“Do not urge me to abandon you, to turn back from following after you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people are my people, and your God is my God.”
In this pivotal verse, Ruth’s self-sacrificial declaration of loyalty to her mother-in-law Naomi forms the relationship at the heart of the book of Ruth. Peter H. W. Lau’s new commentary explores the human and divine love at the center of the narrative as well as the book’s relevance to Christian theology.
In the latest entry in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament, Lau upholds the series’ standard of quality. The Book of Ruth includes detailed notes on the translation and pays careful attention to the original Hebrew and the book’s historical context, all the while remaining focused on Ruth’s relevance to Christian readers today. An indispensable resource for pastors, scholars, students, and all readers of Scripture, Lau’s commentary is the perfect companion to one of the most beloved books of the Old Testament.
Table of Contents
Series Editor’s Preface Author’s Preface List of Abbreviations Bibliography Introduction I. Structure and Message II. Genre III. Authorship and Date IV. Purpose V. Canonicity VI. The Hebrew Text VII. Theological Messages VIII. Themes IX. Ruth and the New Testament Text and Commentary Act 1: Death and Emptiness (1:1–22) Act 2: Seeking Short-Term Security (2:1–23) Act 3: Seeking Permanent Security (3:1–18) Act 4: Redemption and Fullness (4:1–22) Index of Authors Index of Subjects Index of Scripture and Other Ancient Texts
Peter Hon Wan Lau is visiting scholar in Old Testament studies at Seminari Theoloji Malaysia. He has written academic and pastoral books on Ruth, Ezekiel, Psalms, and Esther. He specializes in reading OT texts in their full canonical context, discerning how they point to and are fulfilled in Jesus.
Review of Biblical Literature “An indispensable distillation of Lau’s previous work on Ruth.”
“At first glance, the book of Ruth seems to be a short story about Ruth, but this commentary will change your mind. Dr. Lau convincingly demonstrates that the purpose of the book is about God’s providence and kindness that leads to the preservation of a family that produced King David. Coming from a multicultural upbringing, with years of immersing himself in the book of Ruth, Lau masterfully weaves in textual, intertextual, canonical, theological, and cultural trajectories, which results in a commentary that is academically acute, theologically sound, and pastorally accessible. I commend it for its breadth of scope, depth of insights, and the careful crafting of global and contextual interpretations that remind us that the Scripture is for the whole people of God.” —Chloe T. Sun, Logos Evangelical Seminary
“Lau’s commentary on the book of Ruth is outstanding. It is comprehensive without getting bogged down in irrelevant details and does what a commentary should: explain the text. In a balanced approach, Lau expertly discusses linguistic, literary, and theological issues with clear writing and charity. His comments on honor-shame dynamics and Asian perspectives are an important contribution. I highly recommend this commentary to students, pastors, and scholars.” —Eric J. Tully, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“Lau has written an extraordinary commentary, combining astute literary analysis, detailed textual notes, and significant cultural insight to illuminate the ongoing relevance of the book of Ruth. He sifts through the insights of contemporary scholarship and makes the nuances of the Hebrew text accessible to any interested reader. To all this he adds insightful observations regarding the honor-shame dynamics of this text in order to help readers enter into the text’s social world. This will take its deserved place among the very best commentaries on this book. It is a must-read for students of Hebrew narrative, pastors preaching this text, and anyone who seeks a culturally aware understanding of this beloved ancient story.” —Aubrey E. Buster, Wheaton College
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