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Friday, March 14 2014

Ruth 1: Elimelech and Naomi

"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 Bethlehemjudah"

The events of the Book of Ruth occurred during the era of the Judges (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Judges) - an approximate two-century epoch between the passing of Joshua (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Joshua) and the establishment of the Israelite monarchy in the time of Samuel, the prophet of the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) who was the last of the Judges (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Samuel). Ruth, of Moab, is one of the key ancestors of King David of Judah - and of the Messiah (see also Who Were The First Jews?).

The Book of Ruth begins with Elimelech and Naomi taking refuge in Moab, east of the Jordan River, because "there was a famine in the land" of Judah (see also Joshua 15: Judah's Homeland).

Elimelech and Naomi

"1:1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land.

And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

1:2 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 Bethlehemjudah.

And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there." (Ruth 1:1-2 KJV)

Elimelech died in Moab, leaving Naomi with her young-adult sons, Mahlon and Chilion, who married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. Mahlon and Chilion also then died. Naomi's family then consisted of three widows. The Scriptures do not specify what caused the deaths of the three men, however war or other violence would seem the most-likely cause of their loss. There was no famine there in Moab, and if it were a disease epidemic, why did it affect only the men, young and older, none of the women in the same family?

"1:3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

1:4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

1:5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband." (Ruth 1:3-5 KJV)

When Naomi heard that the famine had passed from the land of Judah, she decided to return home. Both of her daughters-in-law, as childless widows, and as Moabites, were free of their commitment to Naomi - as Naomi declared unto them. Ruth however refused to part and chose instead to immigrate to Naomi's homeland of Judah.

"1:6 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 that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. 1:7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

1:8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. 1:9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband.

Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

1:10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.

1:11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 1:12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; 1:13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.

Ruth 1:14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.

1:15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.

1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 1:17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

1:18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her." (Ruth 1:6-18 KJV)

So it was then that Ruth arrived in Bethlehem "in the beginning of barley harvest."

"1:19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem.

And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

1:20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. 1:21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

1:22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest." (Ruth 1:19-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: When did the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) decide that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem?
See Bethlehem In History And Prophecy


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This Day In History, March 14

44 BC: On the night before the assassination of Julius Caesar, Casca, Cicero and Cassius declared that Mark Antony should not be killed (see The Cleopatra Connection, The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

313: Chinese Emperor Jin Huidi was executed by Liu Cong, ruler of the Xiongnu state.

1369: During the Castilian Civil War, Henry of Trastamare defeated Pedro I of Castile at the battle of Montiel.

1489: Catherine Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus and last of the Lusignan dynasty, sold her kingdom to Venice.

Europe
1558: Ferdinand I assumed the position of Holy Roman Emperor without being crowned by the pope (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1590: During the French Religious Wars, Henry IV, with a force of 13,000, defeated the 25,000-strong army of the Duc de Mayenne at the battle of Ivry.

1647: During the Thirty Years War, a Treaty of Neutrality was signed at Ulm between Sweden, France, Bavaria and Cologne.

1757: British admiral John Byng was executed by firing squad for his failed attempt to relieve the island of Minorca when threatened by the French fleet.

1883: Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto, died.

1891: The submarine Monarch laid telephone cable along the English Channel bed to prepare for the first telephone links to Europe.

1915: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the German cruiser Dresden was sunk by the Royal Navy in the Pacific.

1936: Adolf Hitler told a crowd of 300,000 that "Germany's only judge is God and itself" (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1937: Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical Mit brennender Sorge ("with burning anxiety") against Nazi Germany; it charged that Germany had violated their 1933 concordat whereby Roman Catholicism was not to be hindered under the Nazis.

1938: After his anschluss of Austria, Adolf Hitler made his triumphal entry into Vienna, where he had spent his hobo years.

1945: The heaviest explosive of the Second World War, the 22,000-pound (9,980 kilogram) "Grand Slam," was dropped by the RAF's Dambuster Squadron on the Bielefeld railway viaduct in Germany.

1964: Jack Ruby (actual name Jacob Rubenstein; the son of Polish-immigrant Jewish parents, he grew up in Chicago where, as a boy, he ran errands for the gangster Al Capone) was found guilty of the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of John Kennedy. Ruby reportedly had expected to be regarded as a "hero" for shooting Oswald and not face murder charges.

1965: Israel agreed to West Germany's request to establish diplomatic relations.

1978: An Israeli force of 22,000 invaded south Lebanon, hitting the PLO terrorists based there (see also Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).

1995: Norman Thagard became the first U.S. astronaut to ride to space on board a Russian launch vehicle. By 2012, with the termination of the Space Shuttle program and no other launch vehicles in existence or in immediate development, all U.S. astronauts now depend on riding along on Russian space launches.


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