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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

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.

Adam Clarke Commentary

She had heard - By the mouth of an angel, says the Targum.

The Lord had visited his people - "Because of the righteousness of Ibzan the judge, and because of the supplications of pious Boaz." - Targum.

It is imagined, and not without probability, that Mahlon and Chilion are the same with Joash and Saraph, mentioned 1 Chronicles 4:22, where the Hebrew should be thus translated, and Joash and Saraph, who married in Moab, and dwelt in Lehem. See the Hebrew.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ruth 1:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ruth-1.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Ruth 1:6

She arose . . . that she might return.

Homeward longings

Observe--

1. God’s house of worldly correction is to God’s people a school of heavenly instruction. Naomi’s crosses and losses she met with in Moab made her soul to sit loose from that cursed country, and to long for Canaan--that blessed land of promise. God’s rod hath a voice (Micah 6:9), and now Naomi’s ear was open to hear the instruction of it (Job 36:8-10; Micah 2:10). It is a rich mercy when affliction brings us from worse to better, from Moab to Canaan, further off from sin and nearer to God.

2. Godly souls should lead convincing lives. Such and so amiable was the conversation of godly Naomi in the eyes of those two daughters of Moab that it convinced them both--to love her and her people, and to go along with her out of their own native country unto her land. Plato saith, “If moral virtue could be beheld with mortal eyes, it would attract all hearts to be enamoured with it.” How much more, then, would theological virtue or supernatural grace do so?

3. Every heart should hanker heavenward, as Naomi did homeward from Moab to Canaan. (C. Ness.)

A woman of character

I. She retained her religion--her allegiance to the one true and living God--in the midst of surrounding idolatry.

II. She Believed in God even in the midst of adversity.

III. She exercised an influence for good on others.

1. On those who had known her intimately--her own household.

2. On those who had known her long--long enough to find out her true character.

3. On those who, according to all experience, are least easily influenced by one in her position--on her daughters-in-law.

IV. She could deny herself for the good of others.

1. It would have been an advantage to her to have these two strong, active young women with her to work for her in her old age. But a settlement would be easier for them in their own land than in Judah. So she bade them return, and was willing to go home alone.

2. She rose, too, above that petty jealousy which might have been excused in one so circumstanced, and wished them that provision which was the best security for rest and honour for a woman: “rest each of them in the house of her husband.” Naomi’s religion was no mere surface thing. It had become a part of herself. It had informed her character. It saved her from the corruptions of idolatry, from despair, and it enabled her to exercise a beneficent power over those who knew her best. What imperfect religion could do for her the sublime faith of Christ can do for all. (Joseph Ogle.)

