Rut, The Sword in the Bet Hamedrash and Torah She-Beh-Al-Peh
1 א

(א) וּבֹ֨עַז עָלָ֣ה הַשַּׁעַר֮ וַיֵּ֣שֶׁב שָׁם֒ וְהִנֵּ֨ה הַגֹּאֵ֤ל עֹבֵר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר דִּבֶּר־בֹּ֔עַז וַיֹּ֛אמֶר ס֥וּרָה שְׁבָה־פֹּ֖ה פְּלֹנִ֣י אַלְמֹנִ֑י וַיָּ֖סַר וַיֵּשֵֽׁב... (ד) וַאֲנִ֨י אָמַ֜רְתִּי אֶגְלֶ֧ה אָזְנְךָ֣ לֵאמֹ֗ר קְ֠נֵה נֶ֥גֶד הַֽיֹּשְׁבִים֮ וְנֶ֣גֶד זִקְנֵ֣י עַמִּי֒ אִם־תִּגְאַל֙ גְּאָ֔ל וְאִם־לֹ֨א יִגְאַ֜ל הַגִּ֣ידָה לִּ֗י ואדע [וְאֵֽדְעָה֙] כִּ֣י אֵ֤ין זוּלָֽתְךָ֙ לִגְא֔וֹל וְאָנֹכִ֖י אַחֲרֶ֑יךָ וַיֹּ֖אמֶר אָנֹכִ֥י אֶגְאָֽל׃ (ה) וַיֹּ֣אמֶר בֹּ֔עַז בְּיוֹם־קְנוֹתְךָ֥ הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה מִיַּ֣ד נָעֳמִ֑י וּ֠מֵאֵת ר֣וּת הַמּוֹאֲבִיָּ֤ה אֵֽשֶׁת־הַמֵּת֙ קניתי [קָנִ֔יתָה] לְהָקִ֥ים שֵׁם־הַמֵּ֖ת עַל־נַחֲלָתֽוֹ (ו) וַיֹּ֣אמֶר הַגֹּאֵ֗ל לֹ֤א אוּכַל֙ [לִגְאָל־] לִ֔י פֶּן־אַשְׁחִ֖ית אֶת־נַחֲלָתִ֑י גְּאַל־לְךָ֤ אַתָּה֙ אֶת־גְּאֻלָּתִ֔י כִּ֥י לֹא־אוּכַ֖ל לִגְאֹֽל׃

(1) Meanwhile, Boaz had gone to the gate and sat down there. And now the redeemer whom Boaz had mentioned passed by. He called, “Come over and sit down here, So-and-so!” And he came over and sat down... (4) I thought I should disclose the matter to you and say: Acquire it in the presence of those seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you are willing to redeem it, redeem! But if you will not redeem, tell me, that I may know. For there is no one to redeem but you, and I come after you.” “I am willing to redeem it,” he replied. (5) Boaz continued, “When you acquire the property from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabite, you must also acquire the wife of the deceased, so as to perpetuate the name of the deceased upon his estate.” (6) The redeemer replied, “Then I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own estate. You take over my right of redemption, for I am unable to exercise it.”

2 ב
(נה) וְכִרְא֨וֹת שָׁא֜וּל אֶת־דָּוִ֗ד יֹצֵא֙ לִקְרַ֣את הַפְּלִשְׁתִּ֔י אָמַ֗ר אֶל־אַבְנֵר֙ שַׂ֣ר הַצָּבָ֔א בֶּן־מִי־זֶ֥ה הַנַּ֖עַר אַבְנֵ֑ר וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אַבְנֵ֔ר חֵֽי־נַפְשְׁךָ֥ הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ אִם־יָדָֽעְתִּי׃ (נו) וַיֹּ֖אמֶר הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ שְׁאַ֣ל אַתָּ֔ה בֶּן־מִי־זֶ֖ה הָעָֽלֶם׃ (ס) (נז) וּכְשׁ֣וּב דָּוִ֗ד מֵֽהַכּוֹת֙ אֶת־הַפְּלִשְׁתִּ֔י וַיִּקַּ֤ח אֹתוֹ֙ אַבְנֵ֔ר וַיְבִאֵ֖הוּ לִפְנֵ֣י שָׁא֑וּל וְרֹ֥אשׁ הַפְּלִשְׁתִּ֖י בְּיָדֽוֹ׃ (נח) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֵלָיו֙ שָׁא֔וּל בֶּן־מִ֥י אַתָּ֖ה הַנָּ֑עַר וַיֹּ֣אמֶר דָּוִ֔ד בֶּֽן־עַבְדְּךָ֥ יִשַׁ֖י בֵּ֥ית הַלַּחְמִֽי׃

