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Old and New Testament.
who were in the
court, and the
said, "We are
woman who is
Israel; and may
Amplified: And all the people at the gate and the elders said,
We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your
house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the household of Israel.
May you do worthily and get wealth (power) in Ephratah and be famous
in Bethlehem. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
CEV: The town leaders
and the others standing there said: We are witnesses to this. And we
pray that the LORD will give your wife many children, just as he did
Leah and Rachel, the wives of Jacob. May you be a rich man in the
tribe of Ephrath and an important man in Bethlehem. (CEV)
GWT: All the people who were at the
gate, including the leaders, said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD
make this wife, who is coming into your home, like Rachel and Leah,
both of whom built our family of Israel. So show your strength of
character in Ephrathah and make a name for yourself in Bethlehem. (GWT)
all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are
witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like
Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do
thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
NJB: All the people at the gate said, 'We are witnesses'; and the
elders said, 'May Yahweh make the woman about to enter your family
like Rachel and Leah who together built up the House of Israel. Grow
mighty in Ephrathah, be renowned in Bethlehem! (NJB)
Young's Literal: And
all the people who are in the gate say -- also the elders --
'Witnesses! Jehovah make the woman who is coming in unto thy house as
Rachel and as Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and do
thou virtuously in Ephrathah, and proclaim the Name in Beth-Lehem;
Click here for explanation of verb
abbreviations in parentheses after each verb
Septuagint: And all the people
who were in the gate said, We are witnesses: and the elders
said, The Lord make thy wife who goes into thy house, as Rachel
and as Lia, who both together built the house of Israel, and
wrought mightily in Ephratha, and there shall be a name to thee
J Vernon McGee -- Ruth 4:1.mp3
J Vernon McGee -- Ruth 4:2-5.mp3
J Vernon McGee -- Ruth 4:6-7.mp3
J Vernon McGee -- Ruth 4:8-22.mp3
John Piper -- Ruth 4 - The Best is Yet to Come.mp3
AND ALL THE PEOPLE WHO WERE IN
THE COURT AND THE ELDERS SAID "WE ARE WITNESSES":
('ed) refers to someone who will be accepted to bear a true
testimony in various situations for various reasons.
Elders (02205) (zaqen
related to zaqan = beard) has the basic meaning of old or aged.
In this context zaqen describes those men in the city who were powerful
and influential. In general, the elders functioned in both a political
and judicial role. They would hear disputes, weigh the evidence and
render a decision. As alluded to earlier, in the case of Boaz, they were
functioning primarily as witnesses rather than as jurors.
Centuries later "Ten" became the number necessary for a
benediction or a quorum for a synagogue meeting.
Spurgeon writes that...
Ruth was highly privileged in having such a kinsman as Boaz, who was not
content, for her to glean in his fields, but who took her as his wife;
and your great Kinsman intends that you should be betrothed unto him
forever, and He will bring you to His heavenly home at the marriage
supper of the Lamb. (from his sermon "Job's Sure Knowledge")
MAY THE LORD MAKE THE WOMAN
WHO IS COMING INTO YOUR HOME
BOTH OF WHOM BUILT THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL: (Ge 24:60; Ps 127:3,
4, 5; 128:3, 4, 5, 6) (Ge 29:32, 33, 34, 35; 30:1-24; 35:16, 17, 18, 19,
20; 46:8-27; Nu 26:1-65) (Dt 25:9; Pr 14:1)
May the LORD make... -
This is a prayer for blessing by the populace in general, which is
amazing in view of the fact that these are the selfish days of the
Judges (Jdg 21:25)
In recalling these famous Jewish
mothers, the people's remembrance went back almost 900 years to about
were the wives
is named first and had been barren for many years
before she bore children. Similarly Ruth had been barren in Moab. The
witnesses expressed their prayer that Boaz would be rewarded with
a family comparable to that of Jacob (or Israel), for in Israel children were considered a
blessing and not a burden...
Psalm 127:3 Behold, children
are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They shall not be
ashamed, When they speak with their enemies in the gate. (Ps
127:3, 4, 5).
Psalm 128:3 Your wife shall be
like a fruitful vine, Within your house, Your children like olive plants
Around your table.
4 Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed sho fears the LORD.
5 The LORD bless you from Zion, and may you see the prosperity of
Jerusalem all the days of your life.
6 Indeed, may you see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel! (Ps
128:3, 4, 5, 6)
Why does it say
built the house of Israel?
Because they were Jacob's 2 wives and between them and
their two handmaids they bore all of Jacob's sons.
