The Book Of Ruth
Chapter 1:6-10
"Ruth's Resolve"

Chapter 1: 6-10
"Ruth's Resolve"

J. Deering, AncientPath.net


RUTH 1:6-10
1. Master Study 2. Visualized Text 3. Outline With Text 4. Reference Materials 5. Questions

MASTER STUDY
Introduction, Visualized Text with Commentary and Q&A,
Charts


INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS:

As we transition from the first paragraph to the second we should spend a moment considering the bigger picture of the book of Ruth. God loves His people. In the Old Testament, since the time of God’s covenant with Abraham, it was the family of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob on to the twelve tribes that came out of Jacob. God chose them to be His special people. In the New Testament, God sets aside the nation of Israel for a time, and calls out to Himself a people we know as “the Church,” or “the Body of Christ.” The Book of Ruth sets forth pictures in words using Elimelech’s family, especially Boaz and Ruth, as types (or symbols) of God’s people (first the nation of Israel and then the Church of Jesus Christ). In the First five verses of the book we see a picture of God’s family during the times of the Judges, when “everyone did right in his own eyes.” This was a time when God’s people turned their back on Him and worshipped pagan idols. The picture seen in the first five verses is of God’s people moving away from His promised land in the midst of famine because they were caught up in idolatry. The punishment by the hand of God is the loss of rebellious lives who have taken on foreign wives.

As we begin turning to the second paragraph (1:6-10) we see the recognition that the Lord has shed His grace once again upon the Promised Land and his wayward people turn and seek Him and His grace.

The second paragraph of the book of Ruth is Chapter 1:6-10.  A title for the first five verses (Ruth 1:1-5) is “Ruth’s Relationships.” This new paragraph (Ruth 1:6-10) deals with the aftermath of the death of Naomi’s two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. Naomi hears that, back in Judah, the famine has ended and she desires to return to her homeland. She is destined to live as an indigent single woman, beyond child bearing age and therefore probably not a good candidate for a new marriage, nor is she a good candidate to enter into a Levirate marriage relationship with a brother of her dead husband Elimelech, as she will not be able to bear children to carry on the Elimelech’s family name which is the requirement of the law.

The Levirate marriage comes out of the Law in Deuteronomy 25:5-10.

“If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother. Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house. And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.”

But returning to Elimelech’s (or possibly her own) family would be better than being indigent and alone in Moab.

Naomi departs for Judah and her two daughters-in-law depart with her. As Naomi reaches the boundary of Moab she instructs the two daughters-in-law to depart and head for their own mother’s homes. Verse 10 becomes a turning point in the story as both daughters-in-law do not wish to leave her.

That’s the overview; now let’s look at some specifics.


THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB)  (conjunctions & prepositions (and other important words) underlined, words not in original text in italics)  (alternate text in purple)

(1:6a)

Then

she arose with her daughters-in-law

that

she might return

from the land of Moab,

Brief Commentary on Ruth 1:6a

The word “then” usually means that something has happened in the past and now something new is going to happen. Naomi has lost her husband and her two sons. She is now left alone in Moab with her two Moabite daughters-in-law (the Hebrew here indicates “a son’s woman or bride”), Orpah and Ruth. She only has her family’s personal belongings that have been brought from Judah. (Later in the book we will also see that she does have some property of her own in Bethlehem.) All that her husband had owned back in Judah had transferred to their First Born son Mahlon upon Elimelech’s death. Now Mahlon and his brother Chilion were both dead and all family properties revert back to the oldest living male relative of their clan according to the law. She is now an indigent alien in the land of Moab. Her response to all of the tragedy that has befallen her is to arise, pick her self up, and begin to consider her future. She considers two options – stay, leave. Her choice is to return to Judah and be indigent there instead of Moab. The Hebrew word used here for “return” carries with it the idea of “returning to the starting point.”

You will also notice that this first verse says nothing about her choice to bring or leave behind her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. Her statement is to “return,” and Orpah and Ruth have never been to Judah and thus cannot “return” to it. At this point in Naomi’s decision process she is pondering her choices.

