Ruth 1:3-5 Elimelech died and Naomi was left, she and her two sons. The sons took Moabite wives; the name of the first was Orpah, the second Ruth. They lived there in Moab for the next ten years. But then the two brothers, Mahlon and Kilion, died. Now the woman was left without either her young men or her husband.Were those ten years good years, bad years, some ups and down? Was the wedding day filled with happiness and from there a straight line down to death? Probably not. There were probably many good days mixed in with the not so good ones.
THE MEANING OF THE THESE PERSONAL NAMES
One of the interesting features of this paragraph is the meanings which scholars have found in the personal names.
Elimelech means, `my God is king'; Naomi signifies `pleasant,' `my sweet one,' or `amiable.' Chilion and Mahlon are said to mean `sickness' and `consumption' or `sickly' and `wasting.' Orpah is said to mean `stiff-necked,' and Ruth has been assigned the meaning of `friend,' `refreshment,' `satiation,' or `comfort.'
Regarding the names of the Moabite wives and that of Elimelech's two sons, perhaps the most dependable analysis is that of Joyce G. Baldwin who declares that, "The suggested meanings of Mahlon `weakly' and Chilion `pining' are merely conjectural, and the meanings of Orpah and Ruth are not known." Hubbard agreed that in the case of Orpah, "The meaning remains an unsolved mystery."So some of these names are not so well understood and some are very interesting to us. Elimelech, My God is King, reveals the promise of Kingship in The head of this household. Either it speaks about Elimelech's faith, or his future, or both.
Before Israel was ruled by kings, Elimelech from the tribe of Ephrath lived in the town of Bethlehem. His wife was named Naomi, and their two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. But when their crops failed, they moved to the country of Moab. And while they were there, Elimelech died, leaving Naomi with only her two sons. 1:1-3
Period of the Judges--Elimelech--Ephrath--Bethlehem--Naomi--Mahlon--Chilion Crops Failed--Moved--Moab--Death--Widow--Two Sons to Raise--Strange Land
There is plenty here to examine. Next post we will look at the times and then the places, then the names.