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R U T H.
Thrs book is a kind of appendix to that of Judges, and an introduction to the subsequent histo
ay: and it is most probable, that it was written by Samuel, after he had anointed David to be king.--Ruth, a Moabitess, having been married to the son of Elimelech, of the tribe of Judah; after the death of her husband and father-in-law, accompanied Naoini, her mother-in-law, into the land of Israel, from love to her, and to true religion: there she was married to Boaz, a near kinsman, and thus brought into the line of David, and consequently of Christ the Son of David. The chief events occurred at Beth-lehem, the city of David; whose genealogy from Pharez, the son of Judah, concludes the book, and is attested by the Evangelists Matthew and Luke.- It is not easy to fix the Chronology of these events: they occurred in the days when the judges ruled; but there is no evidence to determine exactly under which of them. The narrative itself is very interesting and instructive. It shews the condescending providential care of God to the minutest concerns of bis people: and the circumstance of a Moabitess becoming an ancestor of Christ, seems to have been a pre-intimation of the calling of the Gentiles into bis church.
B. C. 1322.
B. C. 1322. CHAP. I.
Chilion, • Ephrathites of Beth-lehem-juElimelech induced by famine to sojourn in Moab dies there, !–2. dah: and they came into the country of
His two sons, having married women of Moab, die without
3 And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, Ruth determines to go with her, 15.– 8. They arrive died; ' and she was left, and her two at Beth-lehem, and Naomi answers the inquiries of her neighTOW it came to pass, in the day's 4 And they took them 8 wives of the
when the judges * ruled, that there women of Moab; the name of the one was 6 a famine in the land: and a certain I was Orpah, and the name of the other man of Beth-lehem-judah went to sojourn "Ruth: and they dwelled there about in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, || ten years. and his two sons.
5. And 'Mahlon and Chilion died -B.C. 2 And the name of the man was Elim- || also both of them; * and the woman elech, and the name of his wise a Naomi, was left of her two sons and her husand the name of his two sons Mahlon and band. & Judg. 2:16.
e Gen. 35:19. 1 Sam. 1:1. 17:1.1.2. • Heb. judged.
16. 107:34. Jer. 14:1. Ez. 14:
13,21. Joel 1:10,11,16-20. b Gen. 12:10. 26:1. 43:1. Lev. Am. 4:6. 26:19. Deut. 28:23,24,38. 2 c Judg. 17:8. 19:1,2. Sam. 21:1. i Kings 17:1-12. d 20. 18:2. 2 Kings 8:1,2. Ps. 105:
12. Mic. 5:2.
h Matt. 1:5.
having perhaps been children of a weakly conCHAP. I. v. 1, 2. Elimelech seems to have stitution. been blameable, in removing from the ordinan- V. 4, 5. There is no reason to think, that ces and people of God. The famine was not so either Orpah or Ruth was proselyted to the reextreme but that others could endure it; and heligion of Israel, before marriage; and conseevidently was a person of property, and not quently Mahlon and Chilion directly violated likely to want the necessaries of life, though the divine law; for which some think their pre. Jewish traditions of his rank and dignity are mature death without children was a punishentitled to little credit. (Note, 19–21.) Prob-ment. (Lev. 20:20,21.) But their marriage ably, he thought that he could live better and with Moabitish women was the natural effect at less expense in the land of Moab, than in of Elimelech's conduct, in bringing them acCanaan; but it terminated in the empoverishing quainted with the women of Moab, and removand wasting of his family.-"Elimelech signifies ing them to a distance from the worshippers of my God a king, and “Mahlon” and “Chilion” God. Thus they settled among idolaters; and seem to denote sickness and consumption; they / bad'they left children, there would have been
6 Then she arose with her daughters-||* I should have an husband also to-night, in-law, that she might return from the and should also bear sons; country of Moab: for she had heard in 13 Would ye | larry for them till they the country of Moab, how that the LORD were grown? would ye stay for them from had visited his people m in giving them having husbands? nay, my daughters: for bread.
I it grieveth me much for your sakes, that 7 Wherefore she went forth out of || 2 the hand of the Lord is gone out against the place where she was, and her two me. daughters-in-law with her: and they 14 And they lifted up their voice, and went on the way to return unto the land wept again: and Orpah kissed her of Judah.
mother-in-law, but • Ruth clave unto her. 8 And Naomi said unto her two daugh
(Practical Observations.) ters-in-law, PGo, return each to her moth
15 And she said, Behold, thy sister-iner's house: the Lord deal kindly with law is gone back unto her people, and you, as ye have dealt with the dead, unto d her gods: return thou after thy sisand with me.
ter-in-law. 3 The LORD grant you that ye may 16 And Ruth said, ! Entreat me not 'to find 'rest, each of you in the house of leave thee, or to return from following afher husband. Then she kissed them: andter thee: for 6 whither thou goest, I will they lifted up their voice, and wept. go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: io And they said unto her, Surely thy people shall be my people, and i thy
u we will return with thee unto thy people. God my God.
