Ruth 1:20

20 “Don’t call me Naomi,[a] ” she told them. “Call me Mara,[b] because the Almighty[c] has made my life very bitter.

Ruth 1:20 in Other Translations

20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
20 She said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me.
20 But she said, "Don't call me Naomi; call me Bitter. The Strong One has dealt me a bitter blow.
20 "Don't call me Naomi. Call me Mara," she answered, "for the Almighty has made me very bitter.

Ruth 1:20 Meaning and Commentary

Ruth 1:20

And she said, call me not Naomi, call me Mara
The one signifying "prosperity", according to Josephus F13, and the other "grief"; but he is not always correct in his interpretation of Hebrew words, or to be depended on; by this indeed her different states are well enough expressed, and he rightly observes, that she might more justly be called the one than the other; but the words signify, the one "sweet" and pleasant, and the other "bitter", see ( Exodus 15:23 ) , and the reason she gives confirms it:

for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me;
had wrote bitter things against her, brought bitter afflictions on her, which were very disagreeable to the flesh, as the loss of her husband, her children, and her substance; see ( lam 3:15 lam 3:19 ) .


F13 Antiqu. l. 5. c. 9. sect. 2.

Ruth 1:20 In-Context

18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”
20 “Don’t call me Naomi, ” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.
21 I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Genesis 15:1; S Genesis 17:1; Psalms 91:1; Exodus 6:3
  • 2. S ver 13; Job 6:4

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. "Naomi" means "pleasant."
  • [b]. "Mara" means "bitter."
  • [c]. Hebrew "Shaddai" ; also in verse 21
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