Ruth 1:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 1:10, NIV: and said to her, 'We will go back with you to your people.'

Ruth 1:10, ESV: And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”

Ruth 1:10, KJV: And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.

Ruth 1:10, NASB: However, they said to her, 'No, but we will return with you to your people.'

Ruth 1:10, NLT: 'No,' they said. 'We want to go with you to your people.'

Ruth 1:10, CSB: They said to her, "We insist on returning with you to your people."

What does Ruth 1:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Ten years before, an Israelite family settled in Moab because God had sent a famine to their hometown of Bethlehem. In the interim, the husband died, the two sons married, and then the sons died. Naomi is left with her two Moabite daughters-in-law (Ruth 1:1–5).

While working in the field one day, Naomi hears from other workers that the famine is over (Ruth 1:6). In Israel, she will not be able to hold her husband's land. She is too old to remarry. She apparently has no close family to care for her. But she will be home. She will be able to glean for food (Leviticus 23:22). And even though she is bitter at God for her losses (Ruth 1:20–21), she will be able to worship Him, surrounded by others who do the same.

At first, her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, accompany her (Ruth 1:7–9). They love their mother-in-law so much they can't bear the thought of leaving her alone. Having lived with a loving Israelite family, they may not understand the history behind the Moabites and the Israelites. A few hundred years before, when the Israelites marched up from the Sinai Peninsula to the river ford near Jericho, the Moabite king hired the prophet Balaam to curse them. God prevented Balaam from speaking any words but God's blessings on His people. So, Balaam suggested the king send down Moabite women to entice the Israelite men away from their wives and the worship of their God. The temptation worked so well that God punished the Israelites with a massive wave of death (Numbers 22:1—25:9; 31:16).

Whether or not Orpah and Ruth know this, they should know that life will be much more difficult in Israel. They will be unmarried widows from a people God has cursed (Deuteronomy 23:3–6). Their future will be much brighter if they return to their parents and find new husbands.

At first, they refuse. Moving on to other families and regions, in that era of history, almost always meant a permanent "goodbye." What Naomi suggests is a permanent separation. The younger women prefer to stay with Naomi and go to Israel with her. Naomi refortifies her argument and, eventually, Orpah reluctantly agrees and returns home. Ruth, however, clings to her mother-in-law, and that makes all the difference (Ruth 1:11–18).