Little did they realize that from this union would issue Israel’s
greatest kings including David and the Eternal King, the Lord Jesus
AND MAY YOU ACHIEVE WEALTH
AND BECOME FAMOUS IN BETHLEHEM: (Ru 1:2-note;
Ge 35:16,19; Ps 132:6; Mic 5:2; Mt 2:6)
A prayer and a prophecy ultimately
fulfilled in the Messiah (see
"But as for you, Bethlehem
Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One
(Messiah) will go forth for Me to be Ruler in Israel. His goings forth
are from long ago, from the days of eternity (literally = "the days of
old" a phrase used also in Is 63:9, 11; Amos 9:11; Mal. 3:4). (Messiah
was to be brought forth as a baby in Bethlehem, but was also to have
been "going forth" from eternity. Such an amazing prophecy sounds
impossible, but was literally fulfilled when God became man, in divine
incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ." (Mic 5:2)
'AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF
JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU
SHALL COME FORTH A RULER (the Messiah), WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE
ISRAEL.'" (Mt 2:6)
The use of the word Ephrathah is
not without significance for the word means “fruitful.” The people wanted
Ruth to be fruitful and famous and bring honor to their little town. It
was the place where Rachel was buried (Ge35:19), but more importantly,
it would be known as the place where Jesus Christ was born. Ephrathah
(also spelled Ephrath and Ephrathah) was another name for Bethlehem.
famous - Literally means to "call
a name" (qera' shem)
expressing a wish for children who would be reckoned descendants of
Boaz. Ultimately their offspring would receive "the name which is above
every name" (Php 2:9).
4:12 "Moreover, may your
house be like the
give you by
BBE: May your family be like the family of Perez, the son whom
Tamar gave to Judah, from the offspring which the Lord may give you by
this young woman.
CEV: May the children you have by this young woman make your
family as famous as the family of Perez, the son of Tamar and Judah.
GWT: Also, from the descendant whom the LORD will give you from this
young woman, may your family become like the family of Perez, the son
whom Tamar gave birth to for Judah." (GWT)
KJV: And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto
Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
through the children Yahweh will give you by this young woman, may
your family be like the family of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.' (NJB)
Young's Literal: and let thy house be as the house of Pharez (whom Tamar bare to
Judah), of the seed which Jehovah doth give to thee of this young
Septuagint: And let thy
house be as the house of Phares, whom Thamar bore to Juda, of
the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this handmaid
MOREOVER, MAY YOUR HOUSE BE LIKE THE HOUSE OF PEREZ
WHOM TAMAR BORE TO JUDAH: (Ge 46:12; Nu 26:20, 21,
22) (Ge 38:29; 1Chr 2:4; Mt 1:3)
Little did they realize that from this union would issue Israel’s
greatest kings including David and the Eternal King, the
Messiah, the Lord Jesus
Perez? Probably because he
like Obed was the offspring of a Levirate-like marriage
similar to that of Ruth and Boaz.
Tamar was a
non-Israelite wife of Judah's son Er (Ge 38:6) who became a widow
(Ge 38:7) and faced barrenness took into her own hands. She was
refused levirate marriage to Judah's remaining
son Shelah (Ge 38:14).
Tamar then invoked deception, disguising herself as a harlot and
enticing Judah into a sinful liaison which resulted in the birth of
twin boys . Perez, the first born of the twins became the main
ancestor of the Ephrathites and Bethlehemites. Tamar and
Judah sinned when
they acquired a child, but Ruth and Boaz acted righteously and God
rewarded them. And yet all were in the line of the Greater Kinsman
Perez was born under scandalous circumstances, his offspring became
one of the most important clans in Judah (and one of the most godly
Perez is an appropriate comparison
here, because (1) he was an ancestor of Boaz, (2) he was born to Tamar
by a surrogate father (Judah) after the death of her husband (and
refusal of the oldest brother to carry out the role of "levirate
marriage"), and (3)
he had an unbroken line of male descendants extending over several
generations (Ru 4:18, 19, 20, 22, 22).
THROUGH THE OFFSPRING WHICH THE LORD SHALL GIVE YOU
BY THIS YOUNG WOMAN: (1Sa
offspring - Through the seed. Fruchtenbaum notes that "The
rabbinic interpretation sees this as messianic, as it is written in
Psalm 89:36: His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun
(zera = seed) ...Jehovah shall give" is testimony to the
their understanding that...
children are a "gift of Jehovah.
The fruit of the womb is a reward." (Ps 127:3)
Comment: A truth we have
sadly forgotten in America.
Note that the offspring or
firstborn would be considered the son of Mahlon and any additional
sons born would legally be the offspring of Boaz. Moses explains
"And it shall be that the
first-born whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother,
that his name may not be blotted out from Israel." (Dt 25:6)
The LORD will give you -
God's part. Ru 4:13 "Jehovah enabled her to conceive."
By this young woman - Man's
(woman's) part in the divine orchestration.
Young woman (05291)
(na'arah) a girl, a young woman or a maidservant. It was used
to indicate a young girl who was marriageable as in Genesis, where
Moses records Isaac's servant prayer for a wife for Isaac...
Now may it be that the girl
(na'arah) to whom I say, 'Please let down your jar so that I
may drink,' and who answers, 'Drink, and I will water your camels
also';-- may she be the one whom Thou hast appointed for Thy servant
Isaac; and by this I shall know that Thou hast shown lovingkindness to
my master." (Genesis 24:14)
Ruth, and she
wife, and he
went in to her. And the
enabled her to
conceive, and she
birth to a
BBE: So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and he went in to
her, and the Lord made her with child and she gave birth to a son.
