Ruth 1:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 1:8, NIV: Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, 'Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the LORD show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me.

Ruth 1:8, ESV: But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.

Ruth 1:8, KJV: And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

Ruth 1:8, NASB: But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, 'Go, return each of you to your mother’s house. May the LORD deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me.

Ruth 1:8, NLT: But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, 'Go back to your mothers' homes. And may the LORD reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me.

Ruth 1:8, CSB: Naomi said to them, "Each of you go back to your mother's home. May the Lord show kindness to you as you have shown to the dead and to me.

What does Ruth 1:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Naomi and her daughters-in-law have been making the arduous trek from Moab on the east side of the Dead Sea to Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1–7). The details of the events and the women's motivations are unclear. Orpah and Ruth are Moabites. Their husbands, Naomi's sons, have died. They are free to return to their birth-families and seek out other husbands who can give them security and a family. Why did they start to come with Naomi, and why does she try to turn them around? Perhaps the closer Naomi gets to Israel, the more she realizes how difficult life will be for pagan, widowed, Moabite women to live in Israel. And, as a widow herself, there is nothing Naomi can do to protect them.

"Kindly" is from the Hebrew word hesed. Hesed means "loyalty, reliability, kindness, compassion." It is the predominant quality of God that characterizes the covenants He made with the Israelites (Genesis 39:21; Exodus 15:13; Psalm 36:5). Scholars suggest Naomi uses the statement "May the LORD deal kindly with you" as a formal declaration, ending a relationship. Naomi is releasing the women from all obligation to her.

Hesed, sometimes translated as "steadfast love" or "lovingkindness" is a major theme in Ruth's story. Soon, Ruth will remark on Boaz's similar expression of kindness (Ruth 2:13), Naomi will admit God has been kind (Ruth 2:20), and Boaz will honor Ruth's kindness to Naomi (Ruth 3:10). God shows His lovingkindness and covenant faithfulness directly and through the kindness of those who fear Him.