|Ruth 1:14 And they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. (NASB: Lockman)|
GWT: They began to cry loudly again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth held on to her tightly. (GWT)
KJV: And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
NLT: And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Young's Literal: And they lift up their voice, and weep again, and Orpah kisseth her mother-in-law, and Ruth hath cleaved to her.
|AND THEY LIFTED UP THEIR VOICES AND WEPT AGAIN:
The Septuagint (LXX) uses a verb that means to cry with a loud voice. There comes a place in our following after God, where it comes down to doing. Ruth and Orpah were both feeling the same feelings but Ruth did differently than Orpah. Applying Ruth's decisive action for God's people and thus for God one notes that in Christianity some are content with feeling Christian feelings, with feeling a love for God, with feeling a love for His Word, with feeling a love for His people. But the decisive question is will you be doers of the word (Jas 1:23-note;, cp Jas 2:14f-note ;)? We are all thankful that God did not just feel His love for us? Instead
Ruth showed her feeling of love by her willingness to make a "costly commitment" especially when one realizes that she had not yet "read" the next three chapters! Her action is an excellent OT example of faith which Hebrews "defines" as
AND ORPAH KISSED HER MOTHER IN LAW: (Ge 31:28,55 1Ki 19:20 Mt 10:37; 19:22 Mk 10:21,22 2Ti 4:10-see note on Demas)
Kissed (5401) (nashaq) means to kiss mouth to mouth or to be attached and the Greek Septuagint verb adds the interesting nuance of kissing one tenderly, with caressing and as a sign of special affection (the same verb was used by the Greek Septuagint in (Ruth 1:9).
Alexander Maclaren writes that…
Matthew Henry referring to Orpah's apparent resolution to do but failure to follow her words with actions says
What is the application to saints today? It is probably unfair to Orpah to be too critical of her action and to misjudge her motives for kissing Naomi goodbye. The Greek verb certainly suggests a tenderness and therefore a heartfelt sincerity in her action. Nevertheless, by way of application, it should be noted that a kiss of outward profession can be an an act that appears sincere (Mt 26:48, 49 Lk 22:47, 48), but the practical cleaving to the Lord, which must show itself in definitive decision for truth and holiness, is not so small a matter. Is your heart fixed upon Jesus (Col 3:1, 2, He 12:1, 2- see notes Col 3:1; 3:2; He 12:1; 2) and the sacrifice bound with cords to the horns of the altar (Ps 118:7- Spurgeon's Note)? Have you counted the cost, and are you solemnly ready to suffer all worldly loss for the Master’s sake (Lk 14:28; 14:33, Mk 8:34, 35, 36, 37)? The gain will be an abundant recompense, for Egypt’s treasures are not to be compared with the glory to be revealed (cf Moses - He 11:24, 25, 26, 27 - see notes He 11:24; 25, 26, 27).
What happened to Orpah? The Living Bible says she "returned to her childhood home" and the TEV says she "went back home," both of which are certainly plausible but neither of which is clearly stated in the Hebrew or Greek Septuagint texts (which is another reason paraphrases should be assiduously avoided as one's primary Bible when performing serious Bible study - see chart on Bible Versions). So the most reliable answer is that we don’t know what happened to Orpah and that is where the commentary should cease. Men however often concoct fantastic stories to explain what they don’t know. For example, Jewish tradition says this request of Naomi came four miles outside of Moab; and that Orpah shed only four tears and the thought of parting from her mother-in-law Naomi. The rabbis go on to say that in recompense for the four miles that she went with Naomi, Orpah gave birth to four sons - Goliath and his three brothers! Fruitless, foolish, unfounded speculation!
BUT RUTH CLEAVED ("clave" KJV): (De 4:4, 10:20, Pr 17:17, 18:24 Isa 14:1 Zec 8:23 Mt 16:24 Jn 6:66, 67, 68, 69 Acts 17:34 Heb 10:39 )
Note the phrase "but Ruth", which draws a contrast (See value of observing for contrasts) so vivid that one can easily imagine themselves as a quiet observer standing nearby as this poignant, life-changing drama unfolds. As discussed elsewhere, a "but" always signifies a change of direction is occurring, in this case not just literally (Moab to Bethlehem) but spiritually (idolatry of Moab to the God of Naomi) and ultimately a change in Ruth's eternal destiny (from hell to heaven). Always stop when you encounter a "but" and ask what is being contrasted?
