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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ruth 1:8

 

 

And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the LORD deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Accompanying their mother-in-law to the borders of their own land would probably be an act of Oriental courtesy. Naomi with no less courtesy presses them to return. The mention of the mother‘s house, which the separation of the women‘s house or tent from that of the men facilitates, is natural in her mouth, and has more tenderness in it than father‘s house would have had; it does not imply the death of their fathers Rth 2:11 .


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ruth 1:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ruth-1.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Ruth 1:8

The Lord deal kindly with you.

Naomi’s prayer for her daughters-in-law

I. That it is a duty to pray for those which do either us or ours good.

II. That at parting friends are to pray one for another, as we may see the practice of it in Isaac (Genesis 28:1; Genesis 28:3); Laban (Genesis 31:55); Jacob (Genesis 43:14); and in Paul (Acts 20:36).

III. That the godly are persuaded that the Lord is a merciful rewarder of the duties of love which one doth towards another (Colossians 3:24).

IV. That children should so well deserve of parents, yea, though but parents-in-law, as they may be moved heartily to pray for them, as Naomi doth in this place. A good carriage is a duty towards all, then much more to parents; and the prayers of parents is a means to put a blessing upon their children.

V. That God will not only barely reward, but so deal with us as we deal with others. (R. Bernard.)

The benedictions of life

The key-note of all I have to say is in that word “kindly.” The argument is this. We can understand kindness in the sphere of the human, and rise from that to a prayer for the Divine kindness. No society in any age can be cemented together by force alone. Feudalism, for instance, in olden times, was not all terror. The baron could command his dependents in time of war, as he fed and housed and clothed them in times of peace; but, as the old chroniclers tell us, there was often a rare hospitality, a hearty cheerfulness, a chivalrous affection in the somewhat stern relationship.

I. The Lord knows best what kindness is. The Lord deal kindly with you. Has He been kind? At times we should have been tempted to answer, No! The vine is blighted, the fig-tree withered, the locusts have spoiled the green of spring. Kindly? Yes, we shall answer one time when we stand in our lot at the end of days. For kindness is not indulgence. God’s kindness to us may take forms which surprise us. At the heart of His severest judgments there is mercy, in the bitter spring there is healing water. The kindest things God has ever done for us have been, perhaps, the strangest and severest. So it was with Daniel and Jacob and Joseph and Abraham, our father. All God’s ways are done in truth, and truth is always kindness.

II. The Lord knows best what others have been to us. “As you have dealt with the dead and me.” It is a touching little sentence. The dead. So silent now. Never to come back, for us to touch imperfectness into riper good. Gone! What a word of vacancy, and silence, and subtle mystery! Is it strange we should wish well to those who were kind to the dead? And Naomi links her own being with them still: “The dead and me.” And with true hearts they never can be dissociated. Anniversaries of remembrance make our separations no more distant. They soften them. They give place for comforting remembrances: but the dead are near as ever. “The dead and me!” Who shall separate? None. Christ died, yea, rather is risen again, and He will raise us up together to the heavenly places.

III. The Lord alone will be with us all through our future pilgrimage. Apart from Divine power, which we have not to bless with, there is Divine presence which we all need. Christ will be with us to the end. Never will come a battle, a temptation, a solitude, a sorrow, a needful sacrifice, but the Lord will be at hand.

IV. The Lord has given us guarantees of His kindness. We are not left to meditate on rain and fruitful seasons only. Not the green of spring, nor the south wind of summer, nor the gold of autumn alone proclaim His goodness.(W. M. Statham.)

As ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

Kindness to the departed

Let us inquire how many things a dying godly man leaves behind him in this world. His soul is sent before him (Revelation 14:13). He leaveth behind him--

I. His body, to which we must be kind, by burial and lamentation.

II. His estate, to which we must be kind, by careful and faithful administration.

III. His children, friends, or kindred, to whom we must be kind, by love and affection.

IV. His faults and failings, to which we must be kind, by silence and suppression.

V. His memory and virtues, to which we must be kind, by congratulation, commemoration, and imitation. (T. Fuller, B. D.)

Behaviour in the light of death

You know not, husbands and wives, how long you may dwell together. Death may soon come, and will doubtless, sooner or later, come and tear away the one of you from the other. When that event shall take place, how will you wish to have behaved? Behave at present as you would then wish to have behaved, for then you will not be able to bring back the present time. Many great miracles have been wrought by the power of God, but it never did, nor ever will, recall the time that is past. How comfortable was it to Orpah and Ruth to hear Naomi say, “Ye have dealt kindly with the dead!” And how comfortable was the reflection to them through life that she had reason to give them this commendation! (G. Lawson.)

Showing kindness to the dead

It was much to be able to say this, when we consider how difficult the discharge of the duties of law-relationship often is, and how apt it is to be judged with suspicion and severity even when it is well done. The fact has been noticed long ago in the pages of many a Greek and Roman satirist. But Naomi was not aware, when she spoke this generous tribute, how very much their conduct had been the result of her own. She had won the confidence and veneration of their young hearts by her unselfishness, her forbearance, her charitable judgments, her holy consistency, and her discretion. We often make for ourselves the beds we are to lie upon, and we may be certain that there would be more Ruths in the world if there were more Naomis. But how blessed when it can thus be said of us, that we have dealt kindly with the dead”! We should make it our habitual and earnest aim so to behave ourselves towards our kindred that, should we be called to stand beside their open graves, this would be the testimony of others and of our own consciences. But we must not forget that there is an important sense in which we may prove our undying love for the dead by our kindness to the living. Those two young widows expressed their affection for their departed husbands by their thoughtful attentions to Naomi. They loved her for her own sake, but they loved her doubly for their sakes. Religion, indeed, warrants us to think of our friends beyond the grave as still living, though absent. David’s nobly generous spirit rejoiced that he could still reach his departed Jonathan in lavishing respect and kindness upon Jonathan’s only surviving son, Mephibosheth. And this sentiment reaches its highest possible point of sublimity, and becomes, as it were, transfigured, when we show kindness to another because he belongs to Christ. In this way we can still reach Him in His members, and anoint His blessed feet with our precious ointment and wash them with our tears. That poor sufferer whom you relieved by your benefactions and soothed by your sympathy was a disguised Christ. Even the cup of cold water given to a disciple in the name of a disciple is to be remembered by Him on another day. (A. Thomson, D. D.)


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Ruth 1:8". 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 Naomi said to her two daughters in law,.... When they were come, as it is very probable, to the utmost limits of the land of Moab, and to the borders of the land of Israel:

go, return each unto her mother's house: the mother's house is mentioned, and not the father's, not because they had no father living; for it is certain Ruth had a father as well as a mother, 2:11 but because mothers are most affectionate to their daughters, and they most conversant together; and because women in those times had apartments to themselves, and who used to take their daughters to them when become widows; though such was the strong love of those young widows to their mother-in-law, that they chose rather to dwell with her, while she lived in Moab, than with their own mothers:

the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me; that is, with their husbands, who were dead; as the Targum is, that they refused to marry men after their death; or rather it respects their affectionate care of their husbands, and behaviour towards them when living, as well as the respect they showed to their memory, at and since their death; and also their filial duty to her, both before and since; and particularly, as the Targum expresses it, in that they had fed and supported her.


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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 1:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ruth-1.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Naomi said unto her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each to her mother‘s house — In Eastern countries women occupy apartments separate from those of men, and daughters are most frequently in those of their mother.

the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead — that is, with my sons, your husbands, while they lived.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

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

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Mother's house — Because daughters used to converse more frequently with their mothers, and to dwell in the same apartments with them, which then were distinct from those parts of the house where the men dwelt.

The dead — With my sons, your husbands, while they lived.


Copyright Statement
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 1:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/ruth-1.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ruth 1:8 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.

Ver. 8. And Naomi said unto her two daughters-in-law.] Hitherto she hath acted her part by doing and suffering. Now, and not till now, we find her speaking. Her tongue did not hang loose, to be upon every touch extolling: but "she openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness," as Proverbs 31:26.

Go, return each to her mother’s house.] Ite, redite. This she spake as a wise woman, to make trial of the soundness of their love. Videas cui fidas, try before you trust. Open heartedness is a sign of folly; credulity, of levity.

The Lord deal kindly with you.] This, her motherly benediction, was the best valediction. Gold and silver she had not for them, but that which was better, heartiest prayers and well wishes; and of these people should be even prodigal, since this their labour of love cannot be in vain in the Lord.

As ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.] Though of an ill race, they proved dutiful wives and kind daughters-in-law. Howbeit nothing is more dangerous than to graft in a bad stock, to be imped in a wicked family. This relation too often draweth in a share both of sin and punishment. Ahab and Ahaziah, for instance.


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

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ruth 1:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ruth-1.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Each to her mother’s house; not that they wanted fathers, Ruth 2:11, but because daughters used to converse more frequently with their mothers, and to be most endeared to them, and to dwell in the same apartments with them, which then were distinct from those parts of the house where the men dwelt.

With the dead; with my sons, your husbands, whilst they lived.


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

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ruth 1:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/ruth-1.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8. Go, return — Thus, at length, the tearful Naomi herself breaks the silence of their grief. She feels that she would wrong these daughters of Moab to take them with her where, in all probability, they would be shut up to lasting widowhood.

Each to her mother’s house — She says mother’s house rather than father’s, for it is maternal tenderness and sympathy that best knows how to comfort and cheer a daughter in her sorrows.

As ye have dealt with the dead and with me — Their life in Moab had been one of harmony and reciprocated kindnesses. No discord, no family feuds, had arisen among them; their sorrows came from the death of those they loved.


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

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ruth 1:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ruth-1.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Ruth 1:8. Return each to her mother’s house — She desires them to accompany her no farther, but to go back to their own home. And it seems it was usual in Moab, as well as in Israel, for widows to dwell with their parents. But she says, mother’s, rather than father’s house, because daughters used to converse more frequently with their mothers, and to dwell in the same apartments with them, which then were distinct from those parts of the house where the men dwelt. The dead — With my sons, your husbands, while they lived.


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

Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Ruth 1:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/ruth-1.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Mothers, who had separate apartments from the men. (Calmet) --- Me. They had behaved with great respect and love towards their husbands, and towards Noemi, whom they even wish to accompany. (Menochius) --- The pronouns in this, and verses 9, 11, 13, and 19, are surprisingly corrupted in Hebrew being masculine or feminine, where we should expect the contrary. (Kennicott)


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Ruth 1:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/ruth-1.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

as = according as.


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

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ruth 1:8". "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

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.

Go, return each to her mother's house. In Eastern countries women occupy apartments separate from those of men, and daughters are most frequently in those of their mother.

With the dead - i:e., with my sons, your husbands, while they lived.


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

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ruth 1:8". "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

(8) Return.—Naomi’s love is all unselfish. The company of Ruth and Orpah would clearly have been a great solace to her, yet she will not sacrifice them to herself. They each had a mother and a home; the latter, Naomi might fail to secure to them.


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

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ruth 1:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ruth-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
Go
Joshua 24:15-28; Luke 14:25-33
the Lord
Philippians 4:18,19; 2 Timothy 1:16-18
the dead
5; 2:20; Ephesians 5:22; 6:2,3; Colossians 3:18,24

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ruth 1:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ruth-1.html.

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