|Ruth 1:6: Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the LORD had visited His people in giving them food. (NASB: Lockman)|
ASV: 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 Jehovah had visited his people in giving them bread.
BBE: So she and her daughters-in-law got ready to go back from the country of Moab, for news had come to her in the country of Moab that the Lord, in mercy for his people, had given them food.
CEV: When Naomi heard that the LORD had given his people a good harvest, she and her two daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab and go to Judah. As they were on their way there, (CEV)
GWT: Naomi and her daughters-in-law started on the way back from the country of Moab. (While they were still in Moab she heard that the LORD had come to help his people and give them food. (GWT)
KJV: When 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.
NIV: When she heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. (NIV - IBS)
Young's Literal: And she riseth, she and her daughters-in-law, and turneth back from the fields of Moab, for she hath heard in the fields of Moab that God hath looked after His people, --to give to them bread.
Septuagint (LXX): kai aneste (3SAAI) aute kai ai duo numphai autes kai apestrepsan (3PAAI) ec agrou Moab hoti ekousan (3PAAI) en agro Moab hoti epeskeptai (3SRMI) kurios ton laon autou dounai (AAN) autois artous (Click here for explanation of abbreviations in parentheses after each verb)
English of Septuagint: And she rose up and her two daughters-in-law, and they returned out of the country of Moab, for she heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited his people to give them bread.
|THEN SHE AROSE:
Arose (6965) (quwm/qum) from a root word which describes the physical action or rising up or standing as the result of rising up.
This same phrase was used to describe David's arising and moving on after his first son's death…
Jehovah had "surely seen the affliction of" (cf Ex 3:7 3:8) Naomi and so moves heaven and earth (rain, sun, fruitful grain harvest) to inspire Naomi to move on.
There is a time when we must choose to RISE UP and lay hold of what we have been laid hold of by Christ for. we must forget
We must make a decision of our will to…
How important it is for us to look expectantly for the hand of the LORD in every event in our life. He is in the process of training up His children to full maturity, that we "may share His holiness" (Heb 12:10, 11-note) and be "conformed to the image of His Son" (Ro 8:29-note), the Perfecter (Finisher) of the race of life (He 12:2-note).
So keep your eyes fixed on Jesus as you "walk through the valley of the shadow of death" (Ps 23:4-note), as your dreams die and all earthly hope seems lost. Recall to your mind God's promise of His faithfulness (Lam 3:21, 22, 23, 24) even when the clouds seem to hide Him. That's when faith walks out and takes God at His Word (Heb 11:6-note) and is enabled to see "Him Who is unseen" (Heb 11:27).
"God is in the heavens. He does whatever He pleases" (Ps 115:3-note) exercising His sovereignty, orchestrating events behind the scenes and all the while allowing each individual free will to make the decisions that determine destiny.
Naomi's decision would indeed determine the destiny of Ruth and of many who would come after her. Let us thank God that she arose from her grieving and moved toward God, although had she chosen not to do so, God's purpose of raising up a Redeemer would not have been thwarted (Job 42:2) (Study the "Attributes of God")
Matthew Henry calls our attention to "The good affection Naomi bore to the land of Israel" specifically noting that "Though she could not stay in it while the famine lasted, she would not stay out of it when the famine ceased. Though the country of Moab had afforded her shelter and supply in a time of need, yet she did not intend it should be her rest for ever" for as Henry rightly observes "no land should be that but the holy land, in which the sanctuary of God was, of which He had said, "This is My resting place for ever and ever" (Ps 132:14-note, NIV) Naomi began to think of returning, after the death of her two sons. When death comes into a family, it ought to reform what is amiss there. Earth is made bitter to us, that heaven may be made dear."
WITH HER DAUGHTERS-IN-LAW THAT SHE MIGHT RETURN (turn back) FROM THE LAND OF MOAB:
The word for "her daughters-in-law" is literally "her brides" or the brides of her sons. "Land of Moab" is more accurately the "fields of Moab". It's interesting that in the fields of Moab where the grain was grown that Naomi learned there was food in the fields of Israel.
Return (07725)(shub/shuv) conveys the basic meaning of movement, spatially or spiritually and is variously translated turn back, restore and repent. Shub refers to a reversal or change of direction, an “about face.” Shub describes movement back to the point of departure or reversal of direction.
Scripture is replete with picturesque idioms emphasizing man's responsibility in repentance -
Observe the central role of our heart. All these expressions of man's activity are pictured in the Hebrew verb shub which combines the two requisites of repentance -- turn from evil and turn to God and to good. However lest we forget that even repentance is a gift of His grace, we need to be mindful not to "think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience" for it is "the kindness of God leads (us) to repentance" (Ro 2:4-note)
Repenters always find God has the "welcome mat" out.
Is it possible for someone who has dwelt in a "distant land" for many years to come home again? The answer is always "yes". Speaking to rebellious Israel God declared that
Have you wandered away from God? (And which of us can honestly say "Not me, no never"!) Do you think you been away too long? Do you fear His response if you were to return now?
Take heart for Jesus is
Even as God was leading Naomi back , He had affirmed to Jacob
In both Naomi's and Jacob's "returns" God was working out His sovereign purpose of redemption.
Bible Knowledge Commentary observes that
To where was Naomi returning? To Israel. To her God. To her people.
Have circumstances occurred in your life that have caused you to meander off the path and into "Moab"?
Encouraged by what transpired in the next 3 chapters in Naomi's life, you can be
In truth every person ever born was at one time in the "land of Moab", helplessly mired in sin, engaged in idolatrous practices and at continual enmity with the Almighty (Ro 5:6, 8, 10-notes Ro 5:6, 5:8, 5:10).
Today in the Word devotional…
FOR SHE HAD HEARD IN THE LAND OF MOAB THAT THE LORD HAD VISITED HIS PEOPLE: (Ge 21:1; 50:25; Ex 3:16; 4:31; 1Sa 2:21; Lk 1:68; 19:44; 1Pe 2:12-note):
For - This word is often a term of explanation, which should prompt a pause to ponder what is the writer explaining. This will usually force you to re-read the text (never a bad thing) and also to check the context. In a sense you are carrying out a "mini-meditation" on the Scriptural text (always a good thing! - Ps 1:2-3, Joshua 1:8).
This is the first mention of God's covenant Name, Jehovah (I Am) in a way that clearly acknowledges He is sovereign and in control of the affairs of both individuals and nations. (Ru 1:13, 21, 2:20, 4:12, 13, 14, 15- see notes Ru 1:13, 1:21, 2:20, 4:12-15). What is so beautiful about Ruth’s story is that it never loses sight of Jehovah, Whose covenant love assures the culmination of this short story and of all history exactly as He has purposed. As you take time to linger and meditate on this narrative jewel, you will find the presence of the "Author and Perfecter" radiating forth from every verse and your faith will be encouraged to hold fast to the One Who is "I Am".
God is not a "genie" but He is truly the great I Am. He is anything and everything we will ever need no matter how dark our circumstances or how hopeless our outlook. The key is to glance at your circumstances but gaze at your God, and your "uplook" will change the perspective of your "outlook"!
Naomi may have felt like God had dealt bitterly but she still sought His face even in the midst of her dark despair! What a challenging lesson for us all. Even when we are feeling hopeless, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus, not on our circumstances. Then we need to behave according to what He leads us to do. In this case He was leading Naomi to return to home and ultimately to her Kinsman-Redeemer. She may have been emotionally downtrodden but she retained her hope in God. Paul experiencing suffering chose a similar attitude declaring
God's people need to learn from the
When Naomi was finding life bleak, Ruth chose to stand by her mother-in-law rather than leave her to face the journey into the future all alone. Ruth's steadfast commitment to Naomi was God's provision to enable her to endure. Naomi was discovering the glorious truth that
God's provision of bread in Israel and Ruth in Moab provided the way of escape for Naomi. And He will do the same for you in your hour of testing. Beloved, trust in Jehovah with all your heart and don't lean on your own ways in your hour of testing.
Visited (06485) (paqad) means primarily to pay attention to or to observe with care or interest. For example Moses gives us a record of the faithfulness and power of God in keeping His promise and providing an heir miraculously through Sarah: …
Again in Genesis as Joseph is about to fall asleep, to the very end firmly trusting in God to carry out His promise (to bring them back to Canaan - a promise God fulfilled 4 centuries later in the exodus) and thus declaring to his brothers…
Paqad can mean to visit for good or for evil. The visit was for good in the present context and is paraphrased with this meaning by the NIV which renders it
David cried out
In sum, paqad conveys the idea that Jehovah directs His attention to His people, inquires into their state and is thus informed and able to take steps to meet their need. God was not deaf or blind to Naomi's suffering, even as He had not been deaf to the groaning of Israel oppressed under the cruel hand of Pharaoh, for as Moses writes
About the same time that "Jehovah visited His people" in Bethlehem, another barren downcast Hebrew woman had a "visit" from Jehovah:
The Greek verb used by the Septuagint (LXX) to translate paqad is episkeptomai (see word study) (1980) (epi = upon + sképtomai = looking at or paying attention to) which has the idea of going to see with the goal of relieving distress, sickness or bondage. The verb often described the visiting of the sick and in the NT almost exclusively refers to a visitation for good. The idea is to look upon one in distress with mercy, favor or regard.
