TJPW Bible Study Series Ruth 1:1-5
This bible study was sourced from Matthew Henry’s commentaries. John Calvin Commentaries and John Gill Commentaries.
NKJV Ruth 1:1-5
1Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges [a]ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to [b]dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. 2The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion—Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. 3Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they [c]dwelt there about ten years. 5Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary
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.
1:1-5 Elimelech’s care to provide for his family, was not to be blamed; but his removal into the country of Moab could not be justified. And the removal ended in the wasting of his family. It is folly to think of escaping that cross, which, being laid in our way, we ought to take up. Changing our place seldom is mending it. Those who bring young people into bad acquaintance, and take them out of the way of public ordinances, thought they may think them well-principled, and armed against temptation, know not what will be the end. It does not appear that the women the sons of Elimelech married, were proselyted to the Jewish religion. Earthly trials or enjoyments are of short continuance. Death continually removes those of every age and situation, and mars all our outward comforts: we cannot too strongly prefer those advantages which shall last forever.
And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
The Joyful Patriarchy Wife Commentary:
Ladies, Elimelech, like so many times we try to escape our cross(his was famine) , and instead of bear it and endure, for our good. This attempt to escape Elimelech’s cross (famine) was a decision that put his family to ruin. This, teaches us that we need to be content where we are at and work through the trial that is set before us. Work through our situation with much prayer and seeking God’s will in our situation. And they may mean not moving, but submitting. Moving locations does not make our problems go away. They may seem for a while to subside but if the problem isn’t solved that caused the move. The problem or trial has not been avoided but only delayed. And in Elimelech’s case, his move compounded all his troubles. Earthy trials are many times hard to endure, but in the light of glory they are short lived and meant to refine us as gold. I know those words are easier to say than they are to live, but we are a royal priesthood, our Master carried a Cross for us, and we should expect to pick up our cross and continue our journey. Hard it will be at times. And I can encourage you to seek His face in prayer and in His Word. These are our comfort in this World.
We are not to chase after what it easier but what is right. But rather what is true in the sight of the Lord.
Interestingly, the name Elimelech means “my God is King” and Elimelech chose to leave the land where his God was King, to a foreign land with foreign false gods.
This may be applied to our times in life when we have been tempted and at have conceded in conforming to the World’s systems, just for a little while would be of benefit, and have come to know that it brings only ruin.
Elimelech’s sons married Moabite women and stayed for 10 years, which Ruth was enduring in a foreign land, but then she lost her sons. And her grief was great. How sorrowful for a mother to first lose her husband and have only two sons and then lose them? What heartache and sorrow upon sorrow?
Things to Ponder:
1.How did the people in the time of the Judges usually make decisions? ( Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes)
2. As Christians, how are we to make our decisions? (James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the word, this one will be blessed in what he does.)
3.We have all made decisions in our life that have not been in obedience to God, and how have we reaped from those decisions? (Proverbs 16:3Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established)
4.Do you feel like your circumstances are sometimes overwhelming and tempted to succumb to Worldly systems or solutions? (2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”)
(1 Corinthians 10:13No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it)
5.God is only Good and Just. How can we serve, and obey God, learning from Elimelech and his plight? (Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose)
(Psalm115:9 -O Israel, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.)
(1 Peter 1:6-9 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been [c]grieved by various trials, 7that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8whom having not [d]seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.)