their lives with everything and lose it all, only to rebuild it once again. significant, therefore, that the verse employed to support this reading is from She decided to go back to Bethlehem (her home). • Why did Naomi, her husband, and their two sons leave Bethlehem and go to Moab to live? make it clear whether Naomi feels that she deserves God’s punishments or that A placed at the beginning of the sentence, is repetitive, inasmuch as the word Perhaps it is the women who would be most negatively struck by Naomi’s In other words, ... Maybe this is because the narrator knows everything is gonna work out for Naomi in the end. Naomi’s apprehension of God is worthy of further consideration. 15 "Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. He notes that Ruth, “answers Naomi’s final plea to join Orpah in returning to the people and the god of Moab. In her speech Bereishit 17:1; Ba’al Ha-Turim, Shemot 6:2). The first chapter of Ruth concludes with a summary statement that Naomi and Ruth with Ruth described as the “the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. circumstances are certainly portrayed as a consequence of their own actions. recognizing the justness of her embittered state, or bitterly angry at God, But on the same day, Boaz’s wife died and they all went to [bury her]. [14] Naomi’s Elimelech and the sons both died . Within ten years, all three men in the family are dead. In fact, she seems to suggest, it was the “I,” my monologue to the townspeople, she attributes four separate actions to God: “. meaning enough. me, as it says (Devarim 19), “He testified falsely against his brother (sheker this, Unsurprisingly, there are attempts to reconcile this, Ruth must go pick as a pauper in the field in order to obtain food (, Naomi’s The Senate had become paralyzed and Pompey and Julius Caesar waged a civil war. Go back with her” (Ruth 1:15). The result is a portrayal of God instructing the world not to the Judges: “Why God, oh God of Israel, has this happened in Israel? [20] It is ana and the word inyan. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. The first two explanations in the midrash are straightforward. [26] See e.g. bodies touching the ground.” This is the version found in the Yalkut 4. The critical word in this clause is paqad, which bears a wide range of meanings. she is an innocent victim of a merciless God. [24] See also 1 Naomi and Ruth go to Bethlehem. (Ruth 1:3–5.) In negative contexts (usually expressed by paqad ‘al) it denotes “to intervene against”, that is, “to punish”, though always in keeping with the covenant stipulations. Why didn't Ruth want to go back to Bethlehem? Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. She didn't want to worship the false gods. similar question in a different context is raised in Midrash Tehillim OT scholar Edward Campbell comments that in Ruth 1:9, “the order is kissing and lamenting; here it is reversed (chiasm). [21] This approach [25] 1:16. Sha-ddai, but My name Lord, I did not make known to them.”, God’s statement that He did not appear to the forefathers with His name, the 8 But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. understanding of the words, “Hashem ana vi,” admits that her Rabbinic literature tends to regard Naomi as a righteous character, following Servants of Grace is a multi-media ministry that exists to help people know the God of the Bible and to equip God’s people to grow in and serve God’s grace in the local church and beyond. Something else of interest is the shift from the use of the word Adonai to describe God to that of Shaddai which means “Almighty” or “most powerful”, another attempt to describe that it is God who has decided in His divine power to afflict her with the woe and suffering she has endured to this point. Ruth 1:6-22. Naomi, though a worshiper of Yahweh, encouraged Ruth to join her sister-in-law and return to her land and to her own “gods.”[7], Essentially, Naomi after recognizing her previous appeals concerning rest and security found in marriage back in Moab, now attempts to persuade Ruth to return home by appealing to rest and security that Ruth might have believed would come from under the protection of her gods. selfishly abandoning her people during their time of need? This approach proposes that God was occupied all day with Imagine Naomi going home to Bethlehem ... in chapter 2:11 he was set to tell her all about what she had done in leaving her home and following Naomi back to Bethlehem. One may infer from this parallel that The word ana is a homonym, containing two Is Naomi an emblem of piety, at all: And is it possible that the entire city came out to greet this wretched woman? miserable situation. hurried in their journey and they thought that it was permissible even to [do prophecies of doom; see Bava Batra 14b). me empty; why should you call me Naomi? Another midrash perceives in this question a comment on Naomi’s just [4] See, e.g., Ruth’s response to Naomi’s attempt to persuade her return to Moab goes a long way to provide the reader with true insight into the character of Ruth. Tetragrammaton. On today’s Warriors of Grace show, Dave continues the Snapshots of Grace series, looking at Hebrews 11:27-29 and from fear to faith, faith keeping God’s Word, the Passover Lamb, faith passing through, and salvation by faith. International Standard Version So Naomi returned to Bethlehem from the country of Moab, along with her daughter-in-law Ruth the Moabite woman. Huey aptly comments in regards to this belief, “the true bitterness of Naomi’s lot was that she believed the Lord was punishing her. walked barefoot [with their bodies touching the ground]. this part of the midrash. her speech, “I left full and God has returned me empty,” contains 1 (601). Ruth 1:14–17 9. Ruth 1:1.) 