The Story Of Ruth Part 2: Moab, The Land Of The Enemy

Ruth 1:1-2

“Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. 2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.”


As you saw in part 2, the famine in Israel occurred because the land rebelled against all the murders and rampant lawlessness. Naomi and her family left Bethlehem because they thought the would be destroyed by all the above.  Unfortunately, what they feared would happen to them if they stayed, happened to them in the foreign land to which they fled. 😓

Meanings Of Names And Places.

In Part 3, we’ll be studying the meanings of names and places in Hebrew because all names in the Bible have meaning.  Much of the richness of this and, in fact every story, is found in their meanings which lend to greater depth, understanding, and clarity to whatever passage you are reading or studying. Let’s check out a few.

Bethlehem.  “Bethlehem,” means: “House of Bread.”  How very telling that in this story, the house of bread had no bread because of the famine.

Ruth comes from two different root words, one meaning, “Beauty;” the other, “Friend.” Put them together and you have, “Beautiful friend.”  That she certainly was.

Naomi means, “Pleasant.”  As a picture of natural Israel, the Jewish people down through history have added so much to the world, particularly in these last days; things that make life a lot more ”Pleasant.”  Name almost any modern invention or innovation and a Jewish person either invented it or was strategically involved.

Orpha means “Back of the neck.” How descriptive! When she turned around and went back to her people and to her gods, that’s what Ruth and Naomi saw: The back of her neck!

Elimelek.  His name is also comprised of two words: “Eli: My God, ” and “Melek: King. Put the parts together and you have, “My God is king.” Sadly, when famine struck, he didn’t exactly live up to his name. He fled with his family.

God says when misfortune strikes, “Don’t run from your troubles. Stay in the land and TURN TO ME.” (See Malachi 3:7).  For example: In Genesis 26, He told Isaac to stay in the land of famine and He would bless him, which He certainly did. Where others could not reap any harvest at all, in verse 12 it saysIsaac reaped one hundred fold!  

Then we have Joseph who, during the great famine of Egypt, never lacked for anything.  Neither he nor his people suffered in the least.  In fact, all Egypt was blessed because of his presence there, so much so that they were able to be a blessing to all the nations around who came to them to buy food!


Mahlon and Cheleon.  Now we come to these two boys. Why in the world anyone would give their sons these names is beyond me. Their names mean, “Sickly….. 😳 and dying or pining,” 🤯 respectively. 🤷‍♀️ Is it any wonder they both died?  They together are a depiction of the fate Israel suffered when she went out of her land.

Boaz.  In stark contrast to these two boys, Boaz is a picture of Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer. His name means, “In him is strength.” Just as He became Kinsman Redeemer for Ruth, married her, and provided for all her needs, so Jesus became our Kinsman Redeemer.  He saved the whole world making God’s kingdom available to “Whosoever will.”

He came to earth in the form of sinful flesh, without sin of course, and died a physical death on the cross in order to redeem us, which simply means “To buy back.” He bought us back from our enemy, the devil, and now we are heirs to all that He has!


Disobedience And Death.
Ruth 1:3-5
” 3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 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. 5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.”

Notice, it was after Elimelek died that both Naomi’s sons married women from Moab.  In other words, it was after leadership of her household was dead that they did what was against God’s law.  You see, because Moab was a nation cursed by God at that time, they were absolutely not to have any contact with them.  Eventually, sadly, both sons also died leaving their women to fend for themselves.

If you wish to continue this series, you may follow the link below to part 4.  We’ll be talking about Naomi’s return to Bethlehem to discover that God had, indeed, not forgotten her.  Not at all!:

The Story Of Ruth, Part 4: The House Of Bread

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