James uses episkeptomai to "define" real religion writing that…
For example, in Luke we find
What a fascinating parallel between Luke and Ruth, where God's visitation draws Naomi back to Bethlehem where Jehovah would accomplish redemption for Ruth and place her in the line of the Messiah, the Redeemer of Israel and all mankind. Naomi had eyes to recognize and a heart to respond to the "Lord's visitation" and was rewarded.
Centuries later Israel is recompensed (negatively) for failure to recognize His visitation, Luke recording Jesus' "Triumphal Entry" into Jerusalem…
Finally Peter reminds us that the certainty of the Lord's "visitation" should motivate godly behavior, exhorting saints to
In the Septuagint (LXX) episkeptomai is found some 127 times and is used almost exclusively to describe a visitation for good or looking toward someone with a view to benefiting him. The psalmist for example prays…
This explains how Jehovah visited or came to the aid of His people.
Solomon writes that
God is restocking the "house of Bread" with "food" (lechem) or bread. We once again see God's sovereignty for
As the psalmist records
The return of physical prosperity foreshadowed the reality of a coming spiritual prosperity through the line of David in the person of Christ. The Chaldee Targum speculates without any Scriptural support that the news of this visitation was conveyed by the mouth of an angel. In the ancient world news was carried to a largely by caravan traders, mariners, and other travelers but exactly how Naomi knew the text does not say. The point is that when God wants us to know something, He will find a way to convey His message, even if he has to make a dumb donkey speak! (cf 2Pe 2:16-note)
The sovereignty of God permeates the pages of Ruth:
Matthew Henry observes that
J Vernon McGee draws an interesting parallel with the story of the prodigal son commenting that now Naomi
Some practical thoughts regarding these events:
Naomi would have died in Moab had God not intervened. If God choose not to arrest and arouse us, we all would perish in "Moab". However, Jehovah speaks sending "awakening providences", sometimes as affliction and loss and sometimes in the form of His unmerited goodness. In both situations it is the kindness of God which leads us to repentance (Ro 2:4-note).
Dear reader, are you still in "Moab" having never lived in "Bethlehem", having never responded to His call to repent and in danger of dying in "Moab" and entering into the "eternal fire" (Mt 25:41, cf 2Thes 1:6 1:7 1:8 1:9 1:10)?
Dearly beloved saint, have you wandered off the "highway of holiness" (Isa 35:8) to "Moab" where you are practicing idolatry that you know God despises and which He must discipline? Is God speaking to you through your circumstances? Good news from the LORD’s land comes to the awakened wanderer. Are you listening? Will you repent and walk in the light dear one? (1Jn 1:7 1:8 1:9)
God so loved those in "Moab" that He gave
Let His lovingkindness which is new every morning awaken in your heart an attitude of gratitude and contrition.
Tyng (Biblical Illustrator) adds
|Ruth 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. (NASB: Lockman)|
KJV: 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.
NLT: With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah.
Young's Literal: And she goeth out from the place where she hath been, and her two daughters-in-law with her, and they go in the way to turn back unto the land of Judah.
|Septuagint (LXX): kai exelthen (3SAAI) ek tou topou ou en ekei kai ai duo numphai autes met' autes kai eporeuonto (3PIMI) en te hodo tou epistrepsai (AAN) eis ten gen Iouda
English of Septuagint: And she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her: and they went by (imperfect tense = were going, proceeding by) the way to return to the land of Juda.
|SO SHE DEPARTED FROM THE PLACE WHERE SHE WAS: (2Ki 8:3)
Scofield places the date of these events at about 1100BC.
