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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete 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... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Ruth 1:1

Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled ,.... So that it appears that this history is of time and things after the affair of Micah, and of the concubine of the Levite, and of the war between Israel and Benjamin; for in those times there was no king nor judge in Israel; but to what time of the judges, and which government of theirs it belongs to, is not agreed on. Josephus F15 places it in the government of Eli, but that is too late for Boaz, the grandfather of Jesse, the... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Ruth 1:2

And the name of the man was Elimelech ,.... Which signifies "my God is King", as he was King over Israel. In the times of the judges, the government was a theocracy; the judges were raised up immediately by the Lord, and ruled under him; the Targum calls him a great man, and so Jarchi; and it is very likely he was, especially if it be true what is said the Jewish chronology F21 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 12. p. 34. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 8. 1. , that he was the brother of Salmon, prince... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Ruth 1:3

And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died ,.... According to Josephus F24 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 9. sect. 1.) , after he had dwelt in the land ten years, and had married his two sons to Moabitish women; but, as Alshech observes, the text shows that while he was living they were not married to them, but after his death; and it is said of them only that they dwelt there about ten years; so that it is most probable that their father died quickly after he came into the land of Moab: and... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Ruth 1:4

And they took them wives of the women of Moab ,.... Not before they were proselyted to the Jewish religion, as Aben Ezra thinks, and which seems plainly to be the case of Ruth; at least she was so afterwards, if not before; and also of Orpah, as the same writer concludes from 1:15 though others are of a different opinion, and some excuse their marriage, and others condemn it as unlawful, among whom is the Targumist, who paraphrases the words,"and they transgressed the decree of the Word of... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Ruth 1:1

When the judges ruled - We know not under what judge this happened; some say under Ehud, others under Shamgar. See the preface. There was a famine - Probably occasioned by the depredations of the Philistines, Ammonites, etc., carrying off the corn as soon as it was ripe, or destroying it on the field. The Targum says: "God has decreed ten grievous famines to take place in the world, to punish the inhabitants of the earth, before the coming of Messiah the king. The first in... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Ruth 1:2

Elimelech - That is, God is my king. Naomi - Beautiful or amiable. Mahlon - Infirmity. Chilion - Finished, completed. read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Ruth 1:3

Elimelech - died - Probably a short time after his arrival in Moab. read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Ruth 1:4

And they took them wives - The Targum very properly observes, that they transgressed the decree of the word of the Lord, and took to themselves strange women. read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Ruth 1:1

EXPOSITION Now it came to pass. Or, more literally, "And it came to pass." The "And" is somewhat remarkable, standing at the commencement of the Book. But as it is also found at the commencement of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Ezekiel, Esther, and Ezra, its use, though inartistic, must be amenable to some literary law. The Books specified, even including Ezekiel, are historical They are parcels of history, each narrating... read more

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