ISSL Reflections Ruth 1:6–18, 22 Post 1

We start this week with, “Then she started to return …


You want to take a extra moment to read the first five verses of Ruth 1, which sets the stage for the journey Naomi intends. There you read of Naomi, her husband, their journey from Bethlehem to Moab; of her two sons, the sons’ marriage to Moabite women, and deaths of Naomi’s husband and two sons. And then Naomi decides to ….

Ruth 1:6-18, 22 (NRSVue)

Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had considered his people and given them food. So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah. But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters. Why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me.” Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.

So she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said,

“Do not press me to leave you,
    to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
     where you lodge, I will lodge;
your people shall be my people
     and your God my God.

Where you die, I will die,
     and there will I be buried.
May the Lord do thus to me,
    and more as well,
if even death parts me from you!”

When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.

So Naomi returned together with Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, who came back with her from the country of Moab. They came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Who is introduced to you in this passage? Where are they? Where does Naomi want to go? Why do you think she would want to begin such a journey?

When does she change her mind about her traveling companions? Why do you think that might be?

And then, how do her daughters-in-law respond to her request?

As you read this passage, notice the depth of feelings, of love, the three women have for one another.

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *