In the time of the judges: three generations before the end of the period of Judges; cf Ru 4, 21f
. Bethlehem of Judah: to distinguish it from the town of the same name in the tribe of Zebulun (Jos 19, 15
). Ephrathites from Bethlehem: belonging to a Judean clan which settled in Bethlehem; cf 1 Sm 17, 12; 1 Chr 2, 50f; 4, 4
Mother's house: the women's part of the dwelling; cf Jgs 4, 17; Song 3, 4
Have I other sons…husbands?: Naomi insisted that her daughters‐in‐law remain in their own country only for the sake of posterity.
If she had had other sons, the levirate law would have obliged them to marry the widows of her deceased sons to perpetuate
the names of the deceased; cf Gn 38, 8; Dt 25, 5f
An example of heroic fidelity and piety. Ruth's decision, confirmed with an oath, to adhere to her mother‐in‐law impelled
her to abandon her country and its pagan worship.
Naomi: means “amiable” or “pleasant,” suggesting God's favor toward her. The Almighty has brought evil upon me: the ancients
regarded adversity as a punishment from God for personal sin, as if good and evil were always repaid in a temporal and material
Barley harvest: early April. This circumstance favored the events of the narrative that follow.
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