CEV: Boaz married Ruth, and the LORD blessed her with a son.
GWT: Then Boaz took Ruth home, and she became his wife. He slept with
her, and the LORD gave her the ability to become pregnant. So she gave
birth to a son. (GWT)
KJV: So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto
her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.
NJB: So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. And when they
came together, Yahweh made her conceive and she bore a son. (NJB)
Young's Literal: And Boaz taketh Ruth, and she becometh his wife, and he goeth in
unto her, and Jehovah giveth to her conception, and she beareth a son.
elaben (3SAAI) Boos
Septuagint: And Booz
took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her; and
the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son
SO BOAZ TOOK RUTH AND SHE BECAME HIS WIFE:
The events of at least
months are described in one sentence of fifteen Hebrew words,
including five verbs. We are given no details concerning the kind of
marriage ceremony that united Boaz and Ruth. Neither are we told how
much time elapsed between their marriage and the birth of their first
Ruth went from...
loneliness to love,
toil to rest
poverty to wealth
worry to assurance
despair to hope
And so did you and I the moment the Spirit swept us into the
Kingdom of heaven by grace through faith in the satisfactory
substitutionary sacrifice of our great Kinsman Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.
She became his wife -
Fruchtenbaum makes the point that "The ten years in Moab brought
misery, but the few short weeks in Bethlehem brought blessing. Ruth’s
social progression was now complete. First, she was a nochriyah,
meaning a foreigner (Ru 2:10). Second, she was lower than a
shiphah, a lower servant (Ru 2:13). Third, she was upgraded
to an amah, a maidservant (Ru 3:9). Now, fourth, she
became an iishah, a wife (Ru 4:13)" (Ariel's Bible
commentary : The books of Judges and Ruth)
Ponder Paul's reminder to the
Therefore remember, that formerly
you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision"
by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by
human hands-- remember that you were at that time separate
from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and
strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and
without God in the world.
in Christ Jesus you
who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood
of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one,
and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His
flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in
ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man,
thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to
God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. AND HE
CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE
WHO WERE NEAR; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit
to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you
are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,"
AND HE WENT IN TO HER
AND THE LORD ENABLED HER TO CONCEIVE AND SHE GAVE BIRTH TO A SON: (Ruth
4:12; Ge 20:17,18; 21:1, 2, 3; 25:21; 29:31; 30:2,22,23; 33:5;
1 Sa1:27; 2:5; Ps 113:9; 127:3)
(bow) in to her -This phrase occurs 8x in the NAS in the Old
Testament as a euphemism for sexual intercourse (Gen 29:23; 30:4;
38:2, 18; Jdg 16:1; Ru 4:13; 2Sa 12:24; Ezek 23:44).
LORD enabled (05414)
(nathan = to give) her". Literally the Hebrew reads
"Jehovah gave her conception", which He did not give her for 10
years of marriage to Mahlon in Moab! Ruth went from barrenness to
Moses gives a similar testimony
to the faithfulness of God writing...
Now the LORD saw that Leah was
unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. (Genesis
Then God remembered Rachel, and God
gave heed to her and opened her womb. (Genesis 30:22)
The gift of children was never taken for granted in Israel. The fact
that Boaz and Ruth were able to raise up a son to the deceased Elimelech was evidence of God’s blessing. Ruth had been barren in Moab
for the entire period of her marriage to Mahlon (Ru 1:4, 5-notes). Now her
faithful obedience was rewarded as God gave her conception. The sojourn
in Moab lasted at least 10 years (Ru 1:4-note). By contrast, within a few
short weeks of their return to Bethlehem, Naomi and Ruth had
experienced blessing that was rich and full.
God had been gracious to Ruth back in Moab by giving her the faith to
trust Him and be saved. His grace continued when she moved to
Bethlehem, for He guided her to the field of Boaz where Boaz fell in
love with her. God’s grace continued at the town gate where the nearer
kinsman rejected Ruth and Boaz purchased her. After the marriage, God
poured out His grace on Ruth and Boaz by giving her conception and then by giving her the safe delivery of a
son, whom they named Obed ( means “servant”).
4:14 Then the
"Blessed is the
who has not
today, and may his
BBE: And the women said to Naomi, A blessing on the Lord, who has
not let you be this day without a near relation, and may his name be
great in Israel.
CEV: After his birth, the women said to Naomi: Praise the LORD!
Today he has given you a grandson to take care of you. We pray that
the boy will grow up to be famous everywhere in Israel. (CEV)
GWT: The women said to Naomi, "Praise the LORD, who has remembered today
to give you someone who will take care of you. The child's name will
be famous in Israel. (GWT)
KJV: And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not
left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in
NJB: And the women said to Naomi, 'Blessed be Yahweh who has not left
you today without anyone to redeem you. May his name be praised in
Young's Literal: And the women say unto Naomi, 'Blessed is Jehovah who hath not let
a redeemer cease to thee to-day, and his name is proclaimed in Israel,
Septuagint: And the woman said
to Noemin, Blessed is the Lord, who has not suffered a redeemer
to fail thee this day, even to make thy name famous in Israel
THEN THE WOMEN SAID TO NAOMI "BLESSED IS THE LORD
WHO HAS NOT LEFT YOU WITHOUT A REDEEMER TODAY (Lk 1:58; Ro
12:15; 1Cor 2:26) (Ge 29:35; Ps 34:1, 2, 3; 103:1,2; 1Th 5:18; 2Th
1:3) (Ge 24:27) (Ru 4:21,22; Ge 12:2; Is 11:1, 2, 3, 4; Mt 1:5, 6, 7,
8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
There was similar rejoicing when it
was announced that Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist...