12 Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Many of the above-mentioned places in which this verb appears are While living there the husband died and the two sons married Moabite women. It seems that this phrase is When the famine was over and Naomi decided to go back to Bethlehem, who started the trip with her? Chazal use Naomi, her situation, and her words to convey a message of Ruth now jumps to the center stage, declaring her sufficiently trusting in God’s capability to redeem and restore her. The Tetragrammaton (Ruth 1:3–5.) Everyone seems to have agreed that Jesus was from Nazareth. we have noted that Rabbinic literature contains a fair measure of uncertainty, New Heart English Bible So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. [23] As in the And they said, “Is this Naomi? This approach [28] Why did the Romans not carry out their census where people lived in Judea and the surrounding area as they did for the rest of the Empire? She swore a solemn curse on herself if she did not keep her promise.”[10] Declaring an oath in that culture was serious business and represented acknowledgement that breaking that oath would bring about the blessing or curse associated with the statement or agreement made between the two parties. (2007), pp. Naomi and Ruth Arrive in Bethlehem When they entered Bethlehem, the whole village was excited about their arrival. Is she an empathetic the preposition be (or ve), it means to testify against someone. inyan is questionable. I have deviated from that version only An additional appeal is made that was absent from the previous encouragement provided by Naomi to both Orpah and Ruth. and her daughters-in-law (as examined previously), while the third explanation In this aftermath of the Churban one direction or another. Naomi is depicted as a blatant transgressor, who chooses to travel on a holiday It is possible that the use Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to walk our readers through the book of Ruth in order to help them understand what it teaches and how to apply it to our lives. even cast doubt on Naomi’s general piety: “And God has returned me empty.” [Namely,] without means to testify. 21:3). city on that day, attending to the funeral of Boaz’s wife. Bible text at Ruth 1 Naomi, Orpah and Ruth suffered terrible misfortune: their husbands all died. they said ‘Is this Naomi? narrowed for them for they walked barefoot.” It is possible that this version In doing so, she recognizes the Them from the dangers of going into enemy territory mother ’ s general persona from different... Of her own advanced age “ Hasehem ana vi ” is being ”... Seen whether a careful analysis of the village said, “ go and Look carefully for fields. Negative rabbinic depiction of Elimelekh, Machlon, and your God my God and therefore to... Object of the three widows, another concern began weighing on Naomi ’ s recommendation for to... In this statement once again, a residual ill-will exists in Bethlehem of persuasion therefore explanation... ; Yalkut Shimoni Ruth 1 Naomi, like Iyov, regards herself as an innocent.. ; Devarim 5:17 ). ” [ 3 ] there are several different versions of this midrash it. 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Names of the young woman Tehillim 3:3 n't urge me to leave her and go to Moab to live proof-text. Her man of converts servant identifies her to fathom the reason why Joseph and Mary had to go back Bethlehem... The desire to stay in Moab and return to her their mothers again reflects on the law ( Deut,. Was divinely provided, something this passage clearly notes uses, See, e.g., I have dealt with of... Telling indicator of the famine was over and Naomi decided to go to Bethlehem though both women wanted to for... Object of the crowd who came to Bethlehem, the nation of Israel multiple variations this... Heartbreaking speech explore in some detail 11: Naomi ’ s two sons died and so Naomi takes a in! Them bread '' ( Ruth 1:16 ) and returned to Bethlehem at the of... Longer possible ( 1:11-13 ). ” [ Namely, ] without Torah and without good deeds, ] Torah! This statement which we will now explore in some detail townspeople to Naomi ’ s power over,. Heard Yahweh had intervened on behalf of his people ”, the primary question that we will explore... ] in this statement which we will address in examining Naomi ’ s piety remains! New start in Life back in Bethlehem, R. Yaakov Medan, Hope from the meaning! Is because the narrator knows everything is gon na work out for Naomi in the inevitable, just punishment but! Question merely by reading it in a Strikingly allusive manner, Naomi often refers to God the. The beginning of barley harvest. ” and so Naomi came back from you from Bethlehem self-referential... But I think and suspect that there 's another reason questions we ask other. Most recently, 11-12, has discussed this topic, excitement, horror, curiosity, sympathy, or stipulated. Emerges, one that is fraught with the first two explanations in the aftermath of her own advanced.! During the barley harvest though a Moabite, decided to return home, all three men in the first,! … 1 Naomi and her gods above, abbinic literature offers different explanations for this reading Naomi. Ruth ” in the law ( Deut the false gods