11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my 17 Where thou diest will I die, and daughters; why will ye go with me? are there will I be buried: the LORD do so there yet any more sons in my womb, to me, and more also, if aught' but death * that they may be your husbands? .
part thee and me. 12 Turn again, my daughters, go your : 0r. 1 zvere with an husband. way; for I am y too old to have an hus- | Heb. Thave much bitterness, band. If I should say, I have hope, if
I Gen. 21:1. Ex. 3:16. 4:31. 1
1 Pet. 2:12.
q Phil. 4:18,19. 2 Tim. 1:17,18.
Gen. 17:17. 1 Tim. 5:9.
d Judg. 11:24.
$ Or, Be not against me. Sam. 5:11. Job 19:21. Ps. 32: 2 Kings 2: 2,4,6. Acts 21:13. 4. 38:2. 39:9,10.
8 2 Sam. 15:21. Matt. 8:19. a Gen. 31:28,55. 1 Kings 19:20. John 13:37. Rev. 14:4. Matt. 10:37. 19:22. 2 Tim. 4: h 2:11,12. Ps. 45:10. Is. 14:1. 10.
i Josh. 24:18. Dan. 2:47. 3. 29. 5 Deut. 4:4. 10:20. Prov. 17:17. 4:37. Hos. 13:4. 2 Cor. 6:16
18:24. Is. 14.1. Zech. 8:23. 18. 1 Thes. 1:9.
3:9,35. 19:13. 1 Kings 2:23.
great danger of their being incorporated among prospect of a settlement according to it, could them. (Notes, Gen. 13:10–12. 14:12. 19:1, 14, possibly be held out by Naomi to her daughters 26,31—38.) Probably Elimelech died soon after in-law. She therefore expressed great concern he came into the land of Moab, and his two sons at the afflictions with which God had visited followed him before ten years were expired; but her, because she was deprived of all power to it does not appear, how long after their mar-help them: and she intimated, that if they were riage this took place.
not disposed to accompany her out of disinter. V. 6–10. Perhaps Naomi had staid in Moab ested love to God, and to the people of Israel, contrary to her inclination, from regard to her she could hold out no other inducement. Upon husband while he lived, and afterwards to her this Orpah, not being prepared to venture all sons: and she was now encouraged to return consequences, and renounce all her worldly into Canaan, by hearing that the Lord had vis-prospects for the sake of religion, returned ited the land with plenty; for it would have back to her country, her relations, and her been very discouraging for a destitute widow gods, though with reluctance and tokens of afto return home in a time of great scarcity.fection for Naomi. (Marg. Ref. a–c.) (Note, 19—21.)- She seems to have been a per- V. 15. Naomi was doubtless very far from son of eminent faith and piety; and to have dil. | desiring that Ruth should return; but she inigently instructed her daughters-in-law in true tended to make trial of her sincerity, and to religion, which she recommended by her ex- lead her to consider how she could bear pover. ample. They both had a great affection for ty and hardship, for the sake of the God of Is her, and at first purposed to go with her, not- rael; that if she were not in earnest, and only withstanding her affilicted condition; though induced by affection for her, and some gen. Orpah's resolution failed upon the trial. Their eral convictions, it might now be discovered; good behavior to their husbands, and to Naomi, or that she might set ont with steady determilikewise endeared them to her, and excited her nation of mind, and entire dependence on the affectionate wishes and fervent prayers for them; grace of God. (18. Notes, Josh. 24:15–19. Luke and they were all greatly distressed at the 14:25–33.) thoughts of parting.
V. 16, 17. The example and instructions of V. 11-14. The custom of the surviving Naomi seem to have given Ruth the most favor. brother marrying the widow of the deceased, able opinion of the character and religion of who had left no children, seems to have prevail-the Israelites, so that she desired to have her ed in other countries besides Israel; but no lot with them at any rate: and for the sake of
18 When she saw that she *was sted. || mighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. sastly minded to go with her, then she 21 I went out full, s and the Lord hath left speaking unto her.
brought me home again empty: why then 19 So they two went until they came call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath to Beth-lehem. And it came to pass, testified against me, and the Almighty when they were come to Beth-lehem, that hath afflicted me? ° all the city was moved about them; and 22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the they said, ' Is this Naomi?
Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, 20 And she said unto them, Call me which returned out of the country of not +Naomi, call me Mara: for 9 the Al- Moab: and they came to Beth-lehen in * Heb. strengthened herself. It That is, Pleasant.
u the beginning of barley-harvest. I That is, Bitter.
Acts 2:42. Eph. 6:10. o Matt. 21:10. p Is. 23:7. Lam. 2:15.
