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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ruth 1:3

 

 

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

Adam Clarke Commentary

Elimelech - died - Probably a short time after his arrival in Moab.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ruth 1:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ruth-1.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Ruth 1:3

Elimelech, Naomi’s husband died.

The death of Elimelech

He went first from Israel, the land of the living, and led them thence, and so he now goeth out of the world before them.

I. Death is the end of all, and it spareth none (Joshua 23:14; Job 21:33; Ecclesiastes 6:6; Ecclesiastes 7:2; 1 Corinthians 15:51; Hebrews 9:27).

II. A full supply of bodily wants cannot prevent death. The man must die in Moab, where was food enough; the rich glutton must die also, and the rich man with his barn full.

III. Where men think to preserve life, there they may lose it, as Elimelech doth here, fleeing from the famine in Israel, yet died where plenty was, in Moab; for no place is free from death, and when the time appointed is come, man cannot pass it (Job 14:5). (R. Bernard.)

Elimelech’s departure and death

I. The cause of his departure. “There was a famine in the land.” Famine cometh from God. It was threatened in the Mosaic law, as a punishment from Heaven for disobedience and sin (Leviticus 26:18-20). See how many arrows Jehovah hath in His quiver! In how many ways He can wither our comforts--blast our enjoyments. See how dependent we are upon Him. If famine and its calamitous consequences be occasioned by sin, let us be thankful to God that they are not inflicted upon us. We cannot deny that our sins are great and numerous, considering the precious advantages we enjoy. Still God loadeth us daily with His benefits. “He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Let us learn to be thankful. Let us flee to the Redeemer’s Cross for pardon, on account of our past forgetfulness of God. If famine and its accompanying horrors were experienced so frequently in the land of promise, we may gather that we cannot be free from adversities in any station or in any portion of the earth. When we are encompassed by difficulties--when we are ready to wish that we were in the situation of some of our neighbours, did we but know how bitter the ingredients which the hand of Providence not unfrequently puts into their cups, we should murmur less at our own crosses, and endure with a more satisfied mind our own tribulations. Let us learn, then, to be satisfied with the station which Providence has assigned us, and seek for relief under the trials which are inseparable from it, in the holy Word of God. Religion is the only effectual soother of human woe. It does not, indeed, remove miseries from those who are under its hallowing dominion, but it mixes the sweet with the bitter, so as to render the burden supportable. By directing the eye of the troubled Christian to that heavenly Benefactor who was suspended for him on the Cross, and thereby opened for him a way to the realms of unending blessedness, it deprives the trials of this temporary scene of much of their bitterness, and imparts new energy to the sinking soul. Again, if the sore effects of famine were felt in Canaan, while there was abundance in Moab--if Israelites suffered want, when Egyptians, and Philistines, and Moabites suffered it not--the possession of many earthly comforts is no evidence of spiritual safety, no sure sign of Divine favour and love. The only heaven which the despisers of the Saviour shall enjoy lies on this side the tomb; therefore they often receive more of the blessings of Providence than the heirs of glory.

II. Whither Elimelech directed his course when he departed from Canaan. By this conduct this man evinced too great a regard for terrestrial bliss, and too little for that which is heavenly. He slighted Divine ordinances and the privileges of the Lord’s sanctuary. The grace of God has, indeed, enabled His servants to keep their garments clean in the midst of the greatest pollutions, as Joseph in Egypt and Obadiah in the household of wicked Ahab; still it is oftener the case, under such circumstances, that the Christian suffers more of evil than he imparts of good. “The companion of fools shall be destroyed.” “Lead us not into temptation.” If intercourse with the ungodly be so replete with danger, let us carefully avoid it.