And her neighbors and her relatives
heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they
were rejoicing with her. (Lk 1:58)
These women are in a
sense a picture what Paul was calling for in believers in Romans 12
when he wrote...
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and
weep with those who weep. (Ro 12:15-note)
Blessed is the LORD -
Praise should always be the first response when one perceives
themselves or those around them to be the unworthy benefactors of the
incomparable blessings of the only God Who is worthy to be praised
(2Sa 22:4, Ps 18:3-note).
fearing or doubting with Christ on our side,
We hope to die shouting, `The Lord will provide.'
psalm 103 David offers a blessing to Jehovah (note especially verse 4
which could easily be applied to Naomi's spiritual trek from chapter 1
to chapter 4)...
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities;
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit;
Who crowns you
with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth
is renewed like the eagle.
(Psalm 103:1, 2, 3, 4, 5-see
Who has not left your without a redeemer today - This is the
reason they offered praise to Jehovah.
(sabat) means to rest. The idea in the present context is that
Jehovah has not ceased His work on Naomi's behalf to provide for her
need. In other words, the people clearly see the hand of God in her
life, Boaz's marriage to Ruth and the birth of Obed. To God be the
Naomi again assumes center stage in the drama. What a contrast. In
"the women said,
"Is this Naomi?"
To which Naomi
"Do not call me Naomi; call me
Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. "I went out
full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me
Naomi, since the LORD has witnessed against me and the Almighty has
afflicted me?" (Ro 1:20, 21-note)
Naomi, the central figure in the opening chapter of
the story, is the central figure again at its close. Jehovah has
redeemed her life from the pit, crowned it with His lovingkindness and
satisfied her years replacing her emptiness from
bereavement with fulness and her former bitterness with unspeakable joy.
- see note) may refer to Boaz but most favor this as a reference to Obed.
Fruchtenbaum explains that the redeemer was Obed...
because he will be the one who will
someday redeem the whole of Naomi’s possessions. As the son of Ruth,
he was also the son of Naomi, and as such, would take away Naomi’s
reproach of childlessness. Ruth was the only one who could raise up a
son to inherit the estate of Elimelech, and so this son will comfort
Naomi and tend to her in her old age and thereby become her true goel.
This is the only time the term goel is used of a child, not of an
adult. This is the child that Boaz promised would carry on the name of
Elimelech and inherit his property. (Ibid)
Expositor's Bible Commentary
Some scholars believe Boaz was the
goel but most understand
the child (Obed) to be the goel (Ru 4:15 supports this
interpretation -- "may he also be to you a restorer of life"). It was the child who took away Naomi's reproach of childlessness
and would take care of her in her old age. Those who insist that Boaz
was the goel argue that he was consistently anticipated as the goel (Ru
2:20, 3;9, 3:12, 13, 4:10-see
4:10). Therefore it would be
unusual for that responsibility now to be suddenly transferred to a
baby. Reference to the child as Naomi's goel should be understood in
the context as a blessing pronounced over the child, just as the men
had previously prayed for blessing on Boaz (Ru 4:11)."(Gaebelein,
F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary OT 7 Volume Set: Books:
But in the prophetic context of all of Scripture, the application for
Naomi and for every person ever born is to the Greater Seed of the
Boaz, the Messiah, the Redeemer of all who would receive Him.
came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But
as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become
children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born
not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,
but of God. (John 1:11, 12, 13)
AND MAY HIS NAME
BECOME FAMOUS IN ISRAEL
His name become famous -
More literally "and his name is proclaimed (or called) in Israel"
(shem/sem) is the proper designation of a person. In
Scripture one's name stood for and symbolized who the person was.
(qara') means to call or to summon, but its context determines
the writer's intended shade of meaning.
Their prayer that he might be
famous throughout Israel is shown to have been answered in the
genealogy of David who became Israel's most famous King
and then of course the greater "Son of David",
Christ Jesus - Ru 4:17-note
The New American Commentary
to call/mention a person's name in
a place means to “to keep the name/fame alive,” even after his death,
and to perceive the person as living on in his descendants in the
place named. In the previous context the men at the gate had applied
the prayer to Boaz, with the desire that his name would live on in
Bethlehem. But these women expand the scope of the go'el's fame beyond
the walls of their town to the nation of Israel as a whole.
We can’t blame Naomi for her reaction in Ruth 1, for we all are prone
to react in a similar way to adversity. We can all learn that God’s plan is perfect, and
even when we can’t see clearly what He is doing and the circumstances
desperate, God still knows what He is doing! Learn that all things
really do work
together for good for those who love God, to those who are the called
according to His purpose (Ro 8:28-note)
The women said to Naomi, “Blessed
be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative.”
