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Ruth 1:2 provides further details about the central characters introduced in the previous verse and sheds light on their background and circumstances. This verse not only names the members of Elimelech’s family but also specifies their lineage and origin.

The verse begins by identifying the head of the family as Elimelech. His name, which means “My God is king,” carries significance in reflecting the faith and trust that he likely had in God’s providence, especially during challenging times such as the famine. Elimelech’s decision to lead his family to Moab may have been driven by his responsibility as a provider and protector, as well as by the prevailing circumstances of scarcity in Bethlehemjudah.

Elimelech’s wife is named Naomi, which means “pleasant” or “sweetness.” Like her husband, Naomi’s name may reflect her character and disposition. As the matriarch of the family, Naomi likely played a crucial role in the decision-making process and the welfare of her household. The verse also mentions their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, whose names and lineage are provided. They are described as Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah, emphasizing their connection to the region of Bethlehemjudah and their Israelite heritage.

The family’s migration to the country of Moab is reiterated in this verse, underscoring their relocation as a response to the famine in their homeland. Moab, located east of the Dead Sea, offered a temporary refuge and the promise of sustenance during a time of crisis. The decision to settle in Moab would have been a significant and life-altering choice for Elimelech and his family, as it involved uprooting themselves from familiar surroundings and adapting to a new environment and culture.

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Ruth 1:2 sets the stage for the unfolding narrative by providing essential background information about the main characters and their circumstances. It highlights themes of family, migration, and resilience in the face of adversity, laying the foundation for the events that will shape the course of their lives in the subsequent chapters of the Book of Ruth.

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