They both wept but only Orpah kissed her mother in law while Ruth clung to her.
Cleaved (1692) (dabaq) means to stick to, adhere to, cling to, join with, stay with, stay in close proximity to and which yields the noun form for "glue". Dabaq describes something that sticks or clings to something else (Ezek 29:4 and Ezekiel’s tongue to roof of his mouth Ezek. 3:26).
It is interesting that one of the most concentrated uses of "dabaq" in the OT is found in this short story of Ruth (Ru 1:14, 2:8, 2:21, 23-see notes Ru 1:14; 2:8; 21; 23) -- Ruth 2:8 "stay here with my maids"; Ruth 2:21 "‘You should stay close to my servants"; Ruth 2:23 "So she stayed close by the maids of Boaz";
Dabaq - (See passages below) 53x in OT - Gen. 2:24; 19:19; 31:23; 34:3; Num. 36:7, 9; Deut. 10:20; 11:22; 13:4, 17; 28:21, 60; 30:20; Jos. 22:5; 23:8, 12; Jdg. 18:22; 20:42, 45; Ruth 1:14; 2:8, 21, 23; 1 Sam. 14:22; 31:2; 2 Sam. 1:6; 20:2; 23:10; 1 Ki. 11:2; 2 Ki. 3:3; 5:27; 18:6; 1 Chr. 10:2; Job 19:20; 29:10; 31:7; 38:38; 41:17, 23; Ps. 22:15; 44:25; 63:8; 101:3; 102:5; 119:25, 31; 137:6; Pr. 18:24; Jer. 13:11; 42:16; Lam. 4:4; Ezek. 3:26; 29:4
NAS translates dabaq as - (1), closer(1), clung(4), deeply attracted(1), fasten its grip(1), follow closely(1), held fast(1), hold(2), hold fast(2), holding fast(1), joined(2), joined together(1), overtake(1), overtook(5), pursued him closely(1), pursued them closely(1), remained steadfast(1), stay(1), stay close(1), stayed close(1), stick(1), stick together(1), stuck(2).
Dabaq often refers to physical things sticking to each other, especially parts of the body as described vividly by Job who said
God speaking through Moses warned Israel to
King Hezekiah heeded this instruction and
A vivid picture of the meaning of dabaq is found in David's declaration
Dabaq also conveys the ideas of loyalty and devotion as in the first use of dabaq where "a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh" (Ge 2:24) which also emphasizes the basic meaning of being intimately joined to another and of being identified with one another, even as Ruth was now committing to be "identified" no longer with the Moabites but primarily with Naomi, her people and her God.
As alluded to earlier, this idea of leaving former affections and loyalties and shifting them to Jehovah is found numerous times in Deuteronomy, as for example in (Dt 10:20) where Moses instructs Israel that they are to "fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name". In this verse we also see that reverential awe (fear) of God is in part manifest by one cleaving closely to Him. This truth gives us some insight into Ruth's cleaving to Naomi and ultimately to Naomi's God. (cf Dt 11:22 23, 13:4 Josh 23::8 contrast Josh 23:12 Dt 13:17)
The Septuagint (LXX) translates "but Ruth cleaved to her" as "but Ruth followed her" where the verb followed is the Greek verb akoloutheo (190) (from "a" = expressing union or likeness + keleuthos = way, road) which literally pictures one (in this case Ruth) going in the same way or walking the same road and so to follow or accompany someone (in this case Naomi) who takes the lead. The first use of akoloutheo in the NT is instructive, Matthew writing that Peter and Andrew, upon hearing Jesus' call
In a similar way Ruth left her friends, family, familiar culture and foreign gods and followed Naomi even in face of Naomi's discouragement to do so! What great faith "Ruth the Moabitess" manifested.
