Ruth 1:6-17

6 While Naomi was in Moab, she heard that the LORD had helped his people. He had begun to provide food for them again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to go from Moab back to her home.
7 She left the place where she had been living. Her two daughters-in-law went with her. They started out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.
8 Naomi spoke to her two daughters-in-law. "Both of you go back," she said. "Each of you go to your own mother's home. You were kind to your husbands, who have died. You have also been kind to me. So may the LORD be just as kind to you.
9 May he help each of you find a secure place in the home of another husband. May he give you peace and rest." Then she kissed them good-by. They broke down and sobbed loudly.
10 They said to her, "We'll go back to your people with you."
11 But Naomi said, "Go home, my daughters. Why would you want to come with me? Am I going to have any more sons who could become your husbands?
12 "Go home, my daughters. I'm too old to have another husband. Suppose I thought there was still some hope for me. Suppose I got married to a man tonight. And later I had sons by him.
13 Would you wait until they grew up? Would you stay single until you could get married to them? No, my daughters. My life is more bitter than yours. The LORD's powerful hand has been against me!"
14 When they heard that, they broke down and sobbed again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by. But Ruth held on to her.
15 "Look," said Naomi. "Your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."
16 But Ruth replied, "Don't try to make me leave you and go back. Where you go I'll go. Where you stay I'll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.
17 Where you die I'll die. And there my body will be buried. I won't let anything except death separate you from me. If I do, may the LORD punish me greatly."

Ruth 1:6-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF RUTH

This book is called Ruth, not because she was the author of it, but because she is the principal subject of it. In the Syriac and Arabic versions, it is called the Book of Ruth the Moabitess, which describes her by the country of which she was. Her name, according to Hillerus {l}, signifies beautiful, of a good aspect, the same with Calliope in Greek. As to the author of this book, some attribute it to Eli the priest, who seems to have been too soon to give an account of the birth of David; others to Gad or Nathan; some to Hezekiah, and others to Ezra; but what the Talmudists assert, which is most generally received, and most probable, is, that it was written by Samuel; so they say Samuel {m} wrote his own book, Judges, and Ruth; and it is commonly said that this book is an appendix to that of the Judges, and the introduction to Samuel, and is fitly placed between them both. According to Eusebius {n}, with the Hebrews, Judges and Ruth make one book they call Shophetim, or Judges; the principal design of it is to give the genealogy of David, whom Samuel had anointed to be king of Israel, and from whom the Messiah was to come, and who therefore may be said to be the aim and scope of it, as he is of all Scripture; and whereby it appears that he sprung both from Jews and Gentiles, and is the Saviour of both, and there is a good foundation for both to hope in him; and the call and conversion of Ruth the Moabitess may be considered as a shadow, emblem, and pledge of the conversion of the Gentiles. Manythings besides may be learnt from this little book, as the different circumstances of good people in this life, and the particular providence of God respecting them. It furnishes out examples of bearing afflictions patiently, of industry, courteousness, kindness to strangers, and young converts; and none can doubt of the divine authority of this book, that considers the use made of it in the genealogies of Christ by the Evangelists Matthew and Luke.

{l} Onomastic. Sacr. p. 211. {m} T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 13. 2. {n} Eccl. Hist. 1. 6. c. 25.

\\INTRODUCTION TO RUTH 1\\

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, Ru 1:1-5 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, Ru 1:6-13, upon which one of them did, but the other, Ruth, the subject of this book, resolved to go the journey with her, Ru 1:14-18 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, Ru 1:19-22.

Ruth 1:6-17 In-Context

4 They got married to women from Moab. One was named Orpah. The other was named Ruth. Naomi's family lived in Moab for about ten years.
5 Then Mahlon and Kilion also died. So Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
6 While Naomi was in Moab, she heard that the LORD had helped his people. He had begun to provide food for them again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to go from Moab back to her home.
7 She left the place where she had been living. Her two daughters-in-law went with her. They started out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.
8 Naomi spoke to her two daughters-in-law. "Both of you go back," she said. "Each of you go to your own mother's home. You were kind to your husbands, who have died. You have also been kind to me. So may the LORD be just as kind to you.
9 May he help each of you find a secure place in the home of another husband. May he give you peace and rest." Then she kissed them good-by. They broke down and sobbed loudly.
10 They said to her, "We'll go back to your people with you."
11 But Naomi said, "Go home, my daughters. Why would you want to come with me? Am I going to have any more sons who could become your husbands?
12 "Go home, my daughters. I'm too old to have another husband. Suppose I thought there was still some hope for me. Suppose I got married to a man tonight. And later I had sons by him.
13 Would you wait until they grew up? Would you stay single until you could get married to them? No, my daughters. My life is more bitter than yours. The LORD's powerful hand has been against me!"
14 When they heard that, they broke down and sobbed again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by. But Ruth held on to her.
15 "Look," said Naomi. "Your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."
16 But Ruth replied, "Don't try to make me leave you and go back. Where you go I'll go. Where you stay I'll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.
17 Where you die I'll die. And there my body will be buried. I won't let anything except death separate you from me. If I do, may the LORD punish me greatly."
18 Naomi realized that Ruth had made up her mind to go with her. So she stopped trying to make her go back.
19 The two women continued on their way. At last they arrived in Bethlehem. The whole town was stirred up because of them. The women asked, "Can this possibly be Naomi?"
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