III. What became of Elimelech in his new dwelling-place? “And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died, and she was left, and her two sons.” We are not informed how soon he died; but that he finished his life shortly after his settlement there is clear from his death happening before that of his two sons, who lived only ten years after their arrival in Moab. How short the period he escaped from the pressure of famine in the land of his nativity! And if he had greater abundance of earthly comforts in his new habitation, how quickly were they all taken from him! If he had remained in the land of religious advantages, he would not have had to sustain adversities and hardships there long. Rather than resort to unlawful, or even questionable, measures, to get rid of our troubles, we ought to implore aid from heaven, that we may “endure” the “chastening” of the Lord--that we may bear the afflictions which His providence allots to us with patience and humility--being fully persuaded that our heavenly Parent doeth all things well--and likewise with earnest supplications for the accompanying influences of the Divine Spirit, by which they become greatly instrumental in meetening our souls for the habitations of the blessed. Learn:

1. That adversities and troubles should not be allowed to weigh too heavily on our minds.

2. That we should be very moderate in our estimation of, and desire for, earthly blessings. (John Hughes.)

Out of one sorrow into another.

The end of one sorrow is the beginning of another, like the drops of rain distilling from the top of a house, when one is gone, another follows; like a ship upon the sea, being on the top of one wave, is presently cast down to the foot of another; like the seed which being spread by the sower is haunted by the fowls, being green and past their reach is endangered by frost and snow, being past the winter’s hurt, by beasts in summer, being ripe is cut with the sickle, threshed with the flail, purged in the floor, ground in the mill, baked in the oven, chewed in the teeth, and consumed in the stomach. This made David say (Psalms 34:13). But be not discouraged, for through many afflictions must we enter into the kingdom of heaven, and by affliction we are made like the Son of God. (E. Topsell.)

She was left, and her two sons.

Comfort in bereavement

I. That albeit death is due to all, yet it seizeth not upon all at once; but one dieth now and another hereafter. But God will have mankind upon earth till the last day; He forbeareth some, and reprieveth them for their amendment; for the lengthening of life is for our further repentance.

II. That the Lord, in afflicting His children, sweeteneth the same with some comforts. He wholly leaveth not them without some taste of His mercy and goodness, as we may see in His dealing with Naomi. He took away her husband, and left her two sons, and after took them away, but gave her an excellent daughter-in-law. If we look upon the affliction, let us also consider what cause of comfort we have; mark when, for what, how long or short, what it is allayed with, that we be not wholly cast down. (R. Bernard.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Ruth 1:3". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/ruth-1.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died,.... According to JosephusF24Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 9. sect. 1.) , after he had dwelt in the land ten years, and had married his two sons to Moabitish women; but, as Alshech observes, the text shows that while he was living they were not married to them, but after his death; and it is said of them only that they dwelt there about ten years; so that it is most probable that their father died quickly after he came into the land of Moab: and she was left, and her two sons; in a strange land, she without a husband, and they without a father.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Ruth 1:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ruth-1.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ruth 1:3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

Ver. 3. And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died.] Her head was cut off, her root uncovered. Mulier vel hoc solo nomine misera est quod vidua est; To be a widow is misery enough of itself, and haleth at the heels of it many miseries. "I am indeed a widow woman, and my husband is dead." [2 Samuel 14:5] But Naomi as a "widow indeed," though desolate and a relict, as here, "yet trusted in God, and continued in prayers and supplications day and night." [1 Timothy 5:5] Her motto was that of a certain French lady, Sola facta solum Deum sequor; Now that I am alone, I follow hard after God alone.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ruth 1:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ruth-1.html. 1865-1868.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left, and her two sons.’

We are not told how long they had been in Moab before Elimelech died, but his death must have been a cruel blow to the family. The impression given is that the sons were at the time in no position to provide the support that Naomi needed. Many would see his death and its consequence as an indication of God’s disapproval of what he had done.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Ruth 1:3". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/ruth-1.html. 2013.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
and she was
2 Kings 4:1; Psalms 34:19; Hebrews 12:6,10,11

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ruth 1:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ruth-1.html.

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