The Book of Ruth: Chapter 1

For a few weeks now, I have made my Mondays a ‘Women of the Bible,’ day. I won’t lie and say that I have been consistent, but I finally finished the Book of Ruth. Ruth consists of only 4 chapters and it seems like a randomly placed book and it is only until you reach the end, that you are mind blown.

I am not affiliated with the BibleProject, but I enjoy watching their videos and they also have a nice summary of the Book of Ruth.

Chapter 1

A snippet of verse 1 NKJV, “And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab.”Did you know that Bethlehem (Beit-Lechem) means House of Bread? And that Judah (Yehudah) means to praise or to exalt?

In the Orthodox Jewish Bible, it is written “Beit-Lechem Yehudah,” without any commas, which translated means House of Bread exalted. This reminds me of a few bible verses, such as Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22 and Luke 22:19 NKJV “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.” John 6:51 NKJV“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

I feel like that first verse is a teaser to what is to come, that Jesus will be exalted and praised, which he was. Jesus is still praised for dying on the cross and giving up His life, so that we could live a righteous life. He has been exalted, Philippians 2:9 NKJV“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.”

In verse 2 NKJV, we are introduced to the some of the main characters of the Book of Ruth, “The 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.

I believe that there is power in the name, and that a name can determine your future or path, so here is some behind-the-name meanings:

  • Elimelech means my Elohim is King (my ruler, my sovereign)
  • Naomi means to be pleasant, my delight, sweet
  • Mahlon or Machlon OJB means man of sickness or man of entreaty (plea)
  • Chilion or Kilyon OJB means coming to an end, man of finality

Note that they were Ephrathites, which are people from Ephrath/Ephrathah. Ephrath means to be fruitful, which was one of the first commandments that Elohim gave His creations. The bible states in Genesis 1:28 NKJV“God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it,”” and in Genesis 9:7 NKJV“And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.”

In verse 4 NKJV, we are then introduced to the wives of Mahlon and Chilion, Orpah (meaning neck or fawn) and Ruth.

Note that the meaning of Ruth is described as friend or companion, and if you study the Book of Ruth, you can see that it is truly a Book of Friendship or Fellowship. Ruth and Naomi exhibit solidarity and closeness.  

In verse 5 NKJV, Mahlon and Chilion also die, without heirs and this is why I believe there is power in the tongue. Continuously repeating something over someone’s life can come to pass, and unfortunately with names like this, nothing good could have happened.

Proverbs 12:18 NKJVThere is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.Proverbs 18:21 NKJVDeath and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” The tongue can be used for good and bad, that’s why we must be careful with what we say to one another and to ourselves. We must exercise restraint and reflect on what we say aloud and in our hearts. James 3:1-12 NKJV is dedicated to the power of the tongue and how we need to be careful with what we say. Below, are snippets from that chapter:

  • Verse 5 – “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!” As I am typing this, I have just remembered an incident at work, which escalated into a huge fight. Small gossips and tiny lies can lead to big issues. Luckily, I did not participate in the nonsense and also as fellow followers of Jehovah, I hope that you guys won’t participate in nonsense as well, regardless of how tantalising it can be.
  • Verse 6 – And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
  • Verse 8-10 – But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

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