And they took them wives of the women of Moab
Not before they were proselyted to the Jewish religion, as Aben Ezra thinks, and which seems plainly to be the case of Ruth; at least she was so afterwards, if not before; and also of Orpah, as the same writer concludes from ( Ruth 1:15 ) though others are of a different opinion, and some excuse their marriage, and others condemn it as unlawful, among whom is the Targumist, who paraphrases the words,
``and they transgressed the decree of the Word of the Lord, and took to them strange wives of the daughters of Moab;''however it was so permitted by the Lord, and ordered in Providence, that from one of them the Messiah might spring:
and the name of the one was Orpah;
she was married to Chilion; and Alshech gathers from hence that the youngest was married first before his brother:
and the name of the other Ruth
the Targum adds,
``the daughter of Eglon, king of Moab;''and that she was his daughter, or the daughter of his son, is a notion commonly received with the Jews F25 though without any just foundation; she was married to Mahlon, ( Ruth 4:10 ) , one Philo F26 asserts these two women to be own sisters, for what reason does not appear; and a Jewish writer F1 says they were both daughters of Eglon, king of Moab: and they dwelt there about ten years; that is, Mahlon and Chilion, who married these women; which is to be reckoned either from the time they came into the land, or from the time of their marriage; the latter seems to be the case from the connection of the words.
F25 T. Bab. Nazir, fol. 23. 2. Sotah, fol. 47. 1. Sanhedrin, fol. 105. 2. Horayot, fol. 10. 2. Zohar in Deut. fol. 109. 2.
F26 Apud Drusium in loc.
F1 Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 8. 1.