Overview

Ruth 1 is the beginning of a poignant and powerful story set during the time of the judges. It tells of Naomi’s loss and the unwavering loyalty of her daughter-in-law Ruth, as they journey from Moab to Bethlehem. This chapter sets the stage for themes of loyalty, redemption, and divine providence.
Famine and Move to Moab: The chapter begins during a famine in Israel, prompting Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, to move from Bethlehem to Moab.
Deaths of Elimelech and His Sons: While in Moab, Elimelech dies. His sons marry Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. However, after about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion also die, leaving Naomi and her daughters-in-law widowed.
Naomi’s Decision to Return: Hearing that the LORD had provided food for His people, Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem. She urges her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab and remarry.
Orpah and Ruth’s Choices: Orpah, after some hesitation, stays in Moab, but Ruth refuses to leave Naomi, expressing her loyalty in the famous words, “Where you go, I will go; where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.”
Ruth’s Commitment: Ruth’s commitment to Naomi is profound, encompassing a change of land, people, and faith. It's a testament to her character and loyalty.
Arrival in Bethlehem: Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. Naomi’s return stirs the town, and she expresses her bitterness over her losses, asking to be called Mara, meaning 'bitter'.
Ruth 1 not only introduces the central characters of the story but also establishes the themes of loss, loyalty, and the search for redemption. It portrays the strength and resilience of its female characters and sets the stage for the unfolding of God’s providential care in their lives.

Ruth 1

1  Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

2  And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

3  And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

4  And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

5  And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

6  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 the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.

7  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.

8  And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

9  The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

10  And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.

11  And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

12  Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;

13  Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.

14  And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.

15  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.

16  And Ruth said, Intreat 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:

17  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.

18  When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

19  So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

20  And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

21  I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

22  So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

End of Ruth 1


1 Year Plan:  Apr 20 - Rut 1, Rut 2, John 10

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