The date at which it was written is uncertain; there are features in it which point to its having been the work of a poet living in north Israel, and writing at an early date; but most recent scholars, on account chiefly of certain late expressions occurring in it, think that it cannot have been written earlier than the 4th or 3rd century B.C. In the graceful and tender idyll of Ruth, it is told how Ruth, the Moabitess, and a native consequently of a country hostile theocratically to Israel, adopted Israel's faith (i.
Whatever the predominant party might think of foreign marriages, the tradition of the half-Moabite origin of David serves, in the beautiful idyll of Ruth (q.v.), to suggest the debt which Judah and Jerusalem owed to one at least of its neighbours.
She is constantly invoked, in the well-known idyll (ii.) of Theocritus, in the incantation to bring back a woman's faithless lover.
The idyll of Sesenheim, as described in Dichtung and Wahrheit, is one of the most beautiful love-stories in the literature of the world.
The bird is often spoken of in Latin poetry, and is the subject of an idyll by Claudian.