Daily Bible Reading: Ruth 4 and Mark 5:21-43

Ruth 4 – Boaz consults with the man and with ten elders.  He puts the matter to the man as if Naomi were selling land that belonged to her husband, and asks the next of kin if he is interested.  The man says he is, but when he learns that with the land comes Ruth, he yields his “rights” to Boaz. The deal here is that if the man were to take Ruth and she were to have a son by him, the son would legally be Elimelech’s heir—Ruth’s husband’s father’s, and the land would then go to him.  The next of kin does not want to risk loss of the land to a potential child, so he gives up his right. Boaz will go along with this.  They marry, and Ruth does have a son whom they name Obed—the legal heir not only of Elimelech but of Naomi too.  Naomi nurses him.  Obed will be the father of Jesse, and Jesse will be the father of David.  Boaz also was descended from Perez, the son of Judah and Tamar, who had to play prostitute to get Judah to give her and her deceased husband an heir—see Gen.38.

Mark 5:21-43 - Jesus crosses the sea again and meets a synagogue leader named Jairus.  Jairus’ little girl is “at the point of death” (5:23). He begs Jesus to come to her.  On the way, the woman with the hemorrhage makes her way through the throng and touches his clothes. She is immediately healed and Jesus turns to her - he had felt “power” going out of him at her touch. 


After this people from the man’s house come to them and say that the little girl has died.  Going with Peter, James and John (of Zebedee), he goes to the house where he tells the crowd that she is not dead, only sleeping.  They laugh.  He goes in with the parents and his three disciples and raises her (5:42).  Again he orders that no one speak of what he has done (5:43).

Leviticus 15 and 21 describe the strict rules governing ritual purity of priests in particular.  Jesus here has had contact with the dead and with a woman with a bodily discharge—both of which would render a person or priest ritually polluted under the Mosaic Law.  Jesus’ ministry of healing and love supersede these rules.

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Comment by Irene Lape on 4th mo. 12, 2012 at 7:16am

How amazing and wonderful it is to find a comment from you - in South Africa! What a world we now live in. The translations I have for that story about the woman with the hemorrhaging in Luke 8:40 say that she had suffered the affliction for twelve years and that no one could cure her. And I don't think Jesus went into a house to cure her. He was on his way to Jairus' house to help his young daughter, but on the way this other woman just reached out and touched the edge of his cloak. But even that would have been "verboten" in those times - to have contact with a woman considered "unclean" in that way. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. It's great. 


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