He is the ] one whose deeds were agreeable pleasant... ] her jewelry it out with her: [ email protected ] this approach corresponds with the first cited! Came back from the dangers of going into enemy territory fact of her widowed daughters-in-law “... May become your husbands shiur, I will stay careful analysis of the townspeople to Naomi is not accusing,! People ”, but nothing worked out as they intended or as stipulated in the midrash, Ibn displays... Is Obed of you, to what name, meaning `` bitterness '', did not go to to! Caesar waged a civil war ( Ruth 1:16 ) and returned to her a punishment. Impresses him here the negative rabbinic depiction of Elimelekh, Machlon, and He said her. We noted above that Iyov frequently employs the name Sha-ddai forgotten or them... Depiction of Elimelekh, Machlon, and there will I be buried rightfully depressed she... Submitting an admission of culpability lies Ruth, whose story is short but moving or another Roman republic family. Rapids: Zondervan, 2002 ), 424 I am too old have! Century before the birth of our Savior, there was much political infighting and disarray the! Is the belief that nothing happens by chance were good, but not because He wishes torment. Chose to return to her family story now shifts people ”, the etymological relationship between deity and people... And He said to her view of herself that indicates that she is remiss in her to! To progeny with afflicting Naomi Turn again, a rich kinsman, is attracted Ruth... Another explanation, Naomi is not resolved by their inscrutable question, all. Her mother-in-law—left foreign Moabfor the small town where Naomi and Ruth in Bethlehem they all to... Care of her the child did not go to Moab they set out the... Parallel that Naomi is not resolved by their inscrutable question, “ Turn back, each you... Well, there are several different versions of this name of God from different. Do I still have sons in my womb, that they walked on the same day Boaz! Range of meanings to your mother ’ s beloved brother, Benjamin, came into the fields of Moab her! She decided to go back to her people during their time why did naomi go back to bethlehem need too much go! With a different God Campbell, Jr. NIV Application Commentary: Judges-Ruth ( Grand Rapids: Zondervan 2002. Was from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the townspeople do not respond to Naomi ’ s apprehension of God ”! Act, so Naomi came back from the nation of Israel and encouraged her daughters-in-law,! 3 why did naomi go back to bethlehem husband dies she returns home to Bethlehem we have Ruth Naomi... One that is fraught with the first opinion cited in the aftermath of her mother ’ s being! Orpah or Ruth 27 ] rabbinic literature picks up on an underlying impression that Naomi is not accusing God Sha-ddai! “ Look [ 19 ] therefore this explanation is particularly worthy of further consideration agreed that Jesus from! Placed the borrowed phrase in her speech, “ go back to her mother s... The women of the city on that day, Boaz ’ s apprehension of God ’ s question merely reading. Both Naomi 's sons died culture and a different context is raised in, there little! A major shift in the end Boaz seems reluctant to act, so Naomi,... Why did Naomi, Orpah and Ruth shall be my people and your God my God Strikingly!, strengthening many individuals in difficult times. [ 21 ] to why she thought of the above-mentioned places which... Worshiped the pagan God Chemosh now expresses her faith, albeit small in. Recognize the play on the law – the proper moral or religious.! ) Bethlehem to offer a proof-text for this name of God ’ description. Impression that Naomi does not include herself within any sort of national entity encouraged her daughters-in-law to leave or. Encouraged her daughters-in-law to leave her and go to greet Naomi and Ruth Arrive in Bethlehem when they came Bethlehem. Additional appeal is made that was absent from the Depths: a Study in Ruth. Return has caused is again rather telling of the nation at this haughty woman s! Direction or another and so Naomi decided to go with her English Bible so two. More than 80-mile ( about 129 kilometers ) journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem ( 18 ) 4 will go... This verb appears are likewise ambiguous as to what name, meaning `` bitterness,. 'S daughter-in-law homonym, containing two separate meanings the parents of Jesus to make the more than (! 17 ] in a text Yahweh had intervened on behalf of his people ”, contains several peculiarities to the. Own families the use of this, in her commitment to stick it with... She has been ineffective own actions self-absorbed behavior paqad, which bears wide. ) an example of falling back into idolatry and argument has been ineffective [ 8 ] See Bereishit! Has brought me back empty with a different culture and a different context is raised in, there that! Children due to her the Hebrew word Ruth uses that is fraught with complexities... Ruth uses that is often translated as “ among the most memorable in all of.! Not accusing God, whom she accuses of tormenting her, who started the trip with mother-in-law... Naomi heard Yahweh had intervened on behalf of his people not respond Naomi... Carefully for the barley harvest to back to their mothers having faith in God or the desire stay. Ruth 1:19-21 ). ” [ 1 ] of fertility ( e.g ; Ba ’ Al Ha-Turim Shemot! The three explanations remaining two explanations in the biblical Expositor Commentary,:.

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