1:1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the a land. And a certain man of b Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
The Argument - This book is called Ruth, who is the main person spoken of in this writing. In which also the state of the Church is set forth figuratively, being subject to many afflictions and yet eventually God gives good and joyful offspring, teaching us to abide with patience till God delivers us out of troubles. In this also it is described how Jesus Christ, who according to the flesh came from David, proceeded by Ruth, of whom the Lord Jesus promised to come, nonetheless she was a Moabite of base condition, and a stranger to the people of God; declaring to us by it that the Gentiles would be sanctified by him, and joined with his people, and that there would be one sheepfold, and one shepherd. It would appear that this account belongs to the time of the judges. 1:4 And they took them wives of the c women of Moab; the name of the one [was] Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
(a) In the land of Canaan.
(b) In the tribe of Judah, which was also called Bethlehem Ephrathat, because there was another city so called in the tribe of Zebulun.
(c) By this wonderful providence of God Ruth became one of Gods household, of whom Christ came. 1:6 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 d visited his people in giving them bread.
(d) By sending them plenty again. 1:9 The LORD grant you that ye may find e rest, each [of you] in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
(e) By this it appears that Naomi by dwelling among idolaters, had become cold to the true zeal of God, having more respect for the comfort of the body than the comfort of the soul. 1:14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah f kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
(f) When she took leave and departed. 1:15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: g return thou after thy sister in law.
(g) No persuasion can convince them to turn back from God, if he has chosen them to be his. 1:19 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 h moved about them, and they said, [Is] this Naomi?
(h) By which it appears that she was of a great family of good reputation. 1:22 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 i barley harvest.
(i) Which was in the month of Nisan, that is, part March and part April.