And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth…
The notes of time found in this narrative are meager. It is not easy to decide to what the "ten years "here mentioned refer. After the death of Elimelech, the two sons were spared to be the occupation and the solace of the widow's life. Naomi saw them grow up to manhood. Then the young men "took them wives of the women of Moab."
I. MARRIAGE IS LAWFUL BETWEEN PERSONS OF DIFFERENT NATIONS. There was nothing in the law of Moses to prevent these young men from acting as they did, although the children of Israel were not allowed to intermarry with the Canaanites. Later in Jewish history Nehemiah interpreted the law as forbidding marriage with the children of Moab, But he seems to have acted with unjust severity. These Moabitish women were virtuous, kind, devoted; conformed to the religion of their husbands, and one of them found a solid satisfaction in the worship of Jehovah. The conduct of the young men seems to have been natural and blameless.
II. MARRIAGE SHOULD ONLY BE-ENTERED UPON AFTER SERIOUS AND PRAYERFUL DELIBERATION, AND WITH A CONVICTION OF ITS ACCEPTABLENESS TO GOD. Sensible and Christian people should discountenance the practice of treating marriage with levity. Consideration should be given to time, to circumstances, and, above all, to character. Confidence and esteem must be, with affection, the basis of wedded happiness; and these cannot exist in their completeness where there is dissimilarity of conviction and aim - where one party is living to the world, and the other would live unto the Lord. Error here involves misery, and perhaps disaster and ruin. Lessons: -
1. Let elders inculcate just views of the marriage relationship upon the young.
2. Let the young avoid committing themselves to a contract of marriage until a fair experience of life has been acquired.
3. Let Christians marry "only in the Lord." - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.