Ruth 1:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 1:9, NIV: May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.' Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud

Ruth 1:9, ESV: The LORD grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.

Ruth 1:9, KJV: The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

Ruth 1:9, NASB: May the LORD grant that you may find a place of rest, each one in the house of her husband.' Then she kissed them, and they raised their voices and wept.

Ruth 1:9, NLT: May the LORD bless you with the security of another marriage.' Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept.

Ruth 1:9, CSB: May the Lord grant each of you rest in the house of a new husband." She kissed them, and they wept loudly.

What does Ruth 1:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Naomi has allowed her daughters-in-law to accompany her from their home in Moab (Ruth 1:1–7). However, it seems the closer she gets to Bethlehem, the more she realizes the Moabite widows will have nothing in Israel. Naomi is not anticipating an easy life for herself in Israel. She has no close male relative to take her in. She cannot claim ownership of her husband's land. She is past the age of childbearing, so there is no chance she can remarry. Life will be grueling, but she will be home, and the famine is over (Ruth 1:6).

This means the two young Moabite women will have an even harder life. The Mosaic law includes stipulations to protect sojourners and widows (Exodus 22:21–24; Deuteronomy 14:28–29; 24:19–22). Yet the very existence of those laws suggests how often hardship and injustice were inflicted on such persons. Their only chance for sustenance is to glean: to follow behind hired workers and pick out scraps of grain and fruit left behind. But workers are very efficient, and there will not be much to take. And while in the fields, they will be vulnerable to the attacks of the workers, themselves.

And if Naomi dies while they are in Israel, their situation will be even worse.

Naomi is mired in depression but can still think of what's best for Orpah and Ruth. They should stay in Moab. In fact, they should go back to their birth-families. Their parents can arrange marriages with Moabite men. They can raise their families and worship their gods. They will have rest. Rest from the wandering and the fear and the food insecurity. After all, what Israelite man would want to marry a Moabitess? It was Moabitesses who seduced Israelite men away from their wives and their God when the Israelites came to settle in the Promised Land (Numbers 25:1–9). Only sons of Naomi would want to marry them, and she is past the age of childbearing (Ruth 1:10–13).

Even though Naomi is bitter towards God for the loss of her husband and sons (Ruth 1:20–21), when it comes to blessing the women she loves, God is all she has. There is something in Naomi's heart deeper than resentment, and both Orpah and Ruth would have seen it. She was probably different from the Moabite women they know. Her God was certainly different from the idols of the Moabites.

Orpah, tearfully, finally agrees to leave. Unlike the modern world, goodbyes such as this were usually permanent; once the women move on to new lives, they have no reason to expect to ever meet again. Ruth, however, wants whatever Naomi has (Ruth 1:14–17).