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Naomi removes to Moab, ver. 1, 2.
Her husband and sons die, ver. 3 - 5.
Designing to return to Bethlehem,
she addresses her daughters - in - law, ver. 6 - 13.
Orpah stays, but Ruth returns with her, ver. 14 - 18.
They came to Bethlehem, ver. 19 - 22.
1: In the land - Of Canaan. It must be early: for Boaz was
born of Rahab. So Christ descended from two Gentile mothers.
2: Ephrathites - Bethlehem was otherwise called Ephratha.
Naomi signifies my amiable or pleasant one: Mahlon and
Chilon signify sickness and consumption. Probably they were
sickly children, and not likely to be long - lived. Such are the products of
our pleasant things, weak and infirm, fading and dying.
4: Took wives - Either these were Proselytes when they married them,
or they sinned in marrying them, and therefore were punished with short
life, and want of issue.
5: Was left of her two sons, and her husband - Loss of children
and widowhood are both come upon her.
By whom shall she be comforted?
It is God alone that is able to comfort those who are thus cast down.
6: Bread - That is, food; so she staid no longer there than necessity
8: Mother's house - Because daughters used to converse more
frequently with their mothers, and to dwell in the same apartments with
them, which then were distinct from those parts of the house where the
men dwelt. The dead - With my sons, your husbands, while they lived.
11: Your husbands - According to the ancient custom, (Ge 38:8),
and the express law of God, (De 25:5), which doubtless she had
acquainted them with before, among other branches of the Jewish religion.
13: It grieveth me - That you are left without the comfort of
husbands or children; that I must part with such affectionate daughters;
and that my circumstances are such, that I cannot invite you to go alone
with me. For her condition was so mean at this time, that Ruth, when
she came to her mother's city, was forced to glean for a living. It is
with me, that God has a controversy. This language becomes us, when we
are under affliction; tho' many others share in the trouble, yet we are to
hear the voice of the rod, as if it spake only to us. But did not she wish
to bring them to the worship of the God of Israel? Undoubtedly she did.
But she would have them first consider upon what terms, lest having set
their hand to the plow, they should look back.
14: Kissed - Departed from her with a kiss. Bade her farewell for
ever. She loved Naomi, but she did not love her so well, as to quit her
country for her sake. Thus many have a value for Christ, and yet come short
of salvation by him, because they cannot find in their hearts, to forsake
other things for him. They love him, and yet leave him, because they do not
love him enough, but love other things better.
15: To her gods - Those that forsake the communion of saints, will
certainly break off their communion with God. This she saith, to try
Ruth's sincerity and constancy, and that she might intimate to her,
that if she went with her, she must embrace the true religion.
17: There will I be buried - Not desiring to have so much as her dead
body carried back into the land of Moab: but Naomi and she having
joined souls, she desires they may mingle dust, in hopes of rising together,
and remaining together for ever.
18: Left speaking unto her - See the power of resolution!
Those who are half - resolved, are like a door a - jar, which invites a thief.
But resolution shuts and bolts he door, and then the devil flees from us.
19: Is this - Is this she that formerly lived in so much plenty and
honour? How marvelously is her condition changed?
20: Naomi - Which signifies pleasant, and chearful.
Mara - Which signifies bitter or sorrowful.
21: Full - With my husband and sons, and a plentiful estate for
our support. Testified - That is, hath borne witness, as it were, in
judgment, and given sentence against me.