(55) When Saul saw David going out to assault the Philistine, he asked his army commander Abner, “Whose son is that boy, Abner?” And Abner replied, “By your life, Your Majesty, I do not know.” (56) “Then find out whose son that young fellow is,” the king ordered. (57) So when David returned after killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him to Saul, with the head of the Philistine still in his hand. (58) Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, my boy?” And David answered, “The son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

3 ג
(יד) וְר֧וּחַ יְהוָ֛ה סָ֖רָה מֵעִ֣ם שָׁא֑וּל וּבִֽעֲתַ֥תּוּ רֽוּחַ־רָעָ֖ה מֵאֵ֥ת יְהוָֽה׃ (טו) וַיֹּאמְר֥וּ עַבְדֵֽי־שָׁא֖וּל אֵלָ֑יו הִנֵּה־נָ֧א רֽוּחַ־אֱלֹהִ֛ים רָעָ֖ה מְבַעִתֶּֽךָ׃ (טז) יֹאמַר־נָ֤א אֲדֹנֵ֙נוּ֙ עֲבָדֶ֣יךָ לְפָנֶ֔יךָ יְבַקְשׁ֕וּ אִ֕ישׁ יֹדֵ֖עַ מְנַגֵּ֣ן בַּכִּנּ֑וֹר וְהָיָ֗ה בִּֽהְי֨וֹת עָלֶ֤יךָ רֽוּחַ־אֱלֹהִים֙ רָעָ֔ה וְנִגֵּ֥ן בְּיָד֖וֹ וְט֥וֹב לָֽךְ׃ (פ) (יז) וַיֹּ֥אמֶר שָׁא֖וּל אֶל־עֲבָדָ֑יו רְאוּ־נָ֣א לִ֗י אִ֚ישׁ מֵיטִ֣יב לְנַגֵּ֔ן וַהֲבִיאוֹתֶ֖ם אֵלָֽי׃ (יח) וַיַּעַן֩ אֶחָ֨ד מֵהַנְּעָרִ֜ים וַיֹּ֗אמֶר הִנֵּ֨ה רָאִ֜יתִי בֵּ֣ן לְיִשַׁי֮ בֵּ֣ית הַלַּחְמִי֒ יֹדֵ֣עַ נַ֠גֵּן וְגִבּ֨וֹר חַ֜יִל וְאִ֧ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֛ה וּנְב֥וֹן דָּבָ֖ר וְאִ֣ישׁ תֹּ֑אַר וַיהוָ֖ה עִמּֽוֹ׃ (יט) וַיִּשְׁלַ֥ח שָׁא֛וּל מַלְאָכִ֖ים אֶל־יִשָׁ֑י וַיֹּ֕אמֶר שִׁלְחָ֥ה אֵלַ֛י אֶת־דָּוִ֥ד בִּנְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֥ר בַּצֹּֽאן׃ (כ) וַיִּקַּ֨ח יִשַׁ֜י חֲמ֥וֹר לֶ֙חֶם֙ וְנֹ֣אד יַ֔יִן וּגְדִ֥י עִזִּ֖ים אֶחָ֑ד וַיִּשְׁלַ֛ח בְּיַד־דָּוִ֥ד בְּנ֖וֹ אֶל־שָׁאֽוּל׃ (כא) וַיָּבֹ֤א דָוִד֙ אֶל־שָׁא֔וּל וַֽיַּעֲמֹ֖ד לְפָנָ֑יו וַיֶּאֱהָבֵ֣הֽוּ מְאֹ֔ד וַֽיְהִי־ל֖וֹ נֹשֵׂ֥א כֵלִֽים׃