Do I have the faith and willingness to commit to follow Jesus Who taught that
Naomi’s well-being was Ruth's first concern, though that involved emigration from her homeland, leaving her parents who were still living (Ru 2:11-note), and settling among strangers. From this point on Naomi’s people would be her people, though Ruth had no certainty that she would find acceptance.
MacDonald has nicely summarized this dramatic scene describing
Wiersbe succinctly describes the scene as…
Dabaq - 53x in OT -
Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
Comment: The Lxx use the verb proskollao (from prós = to, toward, in compounds prós implies motion, direction + kollao = to glue) literally means to glue one thing to another so that it cleaves or adheres. To unite. To cleave. To be united with. To join oneself to closely. To stick to. It is used metaphorically in this verse to describe the marriage bond. To adhere to closely, be faithfully devoted to. Proskollao was a medical term used to describe the uniting of wounds. Here this compound verb denotes the most intimate union. This verb emphasizes not only permanence but also unity of the two who have been "glued" together. Take a picture of a husband and another of his wife and glue them together. Allow time for the glue to set. What happens when you try to take the two individual pictures apart? Do you see what God is saying about the dissolution of the marriage covenant between a husband and a wife?
Genesis 19:19 "Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die;
Genesis 31:23 then he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days' journey, and he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead.
Genesis 34:3 He was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her.
Numbers 36:7 "Thus no inheritance of the sons of Israel shall be transferred from tribe to tribe, for the sons of Israel shall each hold to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers… 9 "Thus no inheritance shall be transferred from one tribe to another tribe, for the tribes of the sons of Israel shall each hold to his own inheritance."
Deuteronomy 10:20 "You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name.
Comment: The Lxx uses the root verb kollao which means to join closely, to "glue together," to unite, to cling to, to adhere to, to cleave to, to come in close contact with. It was used in 1Cor 6:16 to describe the joining of oneself to a harlot. In Acts 9:26 it describes joining oneself to another as a disciple.
Deuteronomy 11:22 "For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast (Lxx use the verb proskollao) to Him,
Deuteronomy 13:4 "You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.
Comment: Lxx uses prostithemi meaning to add to something that is already in existence, of persons who are added to a group already existing, or who are attached to an individual, to whom they henceforth belong.
Deuteronomy 13:17 "Nothing from that which is put under the ban shall cling to (Lxx use the verb proskollao) your hand, in order that the LORD may turn from His burning anger and show mercy to you, and have compassion on you and make you increase, just as He has sworn to your fathers,
Deuteronomy 28:21 "The LORD will make the pestilence cling to (Lxx use the verb proskollao) you until He has consumed you from the land where you are entering to possess it.
Deuteronomy 28:60 "He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they will cling to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) you.
Deuteronomy 30:20 by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."
Joshua 22:5 "Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to (lxx = proskeimai = to lie near, adjacent to, joined to, abiding among) Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul."
Joshua 23:8 "But you are to cling to (Lxx use the verb proskollao) the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.
Joshua 23:12 "For if you ever go back and cling to (Lxx uses prostithemi meaning to add to something that is already in existence) the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you,
Judges 18:22 When they had gone some distance from the house of Micah, the men who were in the houses near Micah's house assembled and overtook the sons of Dan.
Judges 20:42 Therefore, they turned their backs before the men of Israel toward the direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them while those who came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst of them.
45 The rest turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, but they caught 5,000 of them on the highways and overtook them at Gidom and killed 2,000 of them.
Ruth 1:14 And they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
Ruth 2:8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, "Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here with my maids.
21 Then Ruth the Moabitess said, "Furthermore, he said to me, 'You should stay close to my servants until they have finished all my harvest.'"
23 So she stayed close by the maids of Boaz in order to glean until the end of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
1 Samuel 14:22 When all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had fled, even they also pursued them closely in the battle.
1 Samuel 31:2 The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua the sons of Saul.
2 Samuel 1:6 The young man who told him said, "By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and behold, Saul was leaning on his spear. And behold, the chariots and the horsemen pursued him closely.