Questions and Answers about Ruth 1:6a

  1. What is the implication of "Naomi arose?"
    (she picked herself up, she pulled herself up, she got out of the boat, she did not give up)

  2. Who arose with her?
    (Orpah and Ruth)
    (daughters-in-law, literally Heb: kallah, son’s woman or bride)

  3. Where were they going?
    (
    Bethlehem – home)
    (Return – Heb: shuwb, as in return to the starting point)

  4. Why?
    (Naomi remembers the Lord and her home amongst the Jews of Judah)
    (Matthew Henry Note: When death comes into a family, it ought to reform what is amiss there. Earth is made bitter to us, that Heaven may be dear.)

    (the LORD [Yehovah] visited His people with food)
    (visited – Heb: sadeh, visited to oversee)
    (food – Heb: lechem, bread, or grain to make bread)

  5. Where were they leaving?
    (
    Moab and the Midianites)


(1:6b)

for

she had heard in the land of Moab

that

the LORD had visited His people in giving them food."

Brief Commentary on Ruth 1:6b

Introducing this part of the story is the word “for.” The meaning is often “cause,” “purpose,” or “result.” Used here it shows the cause of her consideration of returning to Judah. “for she had heard…” that The Lord God had “visited His people.” (YHWH, which are the four letters used to signify the name of Almighty God by the Hebrews. This name was never spoken out of respect for The Lord God. When the name was written down it was always abbreviated as YHWH. Later in the history of Israel when she went into captivity and much of the language was lost, so too were the vowels that combined with the YHWH to make up the name of The Lord God. Much later the vowels from the Hebrew word for Lord were inserted and the new name for God became “Yehovah or Jehovah.”)

Naomi has now been in the land of Moab more than ten years. God had been chastising the nation for many years for her willfulness and disobedience using warring enemies that she had never removed from the land as she took possession of it. God was also chastising Judah through famine.

Now God was seeing repentance and returning to her God among His people in Bethlehem, Judah, and allowing the rains and the harvests to return. Naomi has heard about it and like Judah is repentant about leaving the land of her God and is quite literally “turning around” and returning to Judah. The end of verse 6 says that The Lord God was visiting (Heb: sadeh – to visit in order to oversee) them and giving them “food.” The Hebrew text here indicates food that grows – grain, to make bread and is commonly translated into English as “food.”

Questions and Answers about Ruth 1:6b

  1. Where were they when she heard this news?
    (
    Moab)

  2. What was the news?
    (famine was over, God had visited His people with food.)

  3. Who did this?
    (The LORD)

  4. What is the importance of "The Lord" in this statement?
    (Naomi’s faithfulness to Him)

  5. What had "The Lord" done?
    (The Lord visited and gave food)

  6. What does "visited" imply?
    (God (her God) intervenes in human affairs)

  7. What does it imply about Naomi?
    (she was a woman that believed that)

  8. Who did the Lord visit?
    (His people)

  9. What does that imply about what was happening in Israel?
    (They repented and returned to God’s fellowship and favor)

  10. What did God do in Israel?
    (Gave them food (rain, crops, harvest), grace and favor)

  11. Look up references to the number of times God gives "Food" to Israel and How does He do it each time.
    (Manna, quail Numbers 11)
    (Exodus 4:31;
    Jeremiah 29:10; Zephaniah 2:7
    The Lord Visits His People)


(1:7)

So

she departed from the place where she was,

and her two daughters-in-law with her; and
they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.

Brief Commentary on Ruth 1:7

This paragraph begins with “So.” This is another word of purpose or result and this time, by the context, we choose result. She has considered the facts and now like the Apostle Peter when Jesus calls to him from the waters of the Sea of Galilee, she has decided to “get out of the boat, and walk.” A change has taken place and we find Orpah and Ruth have also made their decisions and “they went.” The words here for went forth carry the meanings of “went forth with purpose (Heb: yatsa) and the mode was “walking. (Heb: yalak)” Their place to return to – the land of Judah, and home to Bethlehem.

Here we should once again consider the fact that Orpah and Ruth are Moabites. At this time their intention is to leave Moab where they are nationals and head for Judah where they will be strangers and aliens, because of their love and devotion for Naomi – what a remarkable woman she must have been to merit such love and devotion. Naomi’s only hope to return and regain Elimelech’s or Nahlon’s family is the hope of the Levirate marriage laws – but – Naomi is much older now and considers herself beyond the age to bear male children. Even against the odds she is returning home to Bethlehem, Judah.

