Ruth - 1:1-22

Ruth & Naomi Return to Judah from Moab

      1 It happened in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land. A certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. 2 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 Bethlehem Judah. They came into the country of Moab, and continued there. 3 Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 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 lived there about ten years. 5 Mahlon and Chilion both died, and the woman was bereaved of her two children and of her husband. 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 Yahweh had visited his people in giving them bread. 7 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 to the land of Judah. 8 Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each of you to her mother's house: Yahweh deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead, and with me. 9 Yahweh grant you that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband." Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voice, and wept. 10 They said to her, "No, but we will return with you to your people." 11 Naomi said, "Go back, my daughters. Why do you want to go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Go back, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, 'I have hope,' if I should even have a husband tonight, and should also bear sons; 13 would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from having husbands? No, my daughters, for it grieves me much for your sakes, for the hand of Yahweh has gone out against me." 14 They lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth joined with her. 15 She said, "Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people, and to her god. Follow your sister-in-law." 16 Ruth said, "Don't entreat me to leave you, and to return from following after you, for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God; 17 where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried. Yahweh do so to me, and more also, if anything but death part you and me." 18 When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, she left off speaking to her. 19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. It happened, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and (the women) said, "Is this Naomi?" 20 She said to them, "Don't call me Naomi. Call me Mara; for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, and Yahweh has brought me home again empty; why do you call me Naomi, since Yahweh has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?" 22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, who returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

Chapter In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of Ruth 1.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, flee from a famine in the land of Israel, and go to sojourn in Moab, Ruth 1:1, Ruth 1:2. Here his two sons marry; and, in the space of ten years, both their father and they die, Ruth 1:3-6. Naomi sets out on her return to her own country, accompanied by her daughters-in-law Orpah and Ruth; whom she endeavors to persuade to return to their own people, Ruth 1:7-13. Orpah returns, but Ruth accompanies her mother-in-law, Ruth 1:14-18. They arrive at Beth-lehem in the time of the barley harvest, Ruth 1:19-22.

This chapter treats of a family that removed from the land of Canaan to the land of Moab on account of a famine, where the father of it and his two sons died, and each of them left a widow, Ruth 1:1 the mother-in-law proposed to return to her own country, and set forward with her two daughters-in-law, whom, when they had gone a little way with her, she entreated to go back, and expostulated with them about it, Ruth 1:6, upon which one of them did, but the other, Ruth, the subject of this book, resolved to go the journey with her, Ruth 1:14 and they both came to Bethlehem, the former residence of her mother-in-law Naomi, who was greatly taken notice of by her old friends and acquaintance, to whom she related her present circumstances, Ruth 1:19.

(Ruth 1:1-5) Elimelech and his sons die in the land of Moab.

(Ruth 1:6-14) Naomi returns home.

(Ruth 1:15-18) Orpah stays behind, but Ruth goes with Naomi.

(Ruth 1:19-22) They come to Bethlehem.

Ruth Goes With Naomi to Bethlehem - Ruth 1

In the time of the judges Elimelech emigrated from Bethlehem in Judah into the land of Moab, along with his wife Naomi, and his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, because of a famine in the land (Ruth 1:1, Ruth 1:2). There Elimelech died; and his two sons married Moabitish women, named Orpah and Ruth. But in the course of ten years they also died, so that Naomi and her two daughters-in-law were left by themselves (Ruth 1:3-5). When Naomi heard that the Lord had once more blessed the land of Israel with bread, she set out with Orpah and Ruth to return home. But on the way she entreated them to turn back and remain with their relations in their own land; and Orpah did so (Ruth 1:6-14). But Ruth declared that she would not leave her mother-in-law, and went with her to Bethlehem (Ruth 1:15-22).

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