What is "the place where she was"? It was a dreary "place" was it not? Multiplied losses - lost husband, lost sons, lost dreams, lost hopes of ever raising a family, etc. Naomi could have stayed at "the place where she was" but upon hearing about the work of Jehovah, she made a choice. Our losses may or may not be of the same magnitude and/or the same character as those of Naomi, but the principle remains the same. We each have a choice - we can choose to move back to "the land" of God's promises or we can stay in the "miry clay of Moab". Beloved, if you find yourself in "Moab" today, run to His word, filled with magnificent and precious promises, and you will find that His arms are open and His promises are "yea and amen" in Christ Jesus. So run to Him dear suffering, afflicted saint. He will succour your soul. Depart "from the place where you are" and return into the arms of the Lover of your soul.
Departed (3318) (yatsa) "movement away" from some point. It is a very common Hebrew verb and means to go out as from a particular locality or from the presence of a person.
So is what is referred to in inductive Bible study as a term of conclusion. Here "so" would equate with "Therefore" or "for this reason". Whenever you see a term of conclusion stop and ask why is it "there for"? Why did she depart? Because she had "heard". May God give us all ears to hear His voice in our darkest distress so that we might journey back into the light and the joy of the Lord. How Naomi's response sets her apart from so many others! Many hear of the good things God is doing in the lives of others, and only wish they could have some of it - instead of actually setting out to receive it! Naomi could have stayed in Moab all of her life wishing things were different, but she did something to receive what God had to give her. It is also noteworthy that Naomi repeats a familiar pattern of behavior of the patriarchs, Abraham and Isaac, both of whom had left their homeland because of famine, and both of whom returned when food became available.
Mills adds that this
From later events indicating that Naomi had a practical understanding of the concept of the Kinsman-Redeemer, one can assume that Naomi also had a good understanding of Deuteronomy and so must have known that she could expect to receive the humane treatment that Israelite law accorded to aliens and widows. Moses for example had written that
Return (7725) (shub/shuv) describes movement back to the point of departure or reversal of direction. This same Hebrew verb is used in Ru 4:15 (see note) where God is referred to as "a Restorer (Shub) of life". (cf Ps 23:3-note "He restores [shub] my soul")
David uses shub to describe the restorative power of the Word of God writing…
The Septuagint (LXX) uses an interesting Greek verb, epistrepho (1994) (from epí = motion toward + strépho = turn) to translate shub. The LXX uses epistrepho some 416 times to convey the ideas of restore, return or repent, any or all of these ideas being compatible with Naomi's "return". Epistrepho literally means a change of direction and figuratively also refers to such a change which conveys the idea of repentance or the change of one's mind. For example epistrepho is used by Paul to describe the formerly pagan worshipping Thessalonians who…
In Naomi's case epistrepho could reflect simply a literal turning back toward her home country, although in the context of the story, this point in time clearly marks a decisive moment which we discover has significant spiritual implications.
Dear reader, perhaps you have wandered off to "Moab" and need to make a definite decision to return to "Bethlehem" and "Bethlehem's greatest Son", the Lord Jesus Christ. Rest assured He is waiting for you to "Return to Bethlehem", as He so poignantly taught in the story of the Prodigal Son, who in a critical moment made the right decision to return declaring…
Clearly the two daughter-in-laws saw something in Naomi - perhaps her piety - and were persuaded to go along with her to Bethlehem. Whatever they saw in Naomi, it attracted them. Do others look at my life and desire to come along on the journey? Is my walk with the Lord something that makes others say, "I want that also!"
They had begun their return to the House of Bread (Bethlehem) and the Land of Praise Jehovah (Judah). This is a good journey for us all to begin when circumstances appear humanly hopeless!
If you feel like Naomi in a foreign land with no hope, a good place to begin your journey is by retracing your steps back into the presence of the Almighty, even like the busy church at Ephesus to whom Jesus declared:
Begin your journey back by remembering how you felt when the Spirit wooed you and you fell in love with Jesus.
There's a bit of "prone to wander" in all of us, but God's covenant love remains available to the all who would repent (Acts 3:19, 20) and who would seek Him diligently (Heb 11:6-note) with a whole heart. Let us return (Hos 6:1) to our God if we have strayed. He is not there to condemn us but to comfort us even as the father welcomed home his prodigal son. (Luke 15:20, 21).
