Naomi

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Naomi (Hebrew: נָעֳמִי) was the wife of Elimelech and the mother of Mahlon and Chilion.

Biography[edit]

To Moab and back[edit]

Elimelech, Naomi, and their children moved from Judah to Moab. Elimelech died while in Moab, and Naomi remained in Moab with her children. Her sons Mahlon and Chilion married Moabite women. Chilion married Orpah, while Mahlon married Ruth.

Ten years later, Mahlon and Chilion died, leaving Orpah and Ruth as widows. Naomi learned that God had blessed Judah with more food and decided to return to Judah. Her two widowed daughter-in-laws began to follow her, but Naomi told them to remain in their homeland and their mothers and asked God to bless them.

Go back, each of you return to your mother’s house. May the Lord show kindness to you as you have shown kindness to the dead and to me. May the Lord grant that you find rest, each one in the home of her husband.

— Ruth 1:8–1:9 (AMP)

However, they insisted on going with her. Naomi then explained that she did not have anything more to provide them with and that they were better off remaining in Moab.

Go back, my daughters, why should you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that may become your husbands? Go back, my daughters, go, for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, and if I actually had a husband tonight and even gave birth to sons, would you wait until they were grown? Would you go without marrying? No, my daughters; for it is much more difficult for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has gone against me.

— Ruth 1:11–1:13 (AMP)

Orpah decided to take Naomi's advice and kissed her good-bye. Ruth, however, remained adamant; she was going to remain with Naomi no matter what. Naomi understood Ruth's loyalty and determination and allowed her to follow her to Judah.

Naomi returned home to Bethlehem, but she was not pleased with the developments in her life. She told the people to call her Mara ("bitter") instead of Naomi ("sweetness"):

Do not call me Naomi (sweetness); call me Mara (bitter), for the Almighty has caused me great grief and bitterness. I left full [with a husband and two sons], but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?

— Ruth 1:19–1:21 (AMP)

Ruth and Boaz meet[edit]

Ruth asked Naomi for permission to glean leftover grain from a field after the farmer finished harvesting from it, and Naomi permitted her to do it. Ruth went to glean from a plot of land being to Boaz, a relative of Naomi's deceased husband. Boaz noticed her and showed kindness to her and asked God to bless her due to the commitment Ruth showed to Naomi. Boaz provided Ruth with bread and made her work in the fields easier.

Ruth shared some of the bread with Naomi and told Naomi about Boaz. Naomi asked God to bless Boaz and told Ruth that Boaz can help them as a close relative. Naomi advised Ruth to have Boaz propose a marriage with her.

My daughter, shall I not look for security and a home for you, so that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, with whose maids you were [working], is he not our relative? See now, he is winnowing barley at the threshing floor tonight. So wash and anoint yourself [with olive oil], then put on your [best] clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but stay out of the man’s sight until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, notice the place where he is lying, and go and uncover his feet and lie down. Then he will tell you what to do.

— Ruth 3:1–3:4 (AMP)

Ruth did as Naomi told her, and when Boaz discovered her at his feet and asked what she was doing, she proposed a marriage with him. Boaz accepted and asked God to bless her. He was impressed that she approached an older gentlemen instead of a younger man. Boaz also invited her to spend the night in his house.

They woke up early in the morning. Boaz gave Ruth barley, and Ruth returned to Naomi.

Ruth and Boaz marry[edit]

Boaz was able to obtain the right to redeem the land belonging to Naomi's deceased husband Elimelech from a closer relative of Elimelech due to said relative's reluctant to marry a Moabite. Thus, Boaz now had the right to redeem the land and marry Ruth.

Boaz married Ruth, and they conceived. Ruth then gave birth to Obed, giving Naomi and Naomi's deceased husband a grandson and heir in accordance with Israelite law. The women of the city congratulated Naomi.

Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer (grandson, as heir) today, and may his name become famous in Israel. May he also be to you one who restores life and sustains your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.

— Ruth 4:14–4:15 (AMP)

Obed would become the grandfather of King David.