The awakening

To trace the course of the wanderer away from God is sad and painful. The result of misery and regret is always the same; whether he ever return to God or not his sorrow over the remembrance of his wandering will be equally sure. We must never hesitate, therefore, in proclaiming to all the wanderers from God, “You will find no rest in Moab.” But I am not now to trace this course of sin to its dreadful result. There is for some a day of awakening in the present life. And, painful as this day may be, it is still a happy day. It is the beginning of a new life, a happy life, a life of glory. It is the dawning of a light which is prepared as the morning. It is the blessed visitation of the grace and goodness of God to the lost and guilty. We must never forget that this awakening of the soul is the work of God. Idolatry and enmity to God reign throughout the land of Moab. There Naomi dwells. There, if God permitted, Naomi would die. There, if God did not arrest and arouse him, the sinner would perish. To leave him in prosperity in this condition is to leave him to hopeless destruction. God speaks unto him in his prosperity, and he says, “I will not hear.” This is his manner from his youth. Then God sends awakening providences. Afflictions and losses are multiplied. The nest is broken up. The soul is made sorrowful. Thus it was with Naomi. Her husband died. Her two sons are taken away. How many of His children have been saved by the bitter remedy of affliction, and have thus been taught to bless the chastenings of the Lord! But why should you make affliction necessary to your soul’s salvation? Let the goodness of the Lord lead you to repentance. Let His love awaken your gratitude. But whether affliction or joy be made the instrument to awaken the soul, it is equally a Divine instrument. Welcome it, do not resist it, but cultivate it as a priceless gift. Now God means to bless you indeed. Listen to His voice with gladness. In this day of awakening, Naomi found that she had gained nothing by her wandering from God. There had been a famine in Judah. But ah, she had found a far worse famine in Moab. There every comfort had failed and every hope had departed. In no single point was her condition improved by her flight from Israel. But was this peculiar to her? Can you ever gain in such a course? Are you ever the happier for transgression, or made the more contented by forgetting your Creator? Far enough from all this is your actual experience. Your awakened mind looks back upon life, to say, with distress, “I have sinned, and what hath it profited me?” There is not a single real pleasure, or joy, or gain in life, of which any man can truly say, “This, at least, is the reward of my sin.” Even if you never truly repent, your retrospect of life will be just as unsatisfying and destitute of comfort to your soul. You will despise all that you have gained. You will despise yourself for pursuing vanities so madly. And nothing will remain to you as the result but the most overwhelming despair. How much you have lost! You have thrown away the favour of God. You have sacrificed your peace of conscience. You have lost your early readiness to receive religious impressions. But good news from the Lord’s land comes to this awakened wanderer. “Naomi heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited His people in giving them bread.” What precious intelligence does the gospel bring to the guilty! It declares the pardoning love of God. It proclaims complete atonement in the blood of Jesus. It announces full salvation in His merits and death. It exhibits God reconciled to those who have rebelled against Him. The message comes to you. Receive it. Rejoice in it. It is a message from God to each of you. Then the awakened wanderer sets out at once on a return. Naomi “arose, that she might return from the country of Moab; wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, on the way to return into the land of Judah.” Yes--the very first thing, when your mind is awakened, and you see and feel your guilt, is to go back. Many think they must first feel much, and mourn much, and suffer much, before they can hope to go back in peace to God. But why? Will your suffering save you? Will your multiplied tears add anything to a Saviour’s worth? Is your dwelling on fire? And must you wait until you are scorched with the flames before you can escape in safety? Have you mistaken your road in journeying? And can you recover your lost steps the better by delay or hesitation or fruitless grief? Nay. You want all the time for actual pursuit. You have none to waste. Turn! Turn! fly! Fly! ‘Tis madness to defer. Naomi goes to no other part of Moab, to no other land of idolatry. She goes directly back to the land of Judah. This is a blessed example. How many go from one broken cistern to another! But all these efforts are vain. Edom or Babylon are no better than Moab. No. You must fly to Bethlehem at once. Now is the accepted time. This is the day of your salvation. (S. H. Tyng, D. D.)

How that the Lord had visited His people in giving them bread.

God’s dealings with His people

I. God seeth His people in adversity and want, and cometh in His due time to help them (Exodus 3:7-8), which is from His mere mercy and the stability of His love and promise to His people.

II. God hath ever had more specially a people of His own called “His people.” This should make us to examine ourselves how we be God’s people, whether according to creation or after the work of regeneration.

III. Corporal food and the necessaries of this life are God’s gift (Leviticus 26:4-5; Deuteronomy 11:14-15; Hosea 2:8-9; Joel 2:19). (R. Bernard.)

Good news from the far country

I. God will certainly revive His people with some good news from heaven when their hearts are almost dead within them upon earth (Proverbs 25:25). This cheered up her drooping spirit, that was almost dead within her by her manifold afflictions. This is one of God’s methods, first to kill and then to make alive (1 Samuel 2:6; Psalms 16:10; Psalms 18:16; Psalms 90:3); the good news God sent concerning the weal of Zion to His people as they sat weeping by the waters of Babylon (Psalms 137:1-2) was a little reviving to them in their bondage (Ezra 9:8); and when His people were humbled He then granted them some deliverance (2 Chronicles 12:7). Heaven is called a far country (Matthew 25:14); good news from thence brought in by the Holy Spirit. Oh, how welcome should that be to us and how unspeakably comfortable! (1 Peter 1:8).

II. God hath His visiting times and seasons in relation to His own people.

1. Sometimes God visits their sins (Jeremiah 14:10), and then He fulfils His word of threatening evil against them. This is called God’s visiting in His anger (Job 35:15), but He retains not His anger for ever (Psalms 57:11).

