There are scriptures such as Sefer Yeshayahu (the Book of Isaiah) or Sefer Yechezkel (the Book of Ezekiel) where a specific time periods are mentioned. And then there are other scriptures where no time whatsoever is mentioned. The Book of Ruth (Megillath Ruth) is a famous example for a missing time period.
What we do know is that Ruth met Boaz at around 968 BCE. According to the Jewish calendar it was the year 2792. 304 years after Joshua had led the Jews into the Holy Land.
Why do certain scriptures give us a time and others don’t? When the time period is left out, we find details in the Talmud or the Midrash. When the First Temple was still standing, thousands of Prophets went to various “Prophet Schools”. It may sound funny because today, Jerusalem is constantly flooded with nutty tourists who claim to be a “Prophet”. Most of these tourists are Gentiles, I have to say. 🙂
But “Prophet School” in the ancient days? How could that be?
As a matter of fact, this took place but, in order to be recognized as a Prophet, one had to have specific skills. Someone couldn’t just show up and enter Prophet School.
There used to be Prophets who only had one prophecy and that was it. A tiny little minor prophecy and this was their destiny. Afterwards this particular Prophet had no further prophecy. Others had a couple of prophecies but most of them were of minor importance or they had a prophecy that was only relevant in those days. At that particular time.
Other prophecies were recorded because they are eternal and timeless. Meaning that scripture has to teach something to all generations. Apparently the Book of Ruth (Megillath Ruth) is of such an importance because it’s message seems to be eternal. When we look beyond Ruth and Boaz, we realize many things which could also apply to the time where we live in.