What a wonderful picture of those who have broken fellowship with the Lord, wandered away, seeking after other gods, repenting and returning to Him. What hope do they have? Returning to Him, knowing Him and His wonderful grace, like the confession of the Prodigal son – Against you have I sinned and you alone!

Questions and Answers about Ruth 1:7

  1. Why use the word "So?"
    (to bring your attention to what God had done)
    (Naomi hears of the Lord’s blessing, Naomi considers her situation, Naomi considers her God, Naomi makes her choice)
  2. What did Naomi do?
    (she departed – action word)
    (departed – Heb: yatsa yatsa, repeated word, indicates definite purpose in going)
    (they went – yalak, the indication here is that they “walked.”)
  3. Where was she when she did this?
    (
    Moab)
  4. Who went with her?
    (Mabitesses Orpah and Ruth)
  5. Why restate that they "went?"
    (Take Notice when God, or His word, speaks twice)
  6. Who was returning to Judah?
    (Naomi – Orpah and Ruth had not come out of
    Judah, so they could not RETURN there)
  7. Why did the writer use the words "they went on the way to return to Judah if Orpah and Ruth were Moabites?"
    (to keep the plot interesting – the reader should say “wait a minute……” and this particular part of the story is about Naomi’s faith)
  8. Where were they going?
    (Judah – Long trip, North, then East, and then South)
  9. Where specificaly was Naomi going?
    (
    Bethlehem – home town, ancestral home of the Elimelech family)
  10. What would Naomi's status be if she stayed in Moab?
    (indigent despised foreigner, mother-in-law of two women who would probably remarry, and Naomi would become their “former mother-in-law”)
  11. What would Naomi's status be if she went to Judah?
    (indigent national – however in
    Judah there was the promise of the Levirite marriage law (but slim because she is an old lady now))
  12. What would be Naomi's options for regaining land and property?
    (in
    Judah there was the promise of the Leverite marriage law (but slim because she is an old lady now))
  13. What would you do if you moved to another country, lost your husband, your sons married outside the faith, lost your sons, acquired your daughters-in-law, lost the right to your husband's wealth and property and land, and became indigent?

(1:8)

And

Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law,

"Go, return each of you to her mother's house.
May the LORD
(Yahweh) deal kindly with you
as you have dealt with the dead and with me.

Brief Commentary on Ruth 1:8

The word “and” indicates a list or a continuing action. In verse 7 Naomi has begun her journey to Bethlehem but stops along the way. While it is not part of the text a good place to stop and consider her decision would be along the southern edge of Moab at the shores of the river Arnon.

“Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, go, return”  Now a time of testing begins as Naomi attempts to send the two women back into Moab and back to their mothers. In the next paragraph we will learn of their love of and devotion to Naomi. Naomi is giving them the option of returning home and not suffering the hard life and shame they would have to endure if they followed her to Bethlehem. They would be foreigners and aliens living with an indigent Hebrew in a very male based society.

Naomi’s love for them can also be seen in this verse as she attempts to convince them with the blessing, “May the Lord deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me.” It is certain here that Naomi is remembering Orpah and Ruth’s love for her sons, and the treatment they gave to her as their mother-in-law. As we look at the situation the wise old saying comes to mind – “bad things happen to good people.” But, we are to always remember that behind the events of this world there is the wonderful grace of God. He is always doing everything He can for His people.

Questions and Answers about Ruth 1:8

  1. What did Naomi say to her two daughters-in-law?
    (Go home!)
    (again the word is Heb: yalak - “Walk,” we would say “go, GO!”)
  2. Why did she want them to "return" to own mother's homes?
    (they how had no husbands, no land, no estate, and she could not afford to keep them. She loves them but only wants their companionship if they love her and her God, and her people)
  3. Why does Naomi say "each of you?"
    (to make it clear to the reader that both women were instructed to “go,” and that it is up to each one’s individual will)
    (the words here are “may the Lord deal kindly with you,” Heb: ‘asah checed, “bring about kindness to you.”)
  4. Why would Naomi say a prayer or blessing at this time?
    (The parting blessing – she loved them, they were faithful to their husbands – Naomi’s sons, and she was a woman of faith and prayer)
  5. What does it mean "as you have with the dead?"
    (they must have been loving and devoted wives.)
  6. What are the implications of "and with me?"
    (the must have been loving and devoted to their mother-in-law as well!)

