Ruth 1:14: A Parting of the Ways

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

Verse 14:[1] And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah (Ecclus. 12:9[2]) kissed her mother in law; but Ruth (Prov. 17:17; 18:24) clave unto her.



[Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, וַתִּשַּׁ֤ק עָרְפָּה֙ לַחֲמוֹתָ֔הּ] And Orpah gave a kiss to her mother-in-law (Montanus). And she kissed to her mother-in-law, understanding, the hand, or the mouth (Piscator). She kissed her mother-in-law (Pagnine, Septuagint, Junius and Tremellius). Understanding, and she returned (Vatablus), or, she departed (Junius and Tremellius). With a kiss given, she bid her farewell; as in Genesis 31:28; 1 Kings 19:20 (Drusius). Because she had been moved, not by Religion, but by humanity, to follow her mother-in-law (Junius).


Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, that is, departed from with a kiss, as the manner was, Genesis 31:28; 1 Kings 19:20.



[Ruth clave to her mother-in-law[3]] Most firmly, like those things that are joined glutine, with glue: for it is דָּבַק, adglutinari, to be joined with glue, and it signifies the closest possible bond, which sort is between a husband and wife, Genesis 2:24;[4] Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:31 (Drusius). That is, she accompanied her, and did not withdraw from her (Vatablus).

[1] Hebrew: וַתִּשֶּׂ֣נָה קוֹלָ֔ן וַתִּבְכֶּ֖ינָה ע֑וֹד וַתִּשַּׁ֤ק עָרְפָּה֙ לַחֲמוֹתָ֔הּ וְר֖וּת דָּ֥בְקָה בָּֽהּ׃


[2] Ecclesiasticus 12:9: “In the prosperity of a man enemies will be grieved: but in his adversity even a friend will depart.”


[3] Hebrew: וְר֖וּת דָּ֥בְקָה בָּֽהּ׃.


[4] Genesis 2:24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave (וְדָבַק) unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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