Ruth Chapter 1
1 In the days when the judges judged, there was a famine in the land. A certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to live in the country of Moab with his wife and his two sons.
2 The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. They came into the country of Moab and lived there.
3 Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left with her two sons.
4 They took for themselves wives of the women of Moab. The name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other was Ruth. They lived there about ten years.
5 Mahlon and Chilion both died, and the woman was bereaved of her two children and of her husband.
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 the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.
7 She went out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her. They went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
8 Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.
9 May The LORD grant you that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband." Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices, and wept.
10 They said to her, "No, but we will return with you to your people."
11 Naomi said, "Go back, my daughters. Why do you want to go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
12 Go back, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, 'I have hope,' if I should even have a husband tonight, and should also bear sons,
13 would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from having husbands? No, my daughters, for it grieves me seriously for your sakes, for the LORD's hand has gone out against me."
14 They lifted up their voices and wept again; then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth stayed with her.
15 She said, "Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her god. Follow your sister-in-law."
16 Ruth said, "Don't urge me to leave you, and to return from following you, for where you go, I will go; and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God.
17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me."
18 When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
19 So they both went until they came to Bethlehem. When they had come to Bethlehem, all the city was excited about them, and they asked, "Is this Naomi?"
20 She said to them, "Don't call me Naomi. Call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
21 I went out full, and the LORD has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?"
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, who returned out of the country of Moab. They came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
- Verse 6 (LORD)
- When rendered in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, "LORD" or "GOD" is the translation of God's Proper Name.
- Verse 15 (Behold)
- "Behold" means look at, take notice, observe, see, or gaze at. It is often used as an interjection.
- Verse 16 (God)
- The Hebrew word rendered "God" is Elohim.
- Verse 20 (Naomi)
- "Naomi" means "pleasant".
- Verse 20 (Mara)
- "Mara" means "bitter".
Version: World English Bible
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Ruth Chapter 1 Guide
The Book of Ruth stands in striking contrast to the Book of Judges and yet is closely connected with it. In Judges the national outlook has been presented and so dark has it been as to create the impression of universal pollution. The story of Ruth illustrates the truth that God has never left Himself without witness.
During a time of famine, Elimelech, his wife, and two sons went into the country of Moab to find bread and to escape trouble. It is questionable whether their action was justified. Their sons married Moabite women. It is evident, however, that their action was rather blundering than wilful rebellion. There they maintained their faith in the one God. When, bereft of her husband and two sons, Naomi turned her face again to her own country, she urged her daughters in-law to leave her and settle among their own people. This was the occasion of that choice of Ruth which in its devotion and in the manner in which she expressed it has become universally accepted as an illustration of fidelity of love. The story, however, reveals that love for Naomi was not the deepest note in her decision. That was struck when she used the expression, "... Thy God [shall be] my God."
The language of Naomi at the home-coming shows that she looked upon the sorrows that had come to her as God’s testimony against her and His affection of her. There was, however, no touch of rebellion in what she said but rather a gracious recognition of chastisement, showing that she had learned the lessons it was intended to teach.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.