A wise person once said...
Never be quick to judge whether
something is a blessing or a curse.
The story of Naomi reminds
resonates with this aphorism.
The name Naomi means pleasant, but when bad things happened, Naomi
sought to change her name to match her circumstances. Famine followed
by three deaths led Naomi to conclude that “The hand of the Lord has
gone out against me!” (Ru 1:13-note).
When people greeted her, she said
Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty
Shaddai - God Almighty) has dealt very bitterly with me (Ru
Rather than judge her circumstances in light of her identity as a
follower of the covenant keeping God, Jehovah, who had promised His unfailing love
people, Naomi did what most of us tend to do. She (at least to a
degree) judged God in light
of her circumstances. However when we judge God through the lens of
our "present painful" circumstances, we seldom judge Him aright! In fact, Naomi had
received a God-given treasure she
had not yet discovered, a loyal, loving daughter-in-law (Ru 1:16) from
whom would spring a grandchild who would be in the line of the long
sought for Messiah.
As Naomi’s life shows us, sometimes the worst thing that happens to us
can open the door for the best that God has
to give us.
help me not to judge Your love for me
on the basis of whether today brings good news
or bad. Help me remember that You desire to use
my circumstances to make me more like Jesus. Amen.
God’s purpose for today’s events
may not be seen till tomorrow.
"May he also
be to you a
life and a
age; for your
loves you and
better to you
birth to him." (NASB:
BBE: He will be a giver of new life to you, and your comforter
when you are old, for your daughter-in-law, who, in her love for you,
is better than seven sons, has given birth to him.
CEV: He will make you happy and take care of you in your old age,
because he is the son of your daughter-in-law. And she loves you more
than seven sons of your own would love you. (CEV)
GWT: He will bring you a new life and support you in your old age. Your
daughter-in-law who loves you is better to you than seven sons,
because she has given birth." (GWT)
KJV: And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher
of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is
better to thee than seven sons, hath borne him.
NJB: The child will be a comfort to you and the prop
of your old age, for he has been born to the daughter-in-law who loves
you and is more to you than seven sons.' (NJB)
Young's Literal: and he hath been to thee for a restorer of life, and for a nourisher of thine old age, for thy daughter-in-law who hath loved
thee -- who is better to thee than seven sons -- hath borne him.'
Septuagint: And he shall
be to thee a restorer of thy soul, and one to cherish thy old
age; for thy daughter-in-law which has loved thee, who is better
to thee than seven sons, has born him
MAY HE ALSO BE TO YOU A RESTORER
AND A SUSTAINER
OF YOUR OLD AGE: (Ge 45:11)
It is fascinating that this short book set in the selfish, sinful days of the Judges is
nevertheless filled with benedictions and blessings
of Israel’s people (Ru 1:8, 9 2:4, 12, 20, 3:10, 4:11, 12, 14, 15-see
always has a
of genuine believers no matter how dark the day.
This benediction or prayer is
that Obed might be a "Restorer"
of life to Naomi. Note the
same idiom “life returns,” is found in 1Ki 17:21, 22.
A restorer of life - This
phrase presents a striking contrast to he return to Bethlehem empty
(Ru 1:21). Obed would be Naomi's hope for life because through the
seed of Obed Naomi would be assured that Elimelech's line would not
is the Hebrew verb shuwb which conveys the basic meaning of movement back to point
of departure. To turn, return, go back, do again, restore. Shuwb
is a "key
word (note)" in Ruth occurring 13 times in only 4
chapters, especially in Ruth 1 (Ruth 1:6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16,
21, 22, 2:6, 4:3, 15). Naomi "returned" to where she began and was
"restored" with far more than she could have ever even ask for in
terms of time and eternity. The women were expressing their desire
that with the birth of this lad Naomi will find new hope for life and
that her spirit would be revived. God's blessings have a way of
bringing about revival to our spirits, do they not beloved?
uses the same verb shuwb in Psalm 19 describing the restorative
(reviving Ps 119:25) power of the Word of God, the Law of Jehovah...
law of the LORD is perfect, restoring
the soul. (Ps 19:7)
Spurgeon comments: Making
the man to be returned or restored to the place from which sin had
cast him. The practical effect of the Word of God is to turn the man
to himself, to his God, and to holiness; and the turn or conversion is
not outward alone, "the soul" is moved and renewed. The great means of
the conversion of sinners is the Word of God, and the more closely we
keep to it in our ministry the more likely we are to be successful. It
is God's Word rather than man's comment on God's Word which is made
mighty with souls. When the law drives and the gospel draws, the
action is different but the end is one, for by God's Spirit the soul
is made to yield, and cries, "Turn me, and I shall be turned." Try
men's depraved nature with philosophy and reasoning, and it laughs
your efforts to scorn, but the Word of God soon works a
In Psalm 23:3 we read...
