Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ruth 1:4

Ruth 1:4


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.

Hebrew OT

 4 וַיִּשְׂאוּ (and they took) לָהֶם (to them) נָשִׁים (wives) מֹאֲבִיֹּות (Moabitesses) שֵׁם (the name) הָאַחַת (of one) עָרְפָּה (Orpah) וְשֵׁם (and the name) הַשֵּׁנִית (of the other) רוּת (Ruth) וַיֵּשְׁבוּ (and the lived) שָׁם (there) כְּעֶשֶׂר (ten) שָׁנִים׃ (years)


Greek Septuagint

4καὶ (and) ἐλάβοσαν (they took) ἑαυτοῖς (to themselves) γυναῖκας (wives) μωαβίτιδας (Moabites) ὄνομα (the name) τῇ (of) μιᾷ (one) ορφα (Orphah) καὶ (and) ὄνομα (the name) τῇ (of the) δευτέρᾳ (second) ρουθ (Ruth) καὶ (and) κατῴκησαν (they dwelt) ἐκεῖ (there) ὡς (thus) δέκα (ten) ἔτη (years)


And they took them wives of the women of Moab

“They” referred here, is Naomi’s sons: Mahlon and Chilion.

There have been countless warnings in the Torah (the 5 books of Moses) against the taking of a wife that is not of the children of Israel. So Naomi bringing back Ruth to Israel (later in the chapter) must have looked very bad to a lot of her kinsfolk in Israel.

The Moabites were related to the Israelites, as they were the descendants of Lot. (see notes on Ruth 1:1)
Interestingly Barnes writes in his notes on the Bible: Marriages of Israelites with women of Ammon or Moab are nowhere in the Law expressly forbidden, as were marriages with the women of Canaan Deuteronomy 7:1-3. In the days of Nehemiah the special law Deuteronomy 23:3-6 was interpreted as forbidding them, and as excluding the children of such marriages from the congregation of Israel Nehemiah 13:1-3. Probably the marriages of Mahlon and Chilion would be justified by necessity, living as they were in a foreign land.

The name of the one was Orpah

According to Wikipedia: “Orpah, meaning "mane" or "gazelle", is from the root for "nape" or "back of the neck",

The following is another interesting article explaining the meaning of the name Orpah:

And the name of the other Ruth

The name Ruth probably means “Friend” or “Companion”

And they dwelled there about ten years

“About”… This word does not appear in the original Hebrew, instead there is a “Kaph” prefix, which is usually translated “as” or “thus”. The Greek Septuagint mirrors this by using ὡς (usually translated “thus”). 

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