts. And what does this mean? You, as many (most?) Jews do, put amazing effort and integrity into your work. To some degree, the Jewish path seems to always include the battle with Amalek. Discouragement that would bury most other peoples is often triumphed over by individuals and the people as a whole in Jewish history; and this no less than gloriously triumphal. Not that this battle is ever less than raging and severe. I do appreciate your humanity. You also deal with your warts in the fashion of those who grow through pain (like most of us). However, I needed practical guidelines. You suggested avoiding foods which the bible says are not to be eaten. This was not necessarily in kosher fashion but at least avoiding these foods. This is where I am at now. Blessings, T.
2. Acknowledgment of Error re "Land ofÂ Moab"
The Sages said, "A person does not come to understand the correct meaning of the Torah without making serious mistakes" (Talmud, Gittin 43;a).
In the original draft of our article,
"Field of Moab. Where Did Ruth Come From?"
# The area the Israelites encamped in before crossing the Jordan is ALWAYS referred to as "Arvoth Moav".Â i.e. the Plains of Moab.Â It is NEVER called anything else.
The expression occurs 11 times.
This area is NEVER called "Land of Moab", or just "Moab", or anything else but always "Arvoth Moav" and the termÂ "Arvoth Moav"Â is NEVER used for anything else.
The expression is only used while the Israelite were encamped there. After the Conquest and Distribution of the Land under Joshua this region was firmly in possession of the Tribe of Reuben.
From then on it is NEVER referred to as "Arvoth Moav"Â or any other name with the word Moab in it, as far as we can tell. #
We received an e-mail from James Rodriguez:
The article titled, "Field of Moab" was especially interesting. It utilizes questionable logic and scholarship designed to diminish the possibility of Ruth's Israelite ancestry. The introduction utilizes an appeal to ridicule setting a laughable tone for the rest of the article. In section two, the author engages in "poisoning the well" by undermining a certain group's doctrinal understanding (sure glad I'm a Levite :)).
Section three is designed to question the meaning of arvoth Moab. It creates the illusion of a discrepancy, yet exposes somewhat of an inconsistency. It claims the area of Israel's encapment :
".....is NEVER called "Land of Moab", or just "Moab", or anything else but always "Arvoth Moav" and the term Â "Arvoth Moav" Â is NEVER used for anything else."
Deu 32:49 and Deu 34:1 indicate the plains [arabah] of Moab were an integral part of the land [eretz] of Moab:
Deu 32:48-49Â Then the LORD spoke to Moses that very same day, saying: 49Â "Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land [eretz] of Moab, across from Jericho; view the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel as a possession;
Deu 34:1Â Then Moses went up from the plains [arabah] of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is across from Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land of Gilead as far as Dan...
James Rodriguez was correct on this point.
Part of the area that had once belonged to Moab and that the Amorites took from Moab and that Israelites conquered from them was indeed referred to as 'Land of Moab' (DeuteronomyÂ 32:49).
Deuteronomy 32 (NASB):
48 The Lord spoke to Moses that very same day, saying, 49 Go up to this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho, and look at the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the sons of Israel for a possession. 50 Then die on the mountain where you ascend, and begathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people.
Moses was told to ascend Mount Nebo and die there. Mount Nebo was apparently in that part of Moab that the Israelites had conquered and a not part of the area known as 'Aravoth Moab' where the Israelites were camped.
These expressions 'Aravoth Moab' and 'Land of Moab' were ONLY USED for areas under Israelite control in the period before the conquest and Tribal distribution of the Lands west of the Jordan River. After that the allocation of the former areas of Moab and Ammon ('purified' by the Amorite conquest) to the Tribes of Reuben, and Gad was confirmed (Joshua 22:1-6). The half-tribe of Manasseh (including clans of Gilead) also participated in the distribution and reception of these regions (Joshua 22:9).
In light of the above if we were to find a term 'Moab' applied to areas possessed by Israel it would not mean much. We do not however find this anywhere. They who claim otherwise need to adduce proof from Scripture.Â The onus is on them. Ruth came from the "Field of Moab" meaning the Land of Moab in the proper sense.
We have since re-written the article along with improved Maps of our own.
We shall also post the messages from James Rodriguez in a separate article and answer claims made by him.
James Rodriguez has turned out to be a serious scholar and makes an impressive argument.
Previously we had given the impression that most advocates of the claim that "Ruth was an Israelite" were racialists.
This may not always be the case.
James Rodriguez himslef admits that our mistake was understandable.
He recently wrote:
# That is only part of the evidence. I have written a 21 page study with much more evidence. Some old arguments and some new. There are Israelite groups who embrace this doctrine with a racist agenda, That is not my purpose. I am appalled by the hate perpetuated by some of these groups. Searching out truth in [the Almighty]'s word is my goal.Â
Meanwhile the re-written corrected and improved version of the article,
Fields of Moab may be seen.
Later we shall post the claims of James Rodriguez in full followed (or preceded) by our answers.
3. Revised Article. Field of Moab
Where Did Ruth Come From?
These expressions 'Aravoth Moab' and 'Land of Moab' were ONLY USED for areas under Israelite control in the period before the conquest and Tribal distribution of the Lands west of the Jordan River. After that the allocation of the former areas of Moab and Ammon ('purified' by the Amorite conquest) to the Tribes of Reuben, and Gad was confirmed (Joshua 22:1-6). The half-tribe of Manasseh (including clans of Gilead) also participated in the distribution and reception of these regions (Joshua 22:9).Â
We find the expression 'Field of' being used to connote 'Country of' in general e.g. the Field of the Amalekites (Genesis 14:7) i.e. the Country of the Amalekites; the Field of Edom (Genesis 32:4) meaning the Land of Edom; the Field of the Philistines (1-Samuel 6:1 and elsewhere) meaning the Land of the Philistines, etc.
In the Book of Ruth the Land of Moab is always referred to as Sedeh-MoabÂ i.e. the Field of Moab (Ruth 1:1, 2, 6).