He restores my soul; He guides me
in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
Spurgeon comments: He restores
my soul. When the soul grows sorrowful He revives it; when it is
sinful He sanctifies it; when it is weak He strengthens it. "He"
does it. His ministers could not do it if He did not. His Word would
not avail by itself. "He restores my soul."
Are any of us low in grace?
Do we feel that our spirituality is at its lowest ebb?
He Who turns the ebb into the flood
can soon restore our soul. Pray to Him, then, for
the blessing --
"Restore thou me,
thou Shepherd of my soul!"
Sustainer of old age -
A nourisher of your old age. More literally "sustainer of your gray hair", clearly a euphemism for old
New American Commentary
The perceptiveness of the women to
recognize in the birth of this child the guarantee of Naomi's future
well-being is remarkable! She who had been so concerned about the
security of her daughter-in-law is now rewarded in kind.
(kuwl/kul) means to primarily to hold, "to contain as does a
vessel". In the present context
it takes on the meaning of provide or supply, giving sustenance
necessary for physical survival such as food and water, and in this
verse probably also speaking of the deepest needs, the needs of one's
Kuwl - 36x in the OT - Ge
45:11 (provide); Ge 47:12; 50:21; Ruth 4:15; 2 Sam 19:32f; 20:3; 1 Kgs
4:7, 27; 7:26, 38; 8:27, 64; 17:4, 9; 18:4, 13; 20:27; 2 Chr 2:6; 4:5;
6:18; 7:7; Neh 9:21; Ps 55:22; 112:5; Prov 18:14; Isa 40:12; Jer 2:13;
6:11; 10:10; 20:9; Ezek 23:32; Joel 2:11; Amos 7:10; Zech 11:16; Mal
3:2. NAS = calculated(1), contain(4), contains(1),
endure(5), had to provide(1), held(1), hold(4), holding(2),
maintain(1), provide(4), provided(6), provided them with
sustenance(1), provisioned(1), sustain(3), sustained(1), sustainer(1).
Notice the word kuwl/kul
is used in Ge 50:21 describing Joseph's promise to "provide"
(nourish, sustain) for his brothers and their children during the
remaining years of the famine.
Ultimately God would be Naomi's Restorer even as He is to
all who are willing to
(their) burden upon the LORD" (for) "He will sustain
(kuwl) you. He
will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (Ps 55:22)
Spurgeon - Thy burden, or
what thy God lays upon thee, lay thou it upon the Lord. His wisdom
casts it on thee, it is thy wisdom to cast it on him. He cast thy lot
for thee, cast thy lot on him. He gives thee thy portion of suffering,
accept it with cheerful resignation, and then take it back to him by
thine assured confidence.
He shall sustain thee. Thy bread shall be given thee, thy waters shall
be sure. Abundant nourishment shall fit thee to bear all thy labours
and trials. As thy days so shall thy strength be.
He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. He may move like the
boughs of a tree in the tempest, but he shall never be moved like a
tree torn up by the roots. He stands firm who stands in God. Many
would destroy the saints, but God has not suffered it, and never will.
Like pillars, the godly stand immoveable, to the glory of the Great
J. M. Neale's Commentary.
- Cast thy burden upon him in the same way that the ship in a storm
casts her burden on the anchor, which anchor holds on to its sure
fixing place. And to my mind, that is the more beautiful sense of the
two -- a sense which once entered into, may be followed out in these
glorious verses: --
And I see the good ship riding, all in a perilous road; The low reef
booming on her lee; the swell of ocean poured Sea after sea, from stem
to stern; the mainmast by the board; The bulwarks down; the rudder
gone; the boats stove by the chains. But courage still, brave
mariners, the ANCHOR yet remains: And he will flinch -- no, never an
inch - - until ye pitch sky high; Then he moves his head, as if he
said, "Fear nought; for here am I!"
Kuwl - Can mean "make
provision" - God will make a way when there seems to be no other way
Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909),
former US Senate chaplain: Never attempt to bear more than one
kind of trouble at once. Some people bear three kinds--all they have
had, all they have now, and all they expect to have.
FOR YOUR DAUGHTER-IN-LAW WHO LOVES YOU
AND IS BETTER TO YOU THAN SEVEN SONS:
(Ru 1:16, 17, 18-see
(1Sa 1:8 = "ten sons"; Pr 18:24)
This is an amazing affirmation
of the character of Ruth, the women placing more value on Ruth than
seven sons in a culture that placed tremendous value on even a single
male offspring! It would have been enough to say that Ruth was better
than one son in the ancient Near East. But better than seven sons! A
family with seven sons would have been viewed as the recipient of an
extraordinary measure of blessing from Jehovah. All Bethlehem knew she
was a noble woman (Ru 3:11), but these women place her value above
seven sons; what extraordinary compensation for the two sons Naomi had
lost! And so you can see how esteemed Ruth the Moabitess had
become among the Jewish women.