(14) Now the spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD began to terrify him. (15) Saul’s courtiers said to him, “An evil spirit of God is terrifying you. (16) Let our lord give the order [and] the courtiers in attendance on you will look for someone who is skilled at playing the lyre; whenever the evil spirit of God comes over you, he will play it and you will feel better.” (17) So Saul said to his courtiers, “Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me.” (18) One of the attendants spoke up, “I have observed a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skilled in music; he is a stalwart fellow and a warrior, sensible in speech, and handsome in appearance, and the LORD is with him.” (19) Whereupon Saul sent messengers to Jesse to say, “Send me your son David, who is with the flock.” (20) Jesse took an ass [laden with] bread, a skin of wine, and a kid, and sent them to Saul by his son David. (21) So David came to Saul and entered his service; [Saul] took a strong liking to him and made him one of his arms-bearers.

4 ד

(א) בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁדָּרְשׁוּ בְּאַחַת מִן הַמִּדּוֹת כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁנִּרְאָה בְּעֵינֵיהֶם שֶׁהַדִּין כָּךְ וְדָנוּ דִּין. וְעָמַד אַחֲרֵיהֶם בֵּית דִּין אַחֵר וְנִרְאֶה לוֹ טַעַם אַחֵר לִסְתֹּר אוֹתוֹ. הֲרֵי זֶה סוֹתֵר וְדָן כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁנִּרְאֶה בְּעֵינָיו. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז ט) "אֶל הַשֹּׁפֵט אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם". אֵינְךָ חַיָּב לָלֶכֶת אֶלָּא אַחַר בֵּית דִּין שֶׁבְּדוֹרְךָ:

(1) (When) The High Court extracts (a law or ruling) through one of the principles of biblical exegesis as they see fit and they judge accordingly and another court appears later on sees appropriate to explain differently contradicting the earlier ruling- they may do so and judge according to their understanding. As it says, (and you shall go to the judge) which will live in those (your) days. you are commanded to follow the Court of your generation.

5 ה

(יח) וְכֵיצַד דִּינָן. עַמּוֹן וּמוֹאָב אִסּוּרָן אִסּוּר עוֹלָם זְכָרִים וְלֹא נְקֵבוֹת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כג ד) "לֹא יָבֹא עַמּוֹנִי וּמוֹאָבִי בִּקְהַל ה'" וְגוֹ'. הֲלָכָה לְמשֶׁה מִסִּינַי שֶׁהָעַמּוֹנִי הַזָּכָר וְהַמּוֹאָבִי הַזָּכָר הוּא שֶׁאָסוּר לְעוֹלָם לִשָּׂא בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲפִלּוּ בֶּן בְּנוֹ עַד סוֹף הָעוֹלָם. אֲבָל עַמּוֹנִית וּמוֹאָבִית מֻתֶּרֶת מִיָּד כִּשְׁאָר הָאֻמּוֹת:

...And what is the law (regarding them)? Amon and Moab are forbidden forever - males but not females, as the verse states "an Amonite and a Moabite shall not come (to integrate) into the congregation of Hashem... It is a Law from Moshe from Sinai that the male Amonite and the Male Moabite are forbidden forever to marry a daughter of Israel, even their son's son... forever. But a female Amonite or Moabite is permitted (to marry intothe congregation of Israel) just like other Nations

