Ruth 1:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.

New Living Translation
In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him.

English Standard Version
In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.

New American Standard Bible
Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons.

King James Bible
Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
During the time of the judges, there was a famine in the land. A man left Bethlehem in Judah with his wife and two sons to live in the land of Moab for a while.

International Standard Version
Now there came a time of famine while judges were ruling in the land of Israel. A man from Bethlehem of Judah, his wife, and his two sons left to live in the country of Moab.

NET Bible
During the time of the judges there was a famine in the land of Judah. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah went to live as a resident foreigner in the region of Moab, along with his wife and two sons.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
In the days when the judges were ruling, there was a famine in the land. A man from Bethlehem in Judah went with his wife and two sons to live for a while in the country of Moab.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now it came to pass in the days when the judges governed that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem of Judah went to sojourn in the fields of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

King James 2000 Bible
Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

American King James Version
Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

American Standard Version
And it came to pass in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

Douay-Rheims Bible
In the days of one of the judges, when the judges ruled, there came a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem Juda, went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons.

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man went from Bethlehem-Judah, to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

English Revised Version
And it came to pass in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Beth-lehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

Webster's Bible Translation
Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Beth-lehem-judah went to dwell in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

World English Bible
It happened in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land. A certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

Young's Literal Translation
And it cometh to pass, in the days of the judging of the judges, that there is a famine in the land, and there goeth a man from Beth-Lehem-Judah to sojourn in the fields of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:1-5 Elimelech's care to provide for his family, was not to be blamed; but his removal into the country of Moab could not be justified. And the removal ended in the wasting of his family. It is folly to think of escaping that cross, which, being laid in our way, we ought to take up. Changing our place seldom is mending it. Those who bring young people into bad acquaintance, and take them out of the way of public ordinances, thought they may think them well-principled, and armed against temptation, know not what will be the end. It does not appear that the women the sons of Elimelech married, were proselyted to the Jewish religion. Earthly trials or enjoyments are of short continuance. Death continually removes those of every age and situation, and mars all our outward comforts: we cannot too strongly prefer those advantages which shall last for ever.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - 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 events that had their genesis in more or less significant antecedent occurrences. This historical genesis, so very different from an "absolute commencement" of things, is indicated, though probably in unreflective spontaneity, by the copulative "And." In the days when the judges ruled. Or, more literally, "when the judges judged." In primitive times there was no function that was more important for society than that of judiciously settling disputes between man and man. Every such settlement, besides conferring a benefit on society, and in particular on the individuals at variance, would increase the moral influence and social elevation of the judge. By and by his moral and social superiority would, in favorable circumstances, grow into authority, specifically judicial on the one hand, and generically political, or semi-political, on the other. When military prowess and skill in strategy were added, a ruler, champion, or leader would be the result. Many such leaders rose up among the Hebrews ere yet society was compactly organized. They were vanously endowed; but most of them were only very partially equipped for the judicious administration of the affairs of the commonwealth. All, however, were called judges; and the discharge of their high duties was denominated judging, even when it was entirely inconspicuous as regards judicial ability or judicious determinations. The Hebrew word for judge is שֹׁפֵט shofet; and it is an interesting evidence of the very close kinship of Hebrew and Phoenician, that in Carthage the chief magistrate, as we learn from Livy and other Roman writers, was called sufes (originally, as we see from the inflection, sufet). That there was a famine. An admirable though free rendering. In the original the structure of the whole statement is exceedingly primitive and "agglutinative" - And (it) was in the days of the judging of the judges, and (there) was a famine. In the land. Namely, of Israel. The non-specification of the particular country referred to is evidence that the writer was living in it, as one at home. Josephus says that it was under the judgeship of Eli, the high priest, that the famine spoken of occurred ('Antiquities,' 5:9, 1). But here the historian speaks "without book," and without any particular plausibility. Several expositors, such as Bishop Patrick, have antedated, by a very long way, the calculation of Josephus They would assign the famine to the period when the Midianites and Amalekites came up, "as grasshoppers for multitude, to destroy the land," so that Israel was greatly impoverished (see Judges 6.). But it is in vain to multiply guesses. The date of the famine is not given, and it is futile to make inquisition for it. And a certain man. The interpolation of the individualizing word "certain" is quite uncalled for, and now quite archaic. The simplicity of the original is sufficient, "And a man. Of Bethlehem-judah. Or, as it might be still more literally represented, "of Bethlehem, Judah." Them is no such single name as Bethlehem-judah. There is only the apposition, for discrimination's sake, of one geographical name to another, just as we may say, in English, Boston, Lincolnshire, or Alexandria, Dumbartonshire. The localization of the main name is thus effectually indicated. There is another Alexandria in Egypt; there is another Boston in the United States of America; and there was in Palestine another Bethlehem, namely, in the canton of Zebulun (see Joshua 19:15). Bethlehem, Judah, lies about six miles to the south of Jerusalem. "Its appearance," says Dr. Porter, "is striking. It is situated on a narrow ridge, which projects eastward from the central mountain range, and breaks down in abrupt terraced slopes to deep valleys on the north, east, and south. The terraces, admirably kept, and covered with rows of olives, intermixed with the fig and the vine, sweep in graceful curves round the ridge, regular as stairs" ('Syria and Palestine,' D. 199). The valleys below are exceptionally fertile, and have been so from time immemorial. Hence indeed the name Beth-lehem, or Bread-house. Its modern name is Beit-lahm, or Flesh-house. Went to sojourn in the land of Moab. We have no word in English that exactly, corresponds to the verb גּוּר rendered sojourn. The cognate noun is uniformly translated, in King James's version, stranger, and means foreigner. The verb means to dwell as a foreigner, but its root-idea is yet undetermined. The Latin peregrinari admirably corresponds. The man of Bethlehem, Judah, went forth from his own country to "peregrinate" (Greek, παροικῆσαι) "in the land of Moab;" literally, "in the fields of Moab," that is, "in the pastoral parts of the territory of Moab." It was not a very great way off, this land of his "peregrination." Its blue mountains, rising up luridly beyond the silver thread of the Jordan and the gleaming expanse of the Dead Sea, are distinctly visible from the Mount of Olives and the heights about Bethlehem. He, and his wife, and his two sons. The resumptive he is employed for the purpose of linking on to him, in his "peregrination, the other members of the little household. He emigrated "along with his wife and two sons." He had fought hard to keep the wolf of hunger from his door, but was like to be beaten. One after another the props of his hope that better days would soon dawn had been swept from under him, and he saw no alternative but to leave for a season the land of his fathers.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

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 (o) places it in the government of Eli, but that is too late for Boaz, the grandfather of Jesse, the father of David, to live. Some Jewish writers, as Jarchi, say it was in the times of Ibzan, who they say (p) is the same with Boaz, but without proof, and which times are too late also for this history. The Jewish chronology (q) comes nearer the truth, which carries it up as high as the times of Eglon, king of Moab, when Ehud was judge; and with which Dr. Lightfoot (r) pretty much agrees, who puts this history between the third and fourth chapters of Judges, and so must belong to the times of Ehud or Shamgar. Junius refers it to the times of Deborah and Barak; and others (s), on account of the famine, think it began in the times the Midianites oppressed Israel, and carried off the fruits of the earth, which caused it, when Gideon was raised up to be their judge; Alting (t) places it in the time of Jephthah; such is the uncertainty about the time referred to:

that there was a famine in the land; the land of Canaan, that very fruitful country. The Targum says this was the sixth famine that had been in the world, and it was in the days of Boaz, who is called Ibzan the just, and who was of Bethlehemjudah; but it is more probable that it was in the days of Gideon, as before observed, than in the days of Ibzan

and a certain man of Bethlehemjudah; so called to distinguish it from another Bethlehem in the tribe of Zebulun, Joshua 19:15 which had its name from the fruitfulness of the place, and the plenty of bread in it, and yet the famine was here; hence this man with his family removed from it:

and went to sojourn in the country of Moab; where there was plenty; not to dwell there, but to sojourn for a time, until the famine was over:

he and his wife, and his two sons; the names of each of them are next given.

par (o) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 9. sect. 1.((p) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 91. 1. Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 8. 2. Jarchi & Abendana in loc. (q) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 12. p. 33. (r) Works, vol. 1. p. 48. (s) Rambachius in loc. & Majus in ib. so Biship Patrick. Lampe Hist. Eccl. l. 1. c. 5. p. 22. (t) Theolog. Hist. loc. 2. p. 84.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

THE BOOK OF RUTH. Commentary by Robert Jamieson

CHAPTER 1

Ru 1:1-5. Elimelech, Driven by Famine into Moab, Dies There.

1. in the days when the judges ruled—The beautiful and interesting story which this book relates belongs to the early times of the judges. The precise date cannot be ascertained.

Ruth 1:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Naomi Widowed
1Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons. 2The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi; and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. Now they entered the land of Moab and remained there.…
Cross References
Genesis 12:10
Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe.

Genesis 26:1
Now there was a famine in the land--besides the previous famine in Abraham's time--and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar.

Judges 2:16
Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.

Judges 17:7
A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah,

Judges 17:8
left that town in search of some other place to stay. On his way he came to Micah's house in the hill country of Ephraim.

2 Kings 8:1
Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, "Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the LORD has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years."

Micah 5:2
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
Treasury of Scripture

Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

the judges

Judges 2:16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out …

Judges 12:8 And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel.

ruled [heb] judged
a famine

Genesis 12:10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt …

Genesis 26:1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that …

Genesis 43:1 And the famine was sore in the land.

Leviticus 26:19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven …

Deuteronomy 28:23,24,38 And your heaven that is over your head shall be brass, and the earth …

2 Samuel 21:1 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after …

1 Kings 17:1-12 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said …

1 Kings 18:2 And Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.

2 Kings 8:1,2 Then spoke Elisha to the woman, whose son he had restored to life, …

Psalm 105:16 Moreover he called for a famine on the land: he broke the whole staff of bread.

Psalm 107:34 A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.

Jeremiah 14:1 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth.

Ezekiel 14:13,21 Son of man, when the land sins against me by trespassing grievously, …

Joel 1:10,11,16-20 The field is wasted, the land mourns; for the corn is wasted: the …

Amos 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, …

Beth-lehem-Judah

Judges 17:8 And the man departed out of the city from Bethlehemjudah to sojourn …

Judges 19:1,2 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel…

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