2 Samuel 20:2 So all the men of Israel withdrew from following David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah remained steadfast to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 23:10 He arose and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to (Lxx use the verb proskollao) the sword, and the LORD brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to strip the slain.
1 Kings 11:2 from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, "You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods." Solomon held fast to these in love.
Comment: One of the saddest verses in the Bible in my opinion! The wisest man doing the most foolish thing! The Lxx uses the root verb kollao, indicating Solomon "stuck like glue" to these foreign women and their idolatrous gods turned his heart from the living God. Wow! If this could happen to Solomon, it could happen to any of us! Remember 1Cor 10:12!
2 Kings 3:3 Nevertheless, he clung to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin; he did not depart from them.
Comment: Another sad commentary on the kings!
2 Kings 5:27 "Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) you and to your descendants forever." So he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
2 Kings 18:6 For he clung to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.
Comment: A refreshing contrast with Solomon's attraction to evil! Here King Hezekiah is "glued to" God, so to speak. Notice the fruit of following hard after God = did not depart, obeyed. And the result in 2Ki 18:7 was that "the LORD was with him; wherever he went he prospered."
1 Chronicles 10:2 The Philistines closely pursued Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul.
Job 19:20 "My bone clings to my skin and my flesh, And I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.
Job 29:10 The voice of the nobles was hushed, And their tongue stuck to their palate.
Job 31:7 "If my step has turned from the way, Or my heart followed my eyes, Or if any spot has stuck to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) my hands,
Job 38:38 When the dust hardens into a mass And the clods stick together?
Job 41:17 "They are joined (Lxx use the verb proskollao) one to another; They clasp each other and cannot be separated.
Job 41:23 "The folds of his flesh are joined (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) together, Firm on him and immovable.
Psalm 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) my jaws; And You lay me in the dust of death.
Psalm 44:25 For our soul has sunk down into the dust; Our body cleaves to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) the earth. (See Ps 119:25 below)
Psalm 63:8 My soul clings to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) You; Your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 101:3 (David writes) I will set no worthless (belial - also a name given to Satan!) thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) on me.
Psalm 102:5 Because of the loudness of my groaning My bones cling to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) my flesh.
Psalm 119:25 My soul cleaves to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) the dust; Revive me according to Your word.
Psalm 119:31 I cling to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) Your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame!
Psalm 137:6 May my tongue cling to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) the roof of my mouth If I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.
Proverbs 18:24 A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Jeremiah 13:11 'For as the waistband clings to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) Me,' declares the LORD, 'that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen.'
Jeremiah 42:16 then the sword, which you are afraid of, will overtake you there in the land of Egypt; and the famine, about which you are anxious, will follow closely after you there in Egypt, and you will die there.
Lamentations 4:4 The tongue of the infant cleaves (Lxx uses the root verb kollao) To the roof of its mouth because of thirst; The little ones ask for bread, But no one breaks it for them.
Ezekiel 3:26 "Moreover, I will make your tongue stick (Lxx = sundeo = bind together) to the roof of your mouth so that you will be mute and cannot be a man who rebukes them, for they are a rebellious house.
Ezekiel 29:4 "I will put hooks in your jaws And make the fish of your rivers cling to(Lxx use the verb proskollao) your scales. And I will bring you up out of the midst of your rivers, And all the fish of your rivers will cling to your scales.
From Our Daily Bread…
"That was rather a cool kiss."
Devotional from C H Spurgeon…
|Ruth 1:15 Then she said, "Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law." (NASB: Lockman)|
|KJV: 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.
