The Bible Tells Me So

by Rev. Dave Springer

Caution: This Incest Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, Historical, Humor, Incest, InLaws, Oral Sex, .

Desc: Incest Sex Story: I remember my mother telling me that Grandma Coit (no NOT Coitus!) had once said that the Bible was the dirtiest book she had ever read. At the time, when I was in high school, I took that to mean that my maternal grandmother had been conservative in her choice of literature. But later, as I studied the Good Book professionally, I came to realize my Grandma must have known her Bible well!

{ or Things They Never Taught Me in Sunday School }
Why Boaz Married Ruth

I remember my mother telling me that Grandma Coit had once said that the Bible was the dirtiest book she had ever read. At the time, when I was in high school, I took that to mean that my maternal grandmother had been conservative in her choice of literature. But later, as I studied the Good Book professionally, I came to realize that anyone who reads a great deal of Scripture will run into some very human people. Which means that the persons we come to know about through Bible study have the same kinds of thoughts and desires, weaknesses as well as strengths, as all of us.

In Sunday School they taught us about David and Goliath, but not about David and Bathsheba (to do so see the Addendum). We learned about how Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt, but not about the incest his daughters tricked him into. We all know the love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13, but some from that church were also living very sinful, even licentious lives, see 2 Cor. 12:21. Not all earthy details of biblical lives are of the sort which could be considered improper. King David in his old age had a "bed warmer", Abishag, but 1 Kings 1:4 makes it clear that it was an innocent relationship. Solomon had seven hundred wives of royal rank and three hundred concubines. We should remember biblical times were different lands and accepted different customs.

However, some things never change. Euphemisms were not unknown in ancient Israel. A modern one we use is when a gal goes to "powder her nose". Certainly ladies may repair their make-up in the "powder room", but undoubtedly they use "the facilities" on occasion too. In Hebrew, the genitals were not referred to directly very often, even though the ritual of circumcision is central to the Jewish faith. When one of the fellas in the Old Testament had to relieve himself he went and "covered his feet". So we read in 1 Samuel 24:3 that Saul went into a cave to "cover his feet". David and his men happen to be hiding in there from Saul, but David relented from doing the King any harm. In Judges, we also find this expression. Eglon the King of Moab who had conquered Israel wasn't so lucky. When he was in the cooler upper room of his palace, Ehud, the Benjaminite hero stabbed him to death. The servants of King Eglon thought he was delayed while "covering his feet".

So too, when in Isaiah 6:2 we read that the Seraphim have six wings; two for flying of course, two to cover their eyes (for one cannot look upon the glory of God's face and live (Exodus 33:20)), and two to cover their "feet". Modesty in the presence of the Deity is certainly required! It was important in Leviticus (18:6-20) that you not uncover the nakedness of an inappropriate person. Noah's sons had this issue to contend with after the flood was over. Daniel in 10:6 is the only other place that uses this particular word in Hebrew for feet as it is used in Ruth, in Daniel it is translated as legs. {see note 1} The word used in Ruth 3:7 for uncovering is the same as in Leviticus, which means to denude.

So, when Naomi advises Ruth to go and "uncover Boaz feet", she isn't

suggesting that Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David, be simply a "bed warmer". Naomi tells Ruth to bathe, put on sweet smelling ointment and her best clothes. Doesn't that sound like she's going out on a date? The idea was to get Boaz's attention. {however see note 2} He was second in line to redeem Ruth. While he had been generous with the privilege of gleaming grain, Ruth was advised by her mother-in-law to get Boaz interested her romantically. A dog sleeps at his master's feet, a female foot warmer is not going to wake a guy up in the middle of the night and get such a positive reaction as Boaz had! {3}

His statement in verse 3:10 meant that she has sought out Boaz himself with this special deed, as much as that she has been concerned for Naomi's welfare. Her feminine charms could have attracted a younger man -- wealthy or poor, but she went with family ties and showed her willingness to be married to Boaz by a very intimate act. This gains her Boaz's promise to do what she wishes. She then requests what she was after (redemption), by coming to his resting spot and performing felatio, once he had wined and dined and gotten into a good mood. Boaz settles the technicalities difficulties in proper manner. Then he does marry Ruth, bringing this duel love story (Ruth's love for her mother-in-law, Boaz's love for Ruth) to a happy ending.

Oral sex is not mentioned in the Bible elsewhere, but other ancient texts do refer to a variety of sexual activities. Not surprising in a region where temple prostitution was a standard practice for centuries. In the holy writings of the Judeo-Christian tradition one can find rape (Genesis chapter 34), incest (2 Sam. chapter 13), and prostitution, and adultery (Proverbs 6:24-28, Luke 7:36-50, John 8:3-11). None of these activities are condoned, quite the contrary they are condemned. The important theological point made in the passages is that these immoral behaviors are to be avoided, and that the individuals who are involved in immorality can be saved from their sins by faith.

