And Naomi said, turn again, my daughters
Supposing this resolution of theirs only arose from a natural affection, and not from any love to the God or people of Israel; at least doubting whether it was so or not, and willing to try whether anyone, or both of them, were really from a principle of religion inclined to go with her; and desirous that they would thoroughly consider what they did, lest they should repent and apostatize, and bring a reproach upon the true religion:
why will ye go with me?
what reason can you give? this she said in order to get out of them if there was any real inclination in them to the true worship and service of God; though she keeps out that from her own questions put to them as follows, that it might come purely from themselves:
are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
is there any likelihood that I should ever have any sons to be instead of husbands, or really husbands to you? can it be thought that at my age, supposing I had an husband, or an husband's brother to marry me, that there is in me a natural power of conceiving and bearing children? this therefore can surely be no inducement to you to go along with me; for some, as Jarchi, think she refers to the law of a husband's brother marrying his widow, and raising up seed to him, which was known among the Gentiles before it was given to Israel; see ( Genesis 38:8 ) ( Deuteronomy 25:5 ) , to which Aben Ezra rightly objects, that that law respects a brother by the father's side, and not by the mother's only; to which may be added, that this law was not binding on a brother unborn, but on one that was living before the death of his brother; besides if this law had been in her mind, it would rather have furnished out an encouraging reason them to go with her, since there were kinsmen of her sons, to whom they might be married, as one of them afterwards was.