means to have an affection based on a close relationship, sometimes in
comparison to other persons with a lesser relationship (first use in
Ge 22:2) of the love God calls for from His people (Dt 6:5). This is
the only use of the word 'ahab in Ruth, but this book is replete with
"love in action"! Ruth's loyalty and selflessness on behalf of her
mother-in-law demonstrate clearly that love is far more than an
emotion, but just as importantly (probably more so) involves one's
actions toward or on behalf of another person (the one who is
202x - Ge 22:2; 24:67; 25:28; 27:4, 9, 14; 29:18, 30, 32; 34:3; 37:3,
4; 44:20; Ex 20:6; 21:5; Lv 19:18, 34; Dt 4:37; 5:10; 6:5; 7:8, 9, 13;
10:12, 15, 18, 19; 11:1, 13, 22; 13:3; 15:16; 19:9; 21:15, 16; 23:5;
30:6, 16, 20; Josh 22:5; 23:11; Jdg 5:31; 14:16; 16:4, 15; Ru 4:15;
1Sa 1:5; 16:21; 18:1, 3, 16, 20, 22, 28; 20:17; 2Sa 1:23; 12:24; 13:1,
4, 15; 19:6; 1Kgs 3:3; 5:1; 10:9; 11:1,2; 2Chr 2:11; 9:8; 11:21; 19:2;
20:7; 26:10; Neh 1:5; 13:26; Esth 2:17; 5:10, 14; 6:13; Job 19:19; Ps
4:2; 5:11; 11:5, 7; 26:8; 31:23; 33:5; 34:12; 37:28; 38:11; 40:16;
45:7; 47:4; 52:3, 4; 69:36; 70:4; 78:68; 87:2; 88:18; 97:10; 99:4;
109:17; 116:1; 119:47, 48, 97, 113, 119, 127, 132, 140, 159, 163, 165,
167; 122:6; 145:20; 146:8; Pr 1:22; 3:12; 4:6; 8:17, 21, 36; 9:8;
12:1; 13:24; 14:20; 15:9, 12; 16:13; 17:17, 19; 18:21, 24; 19:8;
20:13; 21:17; 22:11; 27:6; 29:3; Eccl 3:8; 5:10; 9:9; Song 1:3, 4, 7;
3:1, 2, 3; Isa 1:23; 41:8; 43:4; 48:14; 56:6, 10; 57:8; 61:8; 66:10;
Je 2:25; 5:31; 8:2; 14:10; 20:4, 6; 22:20, 22; 30:14; 31:3; La 1:2,
19; Ezek 16:33, 36, 37; 23:5, 9, 22; Da 9:4; Ho 2:5, 7, 10, 12, 13;
3:1; 4:18; 9:1, 10, 15; 10:11; 11:1; 12:7; 14:4; Am 4:5; 5:15; Mic
3:2; 6:8; Zec 8:17, 19; 13:6; Mal 1:2; 2:11. It is notable that none
of these verses speak of love of children to parents, for children are
call to honor, revere and obey their parents (surely manifestations of
their love for them, cp Jn 14:15).
New American Commentary astutely
the women's last statement is the
most remarkable of all. In the beginning Naomi had bitterly accused
God of emptying her life by robbing her of her husband and her two
sons (Ru 1:21). But now the women console her: she may have lost her
sons, but she has gained a daughter-in-law. And what a daughter-in-law
First, Ruth loves Naomi. In fact,
in her action we observe one of the most dramatic demonstrations of
the meaning of the Hebrew word for “love,” 'ahab (0157).
Whereas modern definitions of love tend to view the word as an
emotional term, in the Old Testament love is fundamentally an
expression of covenant commitment, the kind of devotion to which
Ruth had given such eloquent verbal expression in Ru 1:16, 17. But “love” is not demonstrated primarily in words;
it is expressed in acts of ḥesed, placing the welfare of the other
ahead of oneself (Ru 3:10-note).
In fact, more than anyone else in the history of
Israel, Ruth embodies the fundamental principle of the nation's ethic:
“You shall love your God with all
your heart” (Deut 6:5)
“and your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19:18).
In Lev 19:34 Moses instructs the
Israelites to love the stranger as they love themselves. Ironically,
it is this stranger from Moab who shows the Israelites what this
means. Here the verb means “to be helpful
to, to assist, to serve,” hence to love is “to be helpful to someone.”
Second, Ruth has given birth to the go'el. On the surface this may not
seem so remarkable, but when one considers that she had been married
to Mahlon for ten years but had borne no children for him, the
significance of the statement becomes evident. The barren womb has
Third, Ruth is better for Naomi than seven sons. The reference
to “seven sons” is conventional, reflecting the ancient Israelite view
that the ideal family consisted of seven sons. Cf. 1Sa 2:5; Job 1:2;
42:13; 2Macc 7; Acts 19:14, 15, 16, 17. (Daniel
Block: The New American Commentary- Judges, Ruth)
Better than seven sons - This "accolade" coming from Jewish
women is quite extraordinary considering the fact that Ruth was (1) a
foreigner and (2) a woman in a society which clearly placed a premium
on sons. Indeed Ruth was a woman of excellence (Ru 3:11) in every
Although, interpretation of
numbers in Scripture is
with danger, it is fair to say that in general seven
in Scripture represents a number associated with perfection, fullness
We read for example of full
retribution Moses recording that...
whoever kills Cain,
will be taken on him sevenfold (07659). (Ge
similar usage the psalmist prays
O Lord, take sevenfold
vengeance on our neighbors for the scorn they have hurled at you.