6 ו

מתני׳ עמוני ומואבי אסורים ואיסורן איסור עולם אבל נקבותיהם מותרות מיד... גמ' מנא ה"מ א"ר יוחנן דאמר קרא (שמואל א יז, נה) וכראות שאול את דוד יוצא לקראת הפלשתי אמר אל אבנר שר הצבא בן מי זה הנער אבנר ויאמר אבנר חי נפשך המלך אם ידעתי ולא ידע ליה והכתיב (שמואל א טז, כא) ויאהבהו מאד ויהי לו נושא כלים אלא אאבוה קא משאיל ואביו לא ידע ליה והכתיב (שמואל א יז, יב) והאיש בימי שאול זקן בא באנשים ואמר רב ואיתימא רבי אבא זה ישי אבי דוד שנכנס באוכלוסא ויצא באוכלוסא ה"ק שאול אי מפרץ אתי אי מזרח אתי אי מפרץ אתי מלכא הוי שהמלך פורץ לעשות דרך ואין ממחין בידו אי מזרח אתי חשיבא בעלמא הוי מ"ט אמר ליה שאל עליה דכתיב (שמואל א יז, לח) וילבש שאול את דוד מדיו כמדתו וכתיב ביה בשאול (שמואל א ט, ב) משכמו ומעלה גבוה מכל העם א"ל דואג האדומי עד שאתה משאיל עליו אם הגון הוא למלכות אם לאו שאל עליו אם ראוי לבא בקהל אם לאו מ"ט דקאתי מרות המואביה א"ל אבנר תנינא עמוני ולא עמונית מואבי ולא מואבית אלא מעתה ממזר ולא ממזרת ממזר כתיב מום זר מצרי ולא מצרית שאני הכא דמפרש טעמא דקרא (דברים כג, ה) על אשר לא קדמו אתכם בלחם ובמים דרכו של איש לקדם ולא דרכה של אשה לקדם היה להם לקדם אנשים לקראת אנשים ונשים לקראת נשים אישתיק מיד ויאמר המלך שאל אתה בן מי זה העלם התם קרי ליה נער הכא קרי ליה עלם הכי קא אמר ליה הלכה נתעלמה ממך צא ושאל בבית המדרש שאל אמרו ליה עמוני ולא עמונית מואבי ולא מואבית

Mishna

Ammonite and Moabite converts are prohibited from entering into the congregation and marrying a woman who was born Jewish, and their prohibition is eternal, for all generations. However, their female counterparts, even the convert herself, are permitted immediately.

