Ruth 1

Deaths in Moab leave widows 1
Going back to Israel; daughters-in-law went part way 6
Orpah returned to Moab; Ruth went with Naomi 15
Call me Mara 20


 1 ¶ Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.   When the judges ruled During the time covered by the book of Judges jg. Also see on ru0413.
  Famine Not uncommon ge1210, ge2601. This was because of unfaithfulness le2603, 1ki1701.
  Sojourn Or live temporarily like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ge1210 linked above, ge2601, ge4601.
  Moab Descendants of Lot ge1936.
.2  And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
 3  And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
  Elimelech Means "My God is king." Perhaps his faithful parents were resisting the idea of human kings. Such was never God's plan.
  Naomi Means "my pleasantness" in spite of the popular idea that good wives bore sons.
  Ephrathites "The ancient name of Beth-lehem was Ephrath (Ge 35:19; 48:7), which was continued after the occupation of the land by the Hebrews, even down to the time of the prophet Micah (Mic 5:2)." (JFB).

 4  And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
 5  And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
  4 - Orpha Like the Arabic name meaning "ornamented richly with hair."
  4 - Ruth Obviously not a Hebrew name. The meaning is uncertain.
  5 - Left of An archaic use of the word. It means "bereft of," or "deprived of," or "continuing after the death of." And "left without" is okay, too.
.6 ¶ Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.
 7  Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.
 8  And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
.9  The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
  8 - Go, return Naomi was very unselfish.
  9 - Find rest This meant marriage which Naomi could not provide husbands for them. See levirate marriage ge3808-11, de2505-10, mt2223-26. Compare ru0301.
 10  And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.
 11  And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
 12  Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;
 13  Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.
 14  And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
  13 - For your sakes Naomi was unselfish.
.15  And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.
.16  And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
.17  Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
 18  When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
 19 ¶ So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
  16 - Ruth said This is the jewel verse from the book.
  17 - Death Literally, "the death" that comes to all of us if Jesus does not come first. For her oath she used the form common in the OT. See 1sa0317, 1sa2522, 2sa1913.
  19 - Moved They all came out to celebrate the return of one many of them had likely not seen for a number of  years.
  19 - Is this Naomi? Likely not a matter of recognition but of in delightful anticipation of the positive response. She returned without husband or sons. See the next verses.
.20  And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
 21  I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
.22  So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
  20 - 


Ruth home
Commentary home