NLT: "See," Naomi said to her, "your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same." (NLT - Tyndale House)
Young's Literal: And she saith, 'Lo, thy sister-in-law hath turned back unto her people, and unto her god, turn thou back after thy sister-in-law.'
|Septuagint (LXX): kai eipen (3SAAI) Noemin pros Routh idou anestrepsen e sunnumphos sou pros laon autes kai pros tous theous autes epistrapheti (APM) de kai su opiso ten sunnumphou sou
English of Septuagint: And Noemin said to Ruth, Behold, thy sister-in-law has returned to her people and to her gods; turn now thou also after thy sister-in-law.
|SHE SAID BEHOLD YOUR SISTER-IN-LAW HAS GONE BACK: (Ps 36:3; 125:5; Zeph 1:6; Mt 13:20;21 Heb 10:38; 1Jn 2:19)
Orpah may well be an OT example of
The writer of Hebrews adds
And finally John writes
TO HER PEOPLE AND HER GODS: (Jdg 11:24)
Note not "god" but "gods" indicating the Orpah's polytheistic paganism practiced in Moab with the despicable idol Chemosh being the chief Moabite false "deity", one so vile that its "worship" was associated with child sacrifice (2Ki 3:27), which God says was tantamount to sacrificing one's children "to the demons." (Ps 106:37)
Up to this point in the narrative, one might have assumed that both daughters had forsaken idolatry and become Yahweh worshipers. Now however it seems clear that Oprah's choice of homeland is a choice for her "gods" and not the one true, living God. Set against the background of Orpah’s choice, the courage and beauty of Ruth’s declaration is all the more poignant. Naomi's assessment is that Orpah has returned to idolatry (cf Nu 21:29). As Orpah goes back, she walks off the pages of Scripture into silence and into oblivion, never to heard from again.
RETURN AFTER YOUR SISTER-IN-LAW: (Jos 24:15;19 2Sa 15:19;20 2Ki 2:2; Lk 14:26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33)
Return (07725)(shub/shuv) essentially means to turn (Josh 19:12), to return (Ge 3:19), to turn back (Ex 14:2), to do again, to change, to withdraw, to bring back, to reestablish, to be returned, to bring back, to take, to restore, to recompense, to answer, to hinder. Shub essentially refers to a reversal or change of direction, an “about face.”
This is the third time Naomi commands Ruth to return to her people! This scene reminds one of the dying words of Joshua who called for a decision saying "choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Jos 24:15)
Jesus call to discipleship echoes a similar demand - If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple." (Lk 14:26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33)
Ruth 1:16 But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where * you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. (NASB: Lockman)
BBE: But Ruth said, Give up requesting me to go away from you, or to go back without you: for where you go I will go; and where you take your rest I will take my rest; your people will be my people, and your God my God.
GWT: But Ruth answered, "Don't force me to leave you. Don't make me turn back from following you. Wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. (GWT)
KJV: And Ruth said, Entreat 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:
NLT: But Ruth replied, "Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Young's Literal: And Ruth saith, 'Urge me not to leave thee -- to turn back from after thee; for whither thou goest I go, and where thou lodgest I lodge; thy people is my people, and thy God my God.
Septuagint (LXX): eipen (3SAAI) de Routh me apantesai (2SAMM) emoi tou katalipein (AAN) se e apostrepsai opisthen sou hoti su opou ean poreuthes poreusomai kai ou ean aulisthes aulisthesomai o laos sou laos mou kai o theos sou theos mou
English of Septuagint: And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following thee; for whithersoever thou goest, I will go, and wheresoever thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God
|BUT RUTH SAID DO NOT URGE TO LEAVE OR TURN BACK: (2Ki 2:2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Lk 24:28;29 Acts 21:13)
But Ruth - A dramatic contrast marking a change in direction of her life from godless, hopeless, pagan Gentile to one grafted into Israel and eventually in the lineage of the Messiah. Whenever you observe a "but" (or other words associated with contrast, such as yet, nevertheless, on the other hand, etc) pause and ask what is the author contrasting? (See more discussion of contrasts) There are over 4000 uses of this little conjunction "but" in the Bible and all of them are important. Howard Hendricks adds that…
Vance Havner quipped that
FOR WHERE YOU GO, I WILL GO (2Sa 15:21; Mt 8:19; Jn 13:37; Rev 14:4):
In effect, Ruth was forsaking all that she had ever known to follow the one true God. She was following in the footsteps of Abraham, who had forsaken his family and his homeland in response to God’s command (Ge 12:1, 2, 3, 4, He 11:8, 9 -see notes He 11:8; 9).
