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CHAPTER 1 Jun. 20 
The Family Background of Ruth
In the days when the judges judged, there was a famine in the land. A man of Bethlehem Judah went with his wife and two sons to live in the country of Moab. 2The name of the man was Elimelech; his wife’s, Naomi; his two sons’, Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. They came into the country of Moab, and stayed there. 3Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4The sons took wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other was Ruth. They lived there about ten years. 5Mahlon and Chilion both died, and the woman was bereaved of her two children and of her husband. 6Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, to return from the country of Moab; for she had heard in the country of Moab how that Yahweh had visited His people in giving them bread. 7She left the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law went with her. They began the journey to the land of Judah. 8Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each of you to your mother’s house, Yahweh deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead, and with me. 9Yahweh grant you that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voice, and wept. 10They said to her, No, but we will return with you to your people. 11Naomi said, Go back, my daughters. Why do you want to go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12Go back, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, ‘I have hope’, if I should even have a husband tonight, and should also bear sons; 13would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from having husbands? No, my daughters, for it grieves me much for your sakes, for the hand of Yahweh has gone out against me.
Ruth Returns with Naomi to Judah 
14They lifted up their voices, and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law farewell, but Ruth stayed with her. 15She said, Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people, and to her god. Follow your sister-in-law. 16Ruth said, Don’t entreat me to leave you, and to return from following after 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; 17where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried. Yahweh do so to me, and more also, if anything but death part you and me. 18When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, she stopped speaking to her. 19So those two travelled to Bethlehem. When they had come to Bethlehem, it happened that all the city was agitated about them, and they asked, Is this Naomi? 20She said to them, Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara; for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21I went out full, and Yahweh has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since Yahweh has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me? 22So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her, who returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of the barley harvest.


1:5 The simple message is that marriage out of the faith and leaving God’s people- no matter how apostate they are- and going into the world, simply doesn’t bring blessing.
1:8,9 Naomi uses the term “Yahweh” freely to her Gentile relatives; she was quite open about her faith, even though the Moabites had their own gods.
1:16 In Jn. 20:18, the risen Jesus stresses to the disciples that their Father is His Father, and their God is His God. He appears to be alluding to Ruth 1:16 LXX where Ruth is urged to remain behind in Moab [cp. Mary urging Jesus?], but she says she will come with her mother in law, even though she is of a different people, and “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God”. This allusion would therefore be saying: ‘OK I am of a different nature / people to you now, but that doesn’t essentially affect our relationship; I so love you, I will always stick with you wherever, and my God is your God’. 
1:17 To swear by a god meant that the swearer had accepted that god as theirs. The fact Ruth swears by Yahweh means that she had accepted Yahweh as her God; thanks to the quiet witness of her mother in law. Ruth came to really love the God of Israel. She willingly decided to forego re-marriage after her husband died for the wonder of the fact she had been allowed in to the commonwealth of Israel. As it happened, this is a story with a happy ending. But she was prepared for it not to be. Note that humanly speaking, Naomi’s life had been a disaster. If Ruth was looking for a God which gave His devotees present blessing, then it wasn’t Yahweh; for all she had seen of Him was in the life of Naomi and her family. That woman had lost all her men, and thus become a nobody in the eyes of society. Naomi wasn’t seeking any present benefit from her God; it must’ve been the relationship with God right now which Naomi had, His grace to her in spiritual terms, and the hope of the future Kingdom which must’ve so attracted her. And the attraction must’ve been in the example of Naomi, rather than in the pages of a book.