(1:9)

"May the LORD
grant that you may find rest,
each in the house of her husband."

Then

she kissed them, and
they lifted up their voices and wept.

Brief Commentary on Ruth 1:9

In verse 9 Naomi’s blessing continues as she wishes them rest. This blessing surely is about Orpah and Ruth’s staying in Moab and finding husbands from amongst their own people. Again the love between Naomi and her daughters-in-law is clearly seen as she kisses them and the three of them raise their voices (wailing) and crying at the possibility of separation from each other.

 It is also interesting here that Naomi calls upon The Lord God for this blessing upon her Moabite daughters-in-law. The test continues as Naomi tries to encourage them to leave her side and return to their families and their homes. We’ve mentioned it before that The Lord God only wants those who want Him whether it is an individual from the Old Testament nation of Israel or a New Testament Jew or Gentile. God is looking for that personal relationship, that personal fellowship that comes only when the individual truly desires and chooses The Lord God.

Questions and Answers about Ruth 1:9

  1. Is this verse part of the same prayer or blessing?
    (Probably)
  2. Is the Lord obligated to act on prayers and blessings?
    (His obligation is only to hear and consider believers (Yes/No/Maybe/Later))
  3. Is a prayer found in the Bible a window into the future, or just the intentions of the person who is praying or blessing?"
    (It depends upon the context and upon the will of the Holy Spirit.)
  4. What does Naomi intend for her two daughters-in-law?
    (They should go home and find new husbands while they are still young and no longer suffer the turmoil of widowhood, or the “burning” of being no longer married [w/o children])
  5. Can you personalize this scene? "She kissed them (good-bye) and they wept together."
    (kissed – Heb: nashaq, a kiss that touched, not a unattached fake kiss)
  6. Where were they when this took place?
    (Probably at the river crossing between Moab and Judah [River Armon], or the shores of the dead sea [salt sea] where Naomi would be leaving the country of Moab and turning from West to North to retrace the route from Judah)

(1:10)

And

they said to her,

"No,
but we will surely return with you to your people."

Brief Commentary on Ruth 1:10

Once again Orpah and Ruth both choose Naomi over the possibility of returning to their homes. We must not forget that to return with Naomi will remove them from their families, their country, and their gods. What a difficult decision this is for them. As we continue to consider the bigger picture we see the conflict of those who are out of fellowship The Lord God and considering repentance, or seeking The Lord God for the first time to become members of His family. Whether it is the Nation of Israel repenting and seeking the face of God, an individual in the Nation of Israel seeking salvation in God, a gentile seeking salvation in God, or a Christian offering repentance to God, the picture is the same. He wants it to be from the heart, just as Naomi is looking for her daughters-in-law to make their final decision from the heart.

Questions and Answers about Ruth 1:10

  1. What did they tell Naomi about leaving her?
    (They refused to leave her)
  2. Where did they offer to go?
    (
    Judah)
  3. Why did they go out of their way to say "with you?"
    (immediacy – we will continue now with you…)
  4. Why did they go out of their way to say "to your people?"
    (for their Love of Naomi – leave their land, their people, their gods)

 Horizontal Chart for Ruth 1:6-10

Ruth 1:6-10 "Ruth's Resolve"

Ruth 1:6
Plan
"Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab,
Ruth 1:6b
Provision

for she had heard in the land of Moab that the LORD had visited His people in giving them food."
Ruth 1:7
Passage
"So she departed from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah."
Ruth 1:8
Plea
"And 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."
Ruth 1:9
Prayer
"May the LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband." Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept."
Ruth 1:10
Preference
"And they said to her, "No, but we will surely return with you to your people."

Ruth 1:6-10 "Ruth's Resolve" Paragraph Verse Percentage Chart


RUTH 1:6-10
1. Master Study 2. Visualized Text 3. Outline With Text 4. Reference Materials 5. Questions

The Book of Ruth, Bible Study, J. Deering, AncientPath.net, study materials are a ministry of AncientPath.net, and may be copied for use in Bible study groups, in limited numbers, providing that no charge is made for them.  No further distribution or use of these materials is allowable under U.S. or International Copyright Law without the express permission of AncientPath.net. 2008 AncientPath.net, All rights reserved.


2012-11-20