Although not as famous, Scripture records the commitment of another foreigner named Ittai the Gittite a Philistine was in a group of 600 men from Gath who had come to the side of David in Jerusalem. As King David fled Jerusalem, this group of 600 marched by David who then addressed Ittai saying
Later when David organized and numbered the army at Mahanaim, Ittai was given command of a third part of the force, and seems to have enjoyed equal rank with Joab and Abishai (2Sa 18:2,5,12).
Compare Ruth's famous commitment with Peter's profession -
Peter however momentarily shrank back (Mt 26:75), but did eventually follow through, tradition teaching that he was crucified upside down (cf Lk 22:31,32).
WHERE YOU LODGE, I WILL LODGE:
She did not know if she was going to a cottage or if she would even have a place to lay her head, so total was her sweet surrender. This is reminiscent of Jesus' reply to those professed a desire to follow Him.
Ruth was willing to follow Naomi wherever it led!
YOUR PEOPLE SHALL BE MY PEOPLE: (Ruth 2:11; 12 Ps 45:10; Isa 14:1)
As Boaz reiterates in the next chapter, Ruth "left (her) father and (her) mother and the land of (her) birth, and came to a people that (she) did not previously know" (Ru 2:11-note) and sought refuge under the wings of "the LORD, the God of Israel" (Ru 2:12-note) Boaz's declaration implies that Ruth's parents were still alive, making her commitment to the "Chosen People" even more striking.
Ruth as a foreigner or “sojourner” was entitled to certain privileges such as the right to glean the harvest fields (Lv 19:10).
However, Ruth was not simply a foreigner, but a Moabite and the Law stated that no Moabite could “enter the assembly of the Lord… forever” (Dt 23:3) because of what the Moabites had done to Israel during the wilderness journey (Nu 22-25; Nu 31:15, 16).
Moabites were so abhorred that Jews were forbidden even to “seek their peace (or) their prosperity” (Dt. 23:6). Whether she was aware of this is unknown.
YOUR GOD, MY GOD: (Jos 24:18; Da 2:47; 3:29; 4:37; Ho 13:4; 2Co 6:16;17, 18, 1Th 1:9-note)
Thy God, my God - Ruth makes this confession during the days of the judges when the majority of the "chosen people" chose to forsake the living God and cleave to dead idols.
Ruth's affirmation is similar to the picture of repentance among the Thessalonians who heard the gospel
Ruth's action of turning from the idols of Moab and unto Jehovah is an excellent illustration of the meaning of genuine Biblical repentance (click discussion)
It has been well said that faith is not only believing in spite of evidence but obeying in spite of the consequence. Ruth and Esther point the way to that kind of dynamic and exciting faith and all believers do well to emulate their excellent example. True faith is not based on empirical evidence but on divine assurance (He 11:1-note) and ''is the gift of God'' (Ep 2:8-note)
Alexander Maclaren characterize Ruth's words this way:
How did Ruth know Naomi's God ("your God")? Clearly Naomi’s relationship with God had had an impact on Ruth. The application is clear -- Can people look at your life, as Ruth looked at Naomi’s, and say "I want your God to be my God!"?
Our trust in God, and turning towards Him in tough times (as exemplified by Naomi who still blesses/prays for them in the name of Jehovah - Ru 1:8, 9), will often be the very thing that draws others to the Lord. Let’s be the kind of persons who draw others to us, and through our friendship, to our God.
Spurgeon draws out this application
Looking at these events from a slightly different light, the events suggest that ten years of Naomi’s "compromise" in Moab was not accompanied by Ruth confessing the God of Israel. Yet as soon as Naomi says, "I’m going back to the God of Israel and put my fate in His hands" Ruth stands with her. Do you see an application to your own life? If we think we will persuade our friends or relatives to come to Jesus by our compromise, we are mistaken. We may be very sincere, albeit sincerely mistaken. Only a Spirit emboldened stand for Jesus is what we must exhibit.
Do you have unsaved family members? Most of us do.
The important lesson is to remember that you should not try to coerce or coax them into the kingdom by a watered down or compromised "Christian" message. Don't make the word of Christ, the word of the Cross void (empty) of its life giving power (1Cor 1:17, 18).