Solomon records that...
when he (a thief) is found, he
must repay sevenfold (07659) (Pr
more positive note David invokes seven in a description of the
perfection of God's Word
The words of the LORD are pure words. As silver tried in a furnace on
the earth, refined seven times.(07659)"
describing the inception of the 1000 year Messianic Kingdom (The Millennium) declares that
of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun
will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, on
the day (what "day"? in context the 7 fold brightness could be a
reference to Messiah's second coming with power and great glory! Read
the following verse - Is 30:27) the LORD binds up the fracture of His people (of the Jewish
who will be saved when Messiah returns) and heals the
bruise He has inflicted." (Is 30:26)
writer's point is that Ruth is indeed a woman of excellence (Ru 3:11-note) who even
exceeds this high Hebrew standard... high praise indeed! And also
marking a somewhat ironic refutation of Naomi's earlier lament...
I went out full, but the LORD has brought me back empty (no
husband, no sons). Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has
witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me? (Ru 1:21-note)
Naomi's perspective was skewed. She
saw men (and the loss three of them) as emptiness of such degree that
the presence of one Moabite daughter-in-law held no particular hope or consolation in a patriarchal
society (a male dominated society marked by the
supremacy of the father).
Naomi (at least in Ruth 1) could not see how this poor little Moabitess could compensate for
her loss of one husband and two sons. And yet in climatic section we see the
triumphant testimony that Ruth's presence and progeny was more than
sufficient for Naomi (cp 2Co 12:9-note,
Remember this assessment is by the same women who in chapter one asked
in amazement and shock "Is this Naomi?" (Ru 1:19-note) God's provision does not always take the form we expect and in
fact can even be present even though we fail to recognize it (just as
Naomi failed to recognize His provision of Ruth the Moabitess!).
Oh God, for the sake of
Thy great Name, open our eyes that we might
know what is the hope of Your
calling, what are the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in us
Your saints and what is the surpassing greatness of Your power toward
us who believe." (Ep 1:18, 19-note)
laid him in her
BBE: And Naomi took the child and put her arms round it, and she
took care of it.
CEV: Naomi loved the boy and took good care of him. (CEV)
GWT: Naomi took the child, held him on her lap, and became his guardian. (GWT)
KJV: And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became
nurse unto it.
NJB: And Naomi,
taking the child, held him to her breast; and she it was who looked
after him. (NJB)
Young's Literal: And Naomi taketh the lad, and layeth him in her bosom, and is to
him for a nurse;
Septuagint: And Noemin
took the child and laid it in her bosom, and became a nurse to
THEN NAOMI TOOK
THE CHILD AND LAID HIM IN HER LAP AND BECAME
This conclusion of the narrative
contrasts beautifully with its introduction (Ruth 1:1-5). Deep sorrow
turned to radiant joy and emptiness giving way to fullness.
Laid him in her lap - Placed
him in her bosom (eg Nu 11:12), which describes the an action as when
one embraces a loved one. And thus the Hebrew word "lap" (cheyq)
refers to one's bosom and is used figuratively to describe one who is
cherished (eg, see Dt 28:56NAS and Dt 28:56KJV = "the
husband of her bosom"). The word is applied to both males (Dt 13:7;
28:54; 1 Ki1:2; Je 32:18; Mic 7:5; Eccl 7:9) and females (Dt 28:56; Pr
5:2; La 2:12)
nurse (transliterated - wattehi lo le omenet) - Literally "is to him
for a nurse" or "became his nanny".
is the verb meaning to be firm and thus in this context conveys the idea of providing stability and
confidence, as a baby would find in the arms of a parent (see note
below). It speaks of
nurture, nourishment and caring for a child as would a guardian or a
nurse. The Septuagint translates 'aman with the Greek adjective
tithemos, which means nursing and describes one who takes care, as
a foster parent (eg, used literally this way in 2Sa 4:4 and
figuratively in Is 49:23)
Block explains that...
The verb ’omenet derives
from a root ’aman, “to be firm.” Here the expression denotes a
guardian, “nanny” in the true sense (assuming “nanny” to be an
affectionate diminutive expression for Grandmother/Grandma). The
present action obviously has nothing to do with wet-nursing; nor
should it be viewed as some sort of adoption ritual. Not only would
there be no need for a grandmother to adopt a child legally, but it is
not clear that women in the ancient world were in a position to adopt
children. Within this family context these are not legal actions but
the loving, natural actions of a grandmother, gratefully accepting her
new status and tenderly receiving the baby.
Within the context of the book,
however, the action is much more significant. The image of this woman
taking the child in her arms must also be seen against the backdrop of
her previous experience. She had not only had her bread basket emptied
by famine; in the deaths of her husband and sons her bosom had also
been emptied of her men (Daniel
Block: The New American Commentary- Judges, Ruth) (Bolding
added for emphasis)
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