Ruth 1:15-17: Ruth's Resolution

Verse 15:[1] And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto (Judg. 11:24) her gods: (see Josh. 24:15, 19; 2 Kings 2:2; Luke 24:28) return thou after thy sister in law.


[Thy kinswoman, יְבִמְתֵּךְ] Thy sister-in-law (Montanus) [thus most interpreters]; thy brother-in-law’s wife (Drusius); the wife of the brother of thine husband (Vatablus).


[She has gone back to her people…and to her gods: go with her] Or, unto her god, namely, Chemosh (Drusius, Piscator). Hence they gather that Orpah either remained in her idolatry (Bonfrerius, Menochius); or defected from the Religion of Moses, which she had cherished while her husband was alive, to her ancestral religion (Drusius). She says this, so that she might test her faith (Junius, Drusius, Lapide, Piscator). There is a similar example in Joshua 24:15 (Piscator). She exhorts her to return to her people, but concedes that she would proceed to worship her gods (which was connected, and which she knew that she was going to do, if she returned): and that she does so that she might try the sincerity and constancy of Ruth’s heart, lest she should afterwards complain that she, impelled by the arts or deceits of Naomi, converted unto a foreign, and less agreeable to herself, relition (Lapide out of Tostatus). Or, unto her gods, that is, unto the place where her ancestral gods are worshipped, so that it might be the same as what Josephus relates, unto her fatherland[2] (Drusius).


Unto her people, and unto her gods; which she saith, partly, to try Ruth’s sincerity and constancy; partly, that by upbraiding Orpah with her idolatry she might consequently turn her from it; and partly, that she might intimate to her, that if she went with her, she must embrace the true God and religion.


Verse 16:[3] And Ruth said, (2 Kings 2:2, 4, 6) Intreat me not (or, be not against me[4]) to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: (