9 Gen. 17:1. 43:14. Job 6:17.
r Job 6:4. 19:6. Ps. 73:14. 89:15.
t Job 10:17. 13:26. 16:8. Mal.3:5. u 2:23. Ex. 9:31,32. 2 Sam. 21: 9.
this, she was willing to renounce all her con- bouse of God, and brought acquainted with pernexions and prospects in the land of Moab, and sons of no religion, or of a false religion, it can. to embrace hardship and penury in a strange not be expected, but that they will conform to country. (.Notes, Josh. 2:4–6,8—11.) She was their ways, and have their portion with them also determined to cleave to Naomi, however living arid dying. Better would it be to be destitute and aflicted, until death separated pinched with poverty, and worn down with lathein. For her sincerity in this profession she || bor, in the Lord's land, than to live in luxury called the LORD to witness, and to multiply and ease by hazarding such consequences. her troubles if she did not fulfil this solemn en- || (Notes, Ps. 37:3,16,17.) For our earthly trials gagement. Thus she renounced idolatry, and or enjoyments are of short continuance; death became a worshipper and servant of the livingis continually removing those of every age and God, and “counted all but loss” for the sake of situation, suddenly breaking in upon the most his favor and salvation; and her subsequent con- endeared unions, and marring all our outward duct proved that her faith was genuine and her comforts: we cannot therefore too decidedly profession sincere.. (Notes, 2 Sam. 15:18–22. 1 | prefer those advantages which shall endure for Chr. 12:16–18. John 6:66–71.).
ever, that we may be ready for every separatV. 19–21. Naomi had probably lived in af-ing stroke. If however, we be constrained to fluence, and been much respected: her neigh-dwell for a season in places of temptation, we bors were therefore greatly surprised to see should retire when the necessity ceases; and her return home, so altered in her circumstan- consider every rebuke in Providence, as a call ces and appearance; for she and Ruth seem to to us, to “come out and be separate” from the have travelled on foot, without any attendants, I workers of iniquity.-When “the Lord visits all the property which Elimelech had taken his people in giving them bread,” they ought to with him having been spent.—“Naomi” signi- || be content and thankful, though they have not fies pleasant, and “Mara," bitter. She humbly abundance of silver and gold: and the assurance, considered her afflictions as coming from the that he will supply the real necessities of his Lord's hand upon her and her family, for sin. true servants, should encourage us cheerfully For thus “the Lord testified against her, and to cast our lot among them. In every situation the Almighty alicted her.". Perhaps she con- || and relation in life, especially among such as sidered herself as guilty, in not having left are strangers to the truths of the gospel, beMoab immediately on the death of her hus- lievers should aim to “adorn the doctrine of band.
God our Savior in all things.” (Note, Tit. 2:9,
10.) And when they behave with prudence, in. PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS. tegrity, meekness, and kindness; when they V. 1-14.
well perform the duties of relative life, and No judgment can be formed from mere out-shew attention to the temporal comfort, and ward circumstances, whether we have, or have compassion for the sufferings, of those around not, “found favor with God;" for whom he loves them; and when they commend what is right in he often chastens for their profit, and leaves his | the moral and relative conduct of those who enemies to be hardened in prosperity.--Afflicare not acquainted with spiritual things; they tions should be submitted to as the Lord's re- win much upon them, and render them more buke, and they call on us, as by the voice of disposed to take in good part any endeavors the Lord, to exercise repentance, and seek for- | made to do good to their souls. And thus, (begiveness: (Notes, Am. 4:6—13. Mic. 6:9.) for | side the comfort of domestic harmony, which every endeavor, by carnal policy, to evade cor- || cannot easily be valued too highly,) ihe Lord rection, will eventually entangle us in greater | often blesses such conduct, as the means of difficulties.—Those who, by inconveniences or bringing those who were ignorant, careless, or hardships, are easily induced to change their prejudiced, to inquire after his truth and salvasitnations, seldom prosper in this world; and tion; while the contrary behavior of too many prove that they do not understand the real || professors of the gospel, forms a grand objeccauses of their uneasiness. For the displeas- || tion against it in the minds of thousands and ure of God, and the pride and impatience of tens of thousands.—Many feel an affection for our hearts, cannot be avoided by change of such believers as have been kind to them, and place or situation; and while these reinain, entertain favorable sentiments of religion, who they will produce misery whithersoever we re- are not decided in renouncing all their worldly
But when we are tempted to quit the pleasures, connexions, and prospects, and joinordinances of God, and the communion of his ling themselves to the poor and despised people people, ont of secular motives, we should re. of God, for the sake of Christ and his salvation. member Lot and Sodom. In such measures our They more desire orest in the house of a huschildren and families are deeply concerned; for band,” or in some worldly settlement or satis. if they are estranged from the servants and i faction, than that rest to which Jesus invites