Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Ruth 1:1 - 1:5

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Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Ruth 1:1 - 1:5

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Elimelech wnd Naomi in the Country of Moab

v. 1. Now, it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, some hundred and fifty years before the reign of David,that there was a famine in the land, an affliction threatened by the Lord, Deu_28:22-24, and sent from time to time as a punishment of Israel's iniquity in committing idolatry. And a certain man of Bethlehem-judah, the town afterward famous as the birthplace of our Lord, went to sojourn, to live as an alien, in the country of Moab, literally, "in the fields"; for the entire territory was conceived to have been divided into fields for agricultural purposes, he, and his wife, and his two sons. It may well have been that importations of grain from Egypt were cut off by the hostility of the Philistines, and that the inhabitants of Judah, therefore, were almost obliged to turn to the country east of the Dead Sea, although the Moabites belonged to the ancient enemies of Israel.

v. 2. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem-judah,
natives of the region, Ephratah being the ancient name of the city and its vicinity. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there, they were there for some time.

v. 3. And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left and her two sons.
The first affliction which befell her was that her husband died in the strange country.

v. 4. And they took them wives of the women of Moab,
an act surely not in conformity with Deu_23:3-4, although the Moabites are not expressly mentioned Deu_7:3; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelled there about ten years; that was the total length of the sojourn of Naomi. Although the sojourn of this Jewish family in the Moabite country did not prove productive of the blessings which they had anticipated, as the undertaking evidently was not in accordance with the will of God, yet the result was one highly beneficial to at least one of the Moabite women, so that, by God's merciful kindness, it served a great end.

v. 5. And Mahlon and Chilion died also, both of them,
Naomi thus having neither husband, sons, nor property, nor were there grandchildren. And the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. Thus God often lays a cross upon His children and chastises them severely, in order to bind them more securely to Himself.