2. He sometimes also visits in mercy (2 Samuel 24:16). This is that visit which David begs, “Oh visit me with Thy salvation” (Psalms 106:4).

III. Grace and bounty follow want and penury through Divine goodness to His people. After a long scarcity (of ten years) God visits them with plenty. This holds true both in the temporal and spiritual famine (Amos 8:11). (C. Ness.)

Naomi’s undying faith and loyalty to Israel’s God

During all those ten years of absence, Naomi had maintained in undiminished strength her attachment to the service and worship of the true God.”Among innumerable incorrupt she stood,” like Abdiel in the midst of fallen angels, or like Noah in the midst of a revolted world. There must have been root and reality about her religion to make it thus evergreen and perennial. So have we sometimes seen in the Arabian desert a solitary palm fed by a fountain, and glassing its beauty and abundance in that from which it derived all its verdure and life. How many persons are there whose religion could not endure the test of an ordeal a hundred times less severe than this! It is a thing of mere outward imitation and reflection. Withdraw them from the midst of favouring external influences, and their superficial piety will speedily vanish away like the morning dew. Like the vase that has been electrotyped so as to resemble silver, a little tear and wear brings into view the inferior metal which forms its real material. Carey used to complain bitterly, in his days, that the Christianity of many who came out of England to India did not survive a sea voyage. It was all gone before they had “doubled the Cape.” In like manner, the Sabbath-keeping and the church-attendance of multitudes have undergone sad decadence during a few months of residence in Berlin or Paris. And yet the degree in which our secret devotion and our Christian habits can live and flourish in the midst of unfriendly influences and when dependent on inward support alone, is the true test of the reality and strength of our religion. Naomi had nobly stood this test, and had thus proved herself to be “an Israelite indeed.” (A. Thomson, D. D.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Ruth 1:6". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/ruth-1.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab,.... After the death of her two sons, and having heard of the ceasing of the famine in Israel, she had a desire to go into her own country, where she would have better opportunities of serving the Lord; and having no heart to stay in Moab, an idolatrous country, where she had lost her husband, and her two sons; and therefore prepared for her journey, and set forward, and her two daughters-in-law with her, to accompany her some part of the way; for it does not appear to be their intention, at least at first setting out, to go with her into the land of Canaan; and therefore it is only said, that they arose

that she might return, &c.

for she had heard in the country of Moab: which was near the land of Israel, the borders of it reaching to the salt sea; the Targum says she heard it by the mouth of an angel, but it is highly probable it was by common fame:

that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread; that he had been kind and gracious to the people of Israel, by granting them plenty of provisions; which might be their happy case after Gideon had vanquished the Midianites, who came yearly, and destroyed and carried off the fruits of the earth, which had caused a famine; see Judges 6:3. It seems as if the famine had continued ten years, see 1:4 nor need this be thought incredible, since there was a famine in Lydia, which lasted eighteen yearsF2Herodot Clio, sive, l. 1. c. 94. .


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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 1:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ruth-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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 d visited his people in giving them bread.

(d) By sending them plenty again.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Ruth 1:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/ruth-1.html. 1599-1645.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

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.

Reader! may we not, without violence to the history, conceive this to be no unapt representation of the return of a sinner after his wandering from the Lord? Every man, like Elimelech, hath departed from the Lord by sin and transgression. The Lord in mercy sends afflictions after us. There is a famine of ordinances, trouble, sickness, death. When these visitations are properly received and felt, and the heart by grace is humbled under them, the soul, like Naomi, hears the rod, and who hath appointed it. And then, like her, we are told that the Lord is returned to Jerusalem in mercies. I will arise, and go to my Father, is then the language of the soul. Oh! how sweet, how very sweet is it, when by sanctified afflictions the Lord hedges up our way with thorns, or unsettles the nest we had made for ourselves, amidst the Moabs of the world Luke 15:13; Hosea 2:7


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Ruth 1:6". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/ruth-1.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Bread — That is, food; so she staid no longer there than necessity forced her.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Ruth 1:6". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/ruth-1.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ruth 1:6 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.

Ver. 6. Then she arose with her daughters-in-law.] Now she "heard the rod, and who had appointed it," [Micah 6:9] saying, "He, he, come forth," Arise and he gone; "this is not your rest, for it is polluted." God’s corrections are vocal and disciplinary. Her daughters-in-law, moved by her virtues, arise to go with her. If moral virtue could be seen with mortal eyes, it would attract all hearts to itself, saith Plato. How much more then would true grace, [Song of Solomon 6:1] which is such an elixir, as by contaction, if there be any disposition of goodness in the same metal, it will render it of the property!

That she might return from the country of Moab.] Where, although she had been courteously used, yet her heart hankereth homewards, So should ours heavenwards, though we might live here in the height of the world’s blandishments, quae non sunt tantum fallacia quia dubia, sed etiam insidiosa, guia dulcia, which are not only deceitful because doubtful, but also dangerous because delicious, saith a father. (a)

For she had heard in the country of Moab.] This "good news from a far country was as cold water to her thirsty soul"; [Proverbs 25:25] this cheered up her good heart, when almost dead within her. God reserveth his hand for a dead lift.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ruth 1:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ruth-1.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

i.e. Food; so she staid no longer than necessity forced her.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ruth 1:6". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/ruth-1.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, so that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab how YHWH had visited his people in giving them bread.’

News meanwhile reached her that the famine in Israel had come to an end, because ‘YHWH had visited his people in giving them bread.’ Note how the famine, and its ending, were thus both laid at God’s door. YHWH was seen as the withholder of food and the provider of food. To Naomi at least there was no doubt as to Who had been responsible for the famine, and Who was now responsible for it having ended. And she may well have asked herself why she had not been there when God acted in deliverance. It would bring home to her the sinfulness of her position. She may also have felt that this same YHWH was the One Who could visit her and fill the emptiness that was in her heart. However that may be the news made her determine to return to Israel, and she arose with her daughters-in-law in order to set out for home, where she could once again enjoy the provision of YHWH.


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Ruth 1:6". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/ruth-1.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

6. She arose with her daughters in law — She made known to them her intention to return on foot and alone to the land of Israel; and when the time of her departure came, Orpah and Ruth arose and went forth with her to bear her company a little way on her journey, perhaps undecided whether to go all the way with her or not.

She had heard — Probably by some traveller that had recently passed through the land of Judea. But the tidings may not have reached her until several years after the famine had ceased, for sometimes intelligence travels with wonderful slowness in the East, and particularly in that age, when there was probably very little intercourse between Israel and the surrounding nations.

The Lord had visited his people in giving them bread — By raising up Gideon to end the oppression of the Midianites, who for seven years had consumed the produce of their fields, and by now causing the fields to yield unwonted abundance. The sacred historian sees in all this the hand of Jehovah.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ruth 1:6". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ruth-1.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

return. This was in 1326, the year before the second jubilee (1325-1324). See App-50.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

visited. Compare Exodus 4:31. Psalms 132:15. Luke 1:68.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ruth 1:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/ruth-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

Then she arose with her daughters-in-law. The aged widow, longing to enjoy the privileges of Israel, resolved to return to her native land as soon as she was assured that the famine had ceased, and made the necessary arrangements with her daughters-in-law.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ruth 1:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ruth-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(6) That she might return.—Literally, and she returned. Clearly, therefore, the three women actually began the journey; and when the start has been made. Naomi urges her companions to return. Then, as with Pliable in the Pilgrim’s Progress, so with Orpah: the dangers and difficulties of the way were too much for her affection.

The Lord had visited His people.—The famine had ceased, and Naomi’s heart yearns for the old home. Perhaps, too, the scenes where everything reminded her of her husband and sons, filled her with sadness (for it would appear that she set out immediately after her sons’ death), and perhaps, too, her conscience smote her for distrusting the mercies of the God of Israel.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ruth 1:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ruth-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
visited
Genesis 21:1; 50:25; Exodus 3:16; 4:31; 1 Samuel 2:21; Luke 1:68; 19:44; 1 Peter 2:12
in giving
Genesis 28:20; 48:15; Exodus 16:4-6; Psalms 104:14,15; 111:5; 132:15; 145:15; Psalms 146:7; 147:14; Proverbs 30:8; Isaiah 55:10; Matthew 6:11; 1 Timothy 6:8

Copyright Statement
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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ruth 1:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ruth-1.html.

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