Original Research

Die juridiese problematiek van grondbesit in die boek Rut

Milda Stanton, Pieter Venter
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 62, No 1 | a348 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v62i1.348 | © 2006 Milda Stanton, Pieter Venter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 September 2006 | Published: 14 September 2006

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Milda Stanton, Universiteit van Pretoria, South Africa
Pieter Venter, Universiteit van Pretoria, South Africa

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The juridical problem of land ownership in the book of Ruth

Juridical matters play an important role in the book of Ruth. There appears to be a contradiction between Ruth 1:21 and Ruth 4:3. In the former, Naomi is depicted as a desperately poor (“empty”) widow. In the latter, Naomi is unexpectedly presented as the owner of land. This contradiction can be solved by understanding Naomi’s right in respect of her late husband’s land as a right other than ownership. A study of female ownership of land, the right of a wife to inherit from her husband, analysis of the literary elements in the book of Ruth, the rural backdrop, the theme of survival and the vocabulary in the narrative, lead to the conclusion that we are here dealing with what would today be recognised as a usufruct.


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