TO THE LAND OF JUDAH:
Judah means "Praise Yahweh" and is derived from Leah's reaction to her bearing Jacob his third son, Moses writing that Leah "conceived again and bore a son and said "This time I will praise Yahweh" Therefore she named him Judah… " (Gen 29:35)
Ness adds a note to ponder:
|Ruth 1:8 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. (NASB: Lockman)|
Young's Literal: And Naomi saith to her two daughters-in-law, 'Go, turn back, each to the house of her mother; Jehovah doth with you kindness as ye have done with the dead, and with me;
GWT: Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back! Each of you should go back to your mother's home. May the LORD be as kind to you as you were to me and to our loved ones who have died
|Septuagint (LXX): kai eipen (3SAAI) Noemin tais numphais autes poreuesthe (2PPMM) de apostraphete (2PAPM) hekaste eis oikon metros autes poiesai (3SAAO) kurios meth' humon eleos kathos epoiesate (2PAAI) meta ton tethnekoton (RAPMPG) kai met' emou
English of Septuagint: And Noemin said to her daughter-in-law, Go now, return each to the house of her mother: the Lord deal mercifully with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
AND NAOMI SAID TO HER TWO DAUGHTER IN LAWS GO, RETURN EACH OF YOU TO HER MOTHER'S HOUSE: (Jos 24:15-28; Lk 14:26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33)
By all common sense, this was the wise thing to do. Orpah and Ruth had stronger family ties in Moab than they did with Naomi, so it made sense for them to stay in Moab instead of going to a new land - Israel - with Naomi.
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.”
MAY THE LORD DEAL KINDLY WITH YOU AS YOU HAVE DEALT WITH THE DEAD AND WITH ME: (Php 4:18, 4:19 2Ti 1:16, 1:17, 1:18) (Ruth 1:5-note; Ru 2:20-note; Ep 5:22-note; Ep 6:2-note; Eph 6:3-note Col 3:18-note, Col 3:24-note)
Naomi's discourse in this verse takes the form of a prayer. Note that despite Naomi's distressed state, prayer was part of her everyday language! This is as it should be for all of God's children who pray "without ceasing" (1Thes 5:17), as part of their daily conversation, praying while sitting, standing, walking; praying silently, out loud, for others, with others, in short keeping the "receiver off the hook" and praying whenever the opportunity presents itself.
In Moab, Naomi prayed to the one true God, the God of Israel, for geography is no barrier to prayer. Prayer when parting with friends is a good practice.
Paul parting with the Ephesian elders for the last time "knelt down and prayed with them all." (Acts 20:36)
Naomi prays specifically that God would deal with the two Moabite widows as they had benevolently dealt with her family --
Naomi is saying in essence "Ruth, Orpah. You have shown kindness. May God show you kindness in turn." Paul would add
What harvest are you going to reap as a result of your thoughts, words and deeds this week? For example, David choose to show kindness (hesed -see below) to Mephibosheth because of the kindness shown to him by Mephibosheth's dead father, Jonathan, saying
A. Thomson adds that the kindness of the two girls likely reflected the kindness of Naomi, adding that
Kindly (02617) is the important Hebrew word "hesed/chesed/heced" which is used over 200 times in the OT and most often translated as "lovingkindness". Hesed is the idea of faithful love in action and often in the OT refers to God's lovingkindness expressed in His covenant relationship with Israel (His "loyal love" to His "Wife" Israel [cp Hos 2:18, 19, 20, Is 54:5, Je 31:32] = His "loyalty to covenant"). God's hesed His denotes persistent and unconditional tenderness, kindness, and mercy, a relationship in which He seeks after man with love and mercy (cp God immediately seeking man Ge 3:9, who was immediately hiding Ge 3:8 trying to cover their shame Ge 3:7 - contrast God's lovingkindness manifest by spilling blood to provide skins to cover their shame! Ge 3:21). Hesed expresses both God’s loyalty to His covenant and His love for His people along with a faithfulness to keep His promises.
Hesed expresses both God’s loyalty to His covenant and His love for His people along with a faithfulness to keep His promises. The basic idea of hesed conveys the performance of acts of kindness, love or mercy to someone.
Alec Motyer has described God's hesed or covenant love as
Huey adds that
An act of hesed presupposes the existence of a relationship between the parties involved. Where no formal relationship has previously been recognized, the person exercising hesed has chosen to treat the recipient as if such a relationship did exist. Naomi thus expressed the prayerful wish that Jehovah’s lovingkindness would cover her daughters-in-law, who as Moabites were outside of His covenant with Israel.
As the story unfolds we see that the foreigner Ruth displayed this godly loyal love (hesed) to Naomi and Boaz in turn showed the same noble quality toward Ruth.