Original Research - Special Collection: African Hermeneutics

Ruth 1:1–5 read in the context of challenges of the migration of Nigerians

Damian O. Odo, Favour C. Uroko
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 44, No 1 | a2742 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v44i1.2742 | © 2023 Damian O. Odo, Favour C. Uroko | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 September 2022 | Published: 29 September 2023

About the author(s)

Damian O. Odo, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; and Department of Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Favour C. Uroko, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; and Department of Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

This study used Ruth 1:1–5 as a lens in the study of the increasing challenges Nigerian migrants face. Famine was ravaging the land, and hence Elimelech moved his family away from Israel to the country of Moab so they would be fed (Rt 1:1–2). While this was a decision made out of a desire for survival, Moab was not the best place for Elimelech to take his family. He was leaving the Promised Land that God had given him, and the Moabites did not worship the Lord. After only 10 years in Moab, Elimelech’s sons died, and the household comprised of three widows. This is similar to what is evident in Nigeria. Most Nigerian migrants, due to famine and other economic hardships, migrate out of Nigeria to destination countries as regular or irregular migrants. There are cases of Nigerian migrants who ended up in destination countries as touts, prostitutes, and drug financiers and pedlars. Some were even executed in destination countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. The recommendations include public awareness and sensitisation of individuals by the government and concerned faith-based communities.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This study examined the Nigerian migrant crisis in the light of Ruth 1:1–5. The study implicated Old Testament Exegesis, contextual biblical studies sociology and migration studies.


Keywords

Ruth 1; Naomi; Elimelech; famine; Nigerian migrants; poverty.

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