|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.
Verses 3-5. - "In these words," says Fuller, "we have two marriages ushered and followed by funerals." Verse 3. - And Elimelech Naomi's husband died. Apparently soon after the settlement of the family. No details, however, are given, as, on the one hand, no blame is attached to the conduct of Elimelech, and as, on the other, the line of biographical interest runs in another direction. And she was left, and her two sons. Not only was the mother her husband's relict; they were all left behind. He had gone somewhither in advance, and they "remained." So the word is frequently rendered.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died,.... According to Josephus (x), 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 she was left, and her two sons; in a strange land, she without a husband, and they without a father.
(x) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 9. sect. 1.)
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