|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.
Verse 5. - And, to make a long story short, Machlon and Chillon died also both of them. "Like green apples," says Fuller, "cudgelled off the tree." But why "cudgelled?" There is no evidence in the text of Divine displeasure, and the Christian expositor, when going beyond the text in quest of principles, should not forget the tower of Siloam, and the victims of Pilate s bloodthirstiness (see Luke 13:1-5). And the woman was left of her two children and of her husband. That is, "of her two children as well as of her husband." She became as it were their relict too. She remained behind after they had gone on before. If all sentiment were to be taken out of the expression, it might then be simply said, in very commonplace prose, she survived them. Poor woman! "Of the two sexes," says Fuller, "the woman is the weaker; of women, old women are most feeble; of old women, widows most woeful; of widows, those that are poor, their plight most pitiful; of poor widows, those who want children, their case most doleful; of widows that want children, those that once had them, and after lost them, their estate most desolate; of widows that have had children, those that are strangers in a foreign country, their condition most comfortless. Yet all these met together in Naomi, as in the center of sorrow, to make the measure of her misery pressed down, shaken together, running over. I conclude, therefore, many men have had affliction - none like Job; many women have had tribulation - none like Naomi."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them,.... As well as their father, in the land of Moab, after they had lived with their wives in it about ten years; the Targum is,"because they transgressed the decree of the Word of the Lord, and joined in affinity with strange people, their days were cut off;''or shortened:
and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband; deprived both of her husband and her sons, which was a great affliction, aggravated by her being in a strange country; many are the afflictions of the righteous.
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