This in no way denies the blessing of sexuality, used responsively in loving relationships. Where it is appropriate the Scriptures bless and encourage the sexual union between married partners, even if it be polygamous relationships (for instance Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon). By the New Testament times we find the writers of the Gospels and Paul in agreement about the sanctity of monogamous marriage and the difficulties of divorce in terms of spiritual union. The concept of the Church as the Bride of Christ was in contrast to the polytheistic worship of a plethora of gods in Roman times. Strong cults such as found in Acts 19:23-41, made the monotheistic / monogamous message of Christianity a threat to the Dionysian culture that thrived in that period.

Maybe, if as we matured, the Christian education level of depth had increased also, we would all still be in Sunday School. Everything I've shared with you is there in the Scriptures, I didn't make anything up. The Bible has depths not plumbed by most people of faith. Greater knowledge of Holy Writ is not just for the theologians. It can be for the average person in the pew an exciting, stimulating adventure. It is the story of people like us confronted with the same questions we face and the same issues of morality and mortality, and if we have God's love with us and within us. I hope that you will find a start to new explorations into the Bible through this exercise in adult stimulation of curiosity about one of the most intimate moments recorded in the Scriptures. My Grandma must have known her Bible well!

"Foot" Notes

{1} "feet", though a different root word in Deut. 28:57, is used to indicate the thighs of a woman; i.e. the afterbirth comes out from between her "feet". That same verse contains the word referred to in the next note.

{2} "softly", in verse 3:7, KJV and RSV read that Ruth "came softly" to where Boaz slept. This is an unusual word in Hebrew. It could come from two different sources words, even both, as Hebrew uses word play to broaden meaning and give context. The first source word develops this way; wrapped, muffled, silently, softly, secretly. The other progresses in meaning like this; covered, covert, secretly, stealthily, silently sneaking, quietly snuck. The Jerusalem Bible translates it as "crept up softly", and NEB as "quietly". But the word used here implies more than just not wishing to wake Boaz from a sound sleep.

The same word is used as mentioned above in the book of Deuteronomy as secretly, but even more to the point is in Judges 4:21 and in 1 Samuel 24:4(that same cave incident!). Where the stealth in killing an enemy, or as with David proving that you could have, has the same connotation of that exact word which was used in Ruth. For Ruth, I personally think "quietly snuck" fits best. After all, she wasn't out to harm Boaz, quite the contrary! But, she couldn't just boldly make advances toward him, with a brazen sexual act. That would have been unseemly and likely rejected by Boaz outright. So she needed to have him catch her in the act, so to speak.

Boaz for his part recognizes the need for propriety. He has Ruth return in the early part of the morning before dawn, while it is still dark. It would be scandalous for it to be know that they were alone together. This would wreck the plans made to have Ruth marry her dead husband's next of kin, either he, or if not, then Boaz himself. Thus, keeping Boaz from fulfilling his promise to Ruth to have her redeemed.

{3} "turned" In verse 3:8 Boaz was startled (to say the least!) and "turned himself" KJV or "turned over" is another rare word in Hebrew, from a root word for bend. So, rather than rolling over laterally, he bent forward, or sat up. A more sensible interpretation if Ruth's activities are concentrated at his 'feet', or even his middle.

Post script: There is a note in the exposition portion of the Interpreter's Bible, vol. 2 page 845, which acknowledges the sexual nature of Naomi's strategy to induce Boaz to wed Ruth. In the forty-five years since that commentary was written, modern sex mores have changed to view Ruth's act as a normal part of intimacy between partners. But whatever age we examine human behavior, be it now or thousands of years ago, it is still love that makes whatever we share with each other special and meaningful.

Tripping over some more "feet" with Ruth's great-grandson.
(or, How Solomon's mother's first husband ignored
the advice of King David and changed history.)

Perhaps some readers may know that Ruth's great-grandson was King David, and likely also know that David was the father of Solomon. Perhaps a few also know that Solomon's mother was the beautiful Bathsheba, she of the famous affair recorded in 2 Samuel, chapter 11. Solomon was their second child however. The first, which was conceived through David's lustful bedding of Bathsheba, died only days after being born.

Those familiar with the story (or wisely having paused and read the 11th chapter of 2nd Samuel a moment ago) know that David not only committed adultery with Bathsheba, but arranged for her husband, Uriah, to die in battle. Closer examination of the story reveals that the killing of Uriah was not so much as to possessed Bathsheba for himself, as to cover up the sin of adultery, which according to the Jewish Law was punishable by death (Lev. 20:10)

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