Maclaren adds that…
Committed To Serve
Wherever you go, I will go; … your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. —Ruth 1:16
Searching to know life's true meaning?
Choices (Ruth 1:11-18) - A friend once told me: "Joe, I’ve come to realize that my life is not made by the dreams that I dream but by the choices that I make."
When we’re involved in serving
Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.
|Ruth 1:17 "Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me." (NASB: Lockman)|
|GWT: Wherever you die, I will die, and I will be buried there with you. May the LORD strike me down if anything but death separates you and me!" (GWT)
ICB: And where you die, I will die. And there I will be buried. I ask the Lord to punish me terribly if I do not keep this promise: Only death will separate us. (ICB: Nelson)
KJV: 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.
NLT: I will die where you die and will be buried there. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!" (NLT - Tyndale House)
Young's Literal: Where thou diest I die, and there I am buried; thus doth Jehovah to me, and thus doth He add -- for death itself doth part between me and thee.'
|Septuagint (LXX): kai ou ean apothanes (2SAAS) apothanoumai (1SFMI) kakei taphesomai (1SFMI) tade poiesai moi kurios kai tade prostheie (3SAAO) hoti thanatos diastelei (3SFAI) ana meson emou kai sou
English of Septuagint: And wherever thou die, I will die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if I leave thee, for death only shall divide between me and thee
|WHERE YOU DIE I WILL DIE THERE I WILL BE BURIED:
Ruth is identifying totally with Naomi, which is a perfect picture of covenant wherein two become one and co-mingle their lives. But remember that commitment comes with a cost.
THUS MAY THE LORD DO TO ME AND WORSE IF ANYTHING BUT DEATH PARTS YOU AND ME:
LORD do to me and worse - This is a familiar oath formula (1Sa 3:17; 25:22; 2Sa 3:9;35 19:13; 1Ki 2:23; 19:2; 20:10; 2Ki 6:31). The speaker calls for a terrible fate to befall someone if the oath is not fulfilled. Ruth therefore pronounces a curse upon herself, elevating the preceding promise to a formal, unconditional level. If she is not faithful to her promise, she agrees to become an object of divine judgment. (Acts 20:24)
Ruth invoked the covenant name of God, Jehovah, for the first and only time in this self-imprecation. Her commitment of no separation even by death may refer to the Israelite custom of burying members of the same family in a family tomb.
Ruth is a good Old Testament illustration of total surrender similar to that seen with the Apostle Paul who said
Paul emphasized that
Devotional from Today in the Word
|Ruth 1:18 When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her. (NASB: Lockman)|
|GWT: When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she ended the conversation. (GWT)
KJV: When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
Young's Literal: And she seeth that she is strengthening herself to go with her, and she ceaseth to speak unto her;
|Septuagint (LXX): idousa (AAPFSN) de Noemin hoti krataioutai (3SPPI) aute tou poreuesthai met' autes ekopasen (3SAAI) tou lalesai (AAN) pros auten eti
English of Septuagint: And Noemin seeing that she was determined to go with her, ceased to speak to her any more
WHEN SHE SAW THAT SHE WAS DETERMINED: (Acts 21:14)
The Hebrew verb for determined means to stiffen one's self firmly upon a thing which pictures Ruth as strong in her resolve and steadfast in her determination not to go back to her own country, but to go forward with Naomi to the degree that nothing could move her from her firm purpose of mind.
Paul when he had counted
Women and men of strength of character are people of determination and focus. May we all be challenged and motivated by their godly examples to be likewise.
In a devotional from Our Daily Bread we read:
Drink deep of God's goodness, His faithfulness too,
Johnstown Flood - Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. —Ruth 1:16
Beyond the losses of this life
Spurgeon applies these truths
TO GO WITH HER SHE SAID NO MORE TO HER:
The Hebrew means “she ceased speaking to her” not implying that Naomi was completely silent but that she stopped trying to convince her to go back to Moab.
Biblical Illustrator suggest an application regarding Naomi's actions: