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Ruth 1:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And it came to pass in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Beth-lehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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 Beth-lehem-judah went to dwell in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man went from Bethlehem-Judah, to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And it came to pass, in the days when the Judges administered justice, that there was a famine in the land,—and so a certain man went his way, out of Bethlehem-judah to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And it cometh to pass, in the days of the judging of the judges, that there is a famine in the land, and there goeth a man from Beth-Lehem-Judah to sojourn in the fields of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— In the days of the judges, when the judges ruled, there came a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem Juda, went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Nowe it came to passe in the dayes when ye Iudges ruled, that there was a famine in the land: and a certaine man of Bethlehem Iudah, went to soiourne in the countrey of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sonnes.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And it came to pass when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land: and a man went from Bethlehem{gr.Bethleem} Judah{gr.Juda} to sojourn in the land of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— 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 Beth Lechem Yehudah went to sojourn in the country of Moav, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Now it came to pass x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
in the days 3117
{3117} Prime
יוֹם
yowm
{yome}
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
when the judges 8199
{8199} Prime
שָׁפַט
shaphat
{shaw-fat'}
A primitive root; to judge, that is, pronounce sentence (for or against); by implication to vindicate or punish; by extension to govern; passively to litigate (literally or figuratively).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
ruled, 8199
{8199} Prime
שָׁפַט
shaphat
{shaw-fat'}
A primitive root; to judge, that is, pronounce sentence (for or against); by implication to vindicate or punish; by extension to govern; passively to litigate (literally or figuratively).
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
that there was x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
a famine 7458
{7458} Prime
רָעָב
ra`ab
{raw-awb'}
From H7456; hunger (more or less extensive).
in the land. 776
{0776} Prime
אֶרֶץ
'erets
{eh'-rets}
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
And a certain man 376
{0376} Prime
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
of B Leem Yh בֵּית־לֶחֶם־יְהוּדָה 1035
{1035} Prime
בֵּית לֶחֶם
Beyth Lechem
{bayth leh'-khem}
From H1004 and H3899; house of bread; Beth-Lechem, a place in Palestine.
3063
{3063} Prime
יְהוּדָה
Y@huwdah
{yeh-hoo-daw'}
From H3034; celebrated; Jehudah (or Judah), the name of five Israelites; also of the tribe descended from the first, and of its territory.
x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
went y3212
[3212] Standard
יָלַך
yalak
{yaw-lak'}
A primitive root (compare H1980); to walk (literally or figuratively); causatively to carry (in various senses).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
x1980
(1980) Complement
הָלַךְ
halak
{haw-lak'}
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
to sojourn 1481
{1481} Prime
גּוּר
guwr
{goor}
A primitive root; properly to turn aside from the road (for a lodging or any other purpose), that is, sojourn (as a guest); also to shrink, fear (as in a strange place); also to gather for hostility (as afraid).
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
in the country 7704
{7704} Prime
שָׂדֶה
sadeh
{saw-deh'}
From an unused root meaning to spread out; a field (as flat).
of Mv מוֹאָב, 4124
{4124} Prime
מוֹאָב
Mow'ab
{mo-awb'}
From a prolonged form of the prepositional prefix 'm-' and H0001; from (her (the mother's)) father; Moab, an incestuous son of Lot; also his territory and descendants.
he, x1931
(1931) Complement
הוּא
huw'
{hoo}
The second form is the feminine beyond the Pentateuch; a primitive word, the third person pronoun singular, he (she or it); only expressed when emphatic or without a verb; also (intensively) self, or (especially with the article) the same; sometimes (as demonstrative) this or that; occasionally (instead of copula) as or are.
and his wife, 802
{0802} Prime
אִשָּׁה
'ishshah
{ish-shaw'}
The first form is the feminine of H0376 or H0582; the second form is an irregular plural; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H0582).
and his two 8147
{8147} Prime
שְׁתַּיִם
sh@nayim
{shen-ah'-yim}
(The first form being dual of H8145; the second form being feminine); two; also (as ordinal) twofold.
sons. 1121
{1121} Prime
בֵּן
ben
{bane}
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ruth 1:1

_ _ Ruth 1:1-5. Elimelech, driven by famine into Moab, dies there.

_ _ in the days when the judges ruled — The beautiful and interesting story which this book relates belongs to the early times of the judges. The precise date cannot be ascertained.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Ruth 1:1-5

_ _ The first words give all the date we have of this story. It was in the days when the judges ruled (Ruth 1:1), not in those disorderly times when there was no king in Israel; but under which of the judges these things happened we are not told, and the conjectures of the learned are very uncertain. It must have been towards the beginning of the judges' time, for Boaz, who married Ruth, was born of Rahab, who received the spies in Joshua's time. Some think it was in the days of Ehud, others of Deborah; the learned bishop Patrick inclines to think it was in the days of Gideon, because in his days only we read of a famine by the Midianites' invasion, Judges 6:3, Judges 6:4. While the judges were ruling, some one city and some another, Providence takes particular cognizance of Bethlehem, and has an eye to a King, to Messiah himself, who should descend from two Gentile mothers, Rahab and Ruth. Here is,

_ _ I. A famine in the land, in the land of Canaan, that land flowing with milk and honey. This was one of the judgments which God had threatened to bring upon them for their sins, Leviticus 26:19, Leviticus 26:20. He has many arrows in his quiver. In the days of the judges they were oppressed by their enemies; and, when by that judgment they were not reformed, God tried this, for when he judges he will overcome. When the land had rest, yet it had not plenty; even in Bethlehem, which signifies the house of bread, there was scarcity. A fruitful land is turned into barrenness, to correct and restrain the luxury and wantonness of those that dwell therein.

_ _ II. An account of one particular family distressed in the famine; it is that of Elimelech. His name signifies my God a king, agreeable to the state of Israel when the judges ruled, for the Lord was their King, and comfortable to him and his family in their affliction, that God was theirs and that he reigns for ever. His wife was Naomi, which signifies my amiable or pleasant one. But his sons' names were Mahlon and Chilion, sickness and consumption, perhaps because weakly children, and not likely to be long-lived. Such are the productions of our pleasant things, weak and infirm, fading and dying.

_ _ III. The removal of this family from Bethlehem into the country of Moab on the other side Jordan, for subsistence, because of the famine, Ruth 1:1, Ruth 1:2. It seems there was plenty in the country of Moab when there was scarcity of bread in the land of Israel. Common gifts of providence are often bestowed in greater plenty upon those that are strangers to God than upon those that know and worship him. Moab is at ease from his youth, while Israel is emptied from vessel to vessel (Jeremiah 48:11), not because God loves Moabites better, but because they have their portion in this life. Thither Elimelech goes, not to settle for ever, but to sojourn for a time, during the dearth, as Abraham, on a similar occasion, went into Egypt, and Isaac into the land of the Philistines. Now here, 1. Elimelech's care to provide for his family, and his taking his wife and children with him, were without doubt commendable. If any provide not for his own, he hath denied the faith, 1 Timothy 5:8. When he was in his straits he did not forsake his house, go seek his fortune himself, and leave his wife and children to shift for their own maintenance; but, as became a tender husband and a loving father, where he went he took them with him, not as the ostrich, Job 39:16. But, 2. I see not how his removal into the country of Moab, upon this occasion, could be justified. Abraham and Isaac were only sojourners in Canaan, and it was agreeable to their condition to remove; but the seed of Israel were now fixed, and ought not to remove into the territories of the heathen. What reason had Elimelech to go more than any of his neighbours? If by any ill husbandry he had wasted his patrimony, and sold his land or mortgaged it (as it should seem, Ruth 4:3, Ruth 4:4), which brought him into a more necessitous condition than others, the law of God would have obliged his neighbours to relieve him (Leviticus 25:35); but that was not his case, for he went out full, Ruth 1:21. By those who tarried at home it appears that the famine was not so extreme but that there was sufficient to keep life and soul together; and his charge was but small, only two sons. But if he could not be content with the short allowance that his neighbours took up with, and in the day of famine could not be satisfied unless he kept as plentiful a table as he had done formerly, if he could not live in hope that there would come years of plenty again in due time, or could not with patience wait for those years, it was his fault, and he did by it dishonour God and the good land he had given them, weaken the hands of his brethren, with whom he should have been willing to take his lot, and set an ill example to others. If all should do as he did Canaan would be dispeopled. Note, It is an evidence of a discontented, distrustful, unstable spirit, to be weary of the place in which God hath set us, and to be for leaving it immediately whenever we meet with any uneasiness or inconvenience in it. It is folly to think of escaping that cross which, being laid in our way, we ought to take up. It is our wisdom to make the best of that which is, for it is seldom that changing our place is mending it. Or, if he would remove, why to the country of Moab? If he had made enquiry, it is probable he would have found plenty in some of the tribes of Israel, those, for instance, on the other side Jordan, that bordered on the land of Moab; if he had had that zeal for God and his worship, and that affection for his brethren which became an Israelite, he would not have persuaded himself so easily to go and sojourn among Moabites.

_ _ IV. The marriage of his two sons to two of the daughters of Moab after his death, Ruth 1:4. All agree that this was ill done. The Chaldee says, They transgressed the decree of the word of the Lord in taking strange wives. If they would not stay unmarried till their return to the land of Israel, they were not so far off but that they might have fetched themselves wives thence. Little did Elimelech think, when he went to sojourn in Moab, that ever his sons would thus join in affinity with Moabites. But those that bring young people into bad acquaintance, and take them out of the way of public ordinances, though they may think them well-principled and armed against temptation, know not what they do, nor what will be the end thereof. It does not appear that the women they married were proselyted to the Jewish religion, for Orpah is said to return to her gods (Ruth 1:15); the gods of Moab were hers still. It is a groundless tradition of the Jews that Ruth was the daughter of Eglon king of Moab, yet the Chaldee paraphrast inserts it; but this and their other tradition, which he inserts likewise, cannot agree, that Boaz who married Ruth was the same with Ibzan, who judged Israel 200 years after Eglon's death, Judges 12:1-15.

_ _ V. The death of Elimelech and his two sons, and the disconsolate condition Naomi was thereby reduced to. Her husband died (Ruth 1:3) and her two sons (Ruth 1:5) soon after their marriage, and the Chaldee says, Their days were shortened, because they transgressed the law in marrying strange wives. See here, 1. That wherever we go we cannot out-run death, whose fatal arrows fly in all places. 2. That we cannot expect to prosper when we go out of the way of our duty. He that will save his life by any indirect course shall lose it. 3. That death, when it comes into a family, often makes breach upon breach. One is taken away to prepare another to follow soon after; one is taken away, and that affliction is not duly improved, and therefore God sends another of the same kind. When Naomi had lost her husband she took so much the more complacency and put so much the more confidence in her sons. Under the shadow of these surviving comforts she thinks she shall live among the heathen, and exceedingly glad she was of these gourds; but behold they wither presently, green and growing up in the morning, cut down and dried up before night, buried soon after they were married, for neither of them left any children. So uncertain and transient are all our enjoyments here. It is therefore our wisdom to make sure of those comforts that will be made sure and of which death cannot rob us. But how desolate was the condition, and how disconsolate the spirit, of poor Naomi, when the woman was left of her two sons and her husband! When these two things, loss of children and widowhood, come upon her in a moment, come upon her in their perfection, by whom shall she be comforted? Isaiah 47:9; Isaiah 51:19. It is God alone who has wherewithal to comfort those who are thus cast down.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ruth 1:1

In the land — Of Canaan. It must be early: for Boaz was born of Rahab. So Christ descended from two Gentile mothers.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Ruth 1:1

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

The Argument — This book is called Ruth, who is the main person spoken of in this writing. In which also the state of the Church is set forth figuratively, being subject to many afflictions and yet eventually God gives good and joyful offspring, teaching us to abide with patience till God delivers us out of troubles. In this also it is described how Jesus Christ, who according to the flesh came from David, proceeded by Ruth, of whom the Lord Jesus promised to come, nonetheless she was a Moabite of base condition, and a stranger to the people of God; declaring to us by it that the Gentiles would be sanctified by him, and joined with his people, and that there would be one sheepfold, and one shepherd. It would appear that this account belongs to the time of the judges.

(a) In the land of Canaan.

(b) In the tribe of Judah, which was also called Bethlehem Ephrathat, because there was another city so called in the tribe of Zebulun.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the judges:

Judges 2:16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.
Judges 12:8 And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel.

ruled:
Heb. judged

a famine:

Genesis 12:10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine [was] grievous in the land.
Genesis 26:1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.
Genesis 43:1 And the famine [was] sore in the land.
Leviticus 26:19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
Deuteronomy 28:23-24 And thy heaven that [is] over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee [shall be] iron. ... The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
Deuteronomy 28:38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather [but] little in; for the locust shall consume it.
2 Samuel 21:1 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, [It is] for Saul, and for [his] bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.
1 Kings 17:1-12 And Elijah the Tishbite, [who was] of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, [As] the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. ... And she said, [As] the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I [am] gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
1 Kings 18:2 And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab. And [there was] a sore famine in Samaria.
2 Kings 8:1-2 Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years. ... And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years.
Psalms 105:16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.
Psalms 107:34 A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
Jeremiah 14:1 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth.
Ezekiel 14:13 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it:
Ezekiel 14:21 For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?
Joel 1:10-11 The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. ... Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.
Joel 1:16-20 Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, [yea], joy and gladness from the house of our God? ... The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
Amos 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
, Beth-lehem-judah,
Judges 17:8 And the man departed out of the city from Bethlehemjudah to sojourn where he could find [a place]: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed.
Judges 19:1-2 And it came to pass in those days, when [there was] no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah. ... And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father's house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months.
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Gn 12:10; 26:1; 43:1. Lv 26:19. Dt 28:23, 38. Jg 2:16; 12:8; 17:8; 19:1. 2S 21:1. 1K 17:1; 18:2. 2K 8:1. Ps 105:16; 107:34. Jr 14:1. Ezk 14:13, 21. Jol 1:10, 16. Am 4:6.

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