Gemara: The Gemara asks: From where are these matters derived that female Ammonites and Moabites are permitted immediately? Rabbi Yoḥanan said: As the verse states: “And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the host: Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said: As your soul lives, O king, I cannot tell” (I Samuel 17:55). This verse is puzzling: Did Saul really not recognize him? But isn’t it previously written: “And David came to Saul, and stood before him; and he loved him greatly; and he became his armor-bearer” (I Samuel 16:21)? Rather, it must be that he was asking about David’s father. The Gemara is still puzzled by this verse: And did Saul not recognize David’s father? But isn’t it written with regard to Jesse, David’s father: “And the man in the days of Saul was old, and came among men” (I Samuel 17:12), and Rav, and some say Rabbi Abba, said: This is referring to Jesse, father of David, who always entered with multitudes [ukhlusa] and left with multitudes. As he was clearly a man of importance, everyone must have known who he was. Rather, this is what Saul was saying, in his attempt to clarify David’s lineage: Does he come from the descendants of Perez, or does he come from the descendants of Zerah? What is the significance of this question? If he comes from Perez he will be king, as a king may breach [poretz] a way for himself and no one can stop him. And if he comes from Zerah he will be merely a man of importance, but not a king. The Gemara continues with its explanation: For what reason did Saul say to Abner that he should inquire about David? As it is written: “And Saul clad David with his apparel [maddav]” (I Samuel 17:38), which indicates that the clothes were of David’s size [kemiddato]. And it is written with regard to Saul: “From his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people” (I Samuel 9:2). Upon seeing that his clothes fit David, Saul began to fear that it might be David who was destined for the throne, and he therefore inquired into his background. At that point, Doeg the Edomite said to Saul: Before you inquire as to whether or not he is fit for kingship, inquire as to whether or not he is even fit to enter into the congregation. What is the reason for such doubts? It is that he descends from Ruth the Moabite, and Moabites are permanently barred from entering the congregation. Abner said to him: We already learned that there is no room for such concern. As the verse states: “An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 23:4), teaching that an Ammonite man is barred from entering into the congregation, but not an Ammonite woman; and similarly, a Moabite man is barred from entering into the congregation, but not a Moabite woman. Doeg said to him: However, if that is so, say that the verse that renders it prohibited for a mamzer to enter the congregation renders prohibited only a male mamzer, but not a female mamzer. Abner replied: It is written: “A mamzer,” which should be understood not as a noun but as an adjective, denoting a strange blemish [mum zar], one who is defective due to a forbidden relationship, and this applies to males and females alike. Doeg retorted: If so, say that it is prohibited for only an Egyptian man to enter into the congregation, but not an Egyptian woman. Abner answered: Here it is different, as the reason for the prohibition recorded in this verse with regard to Ammonites is explicit: “Because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came forth out of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 23:5). Since it is the way of a man to go forth to meet guests but it is not the way of a woman to go forth, females were not included in this prohibition. Doeg countered: Still, the men should have gone forth to meet the men, and the women to meet the women. Abner was silent, as he did not know how to respond to this objection. Immediately: “And the king said, inquire you whose son is this lad” (I Samuel 17:56). The Gemara comments: There, in the previous verse, Saul calls him youth [na’ar], and here he calls him lad [elem]. This change in the wording hints at the following discussion. Saul said to Doeg as follows: The halakha is hidden [nitalma] from you, and you are ignorant of the law. Go and inquire about the matter in the study hall. He went to the study hall and asked. They said to him: The halakha is: An Ammonite man is forbidden, but not an Ammonite woman; a Moabite man is forbidden, but not a Moabite woman.

7 ז

אקשי להו דואג כל הני קושייתא אישתיקו בעי לאכרוזי עליה מיד (שמואל ב יז, כה) ועמשא בן איש ושמו יתרא הישראלי אשר בא אל אביגיל בת נחש וכתיב (דברי הימים א ב, יז) יתר הישמעאלי אמר רבא מלמד שחגר חרבו כישמעאל ואמר כל מי שאינו שומע הלכה זו ידקר בחרב כך מקובלני מבית דינו של שמואל הרמתי עמוני ולא עמונית מואבי ולא מואבית כתנאי עמוני ולא עמונית מואבי ולא מואבית דברי רבי יהודה רבי שמעון אומר (דברים כג, ה) על דבר אשר לא קדמו אתכם בלחם ובמים דרכו של איש לקדם וכו' דרש רבא מאי דכתיב (תהלים קטז, טז) פתחת למוסרי אמר דוד לפני הקב"ה רבונו של עולם שני מוסרות שהיו עלי פתחתם רות המואביה ונעמה העמונית

Doeg raised before them all those objections from the others who are disqualified from entering into the congregation, and they were silent, not knowing how to respond. Doeg then wanted to proclaim that David was disqualified from entering into the congregation. He was immediately answered. Here it says: “Now Amasa was the son of a man, whose name was Jithra the Israelite, that went into Abigal the daughter of Nahash” (II Samuel 17:25), and yet elsewhere it is written that Amasa’s father was named “Jether the Ishmaelite” (I Chronicles 2:17). Rava said: This teaches that he girded his sword like Ishmael, i.e., like an Arab, and said: Whoever does not accept this halakha and act accordingly shall be stabbed with the sword. This is the tradition that I received from the court of Samuel from Rama: An Ammonite man is prohibited from entering into the congregation, but not an Ammonite woman; a Moabite man is prohibited from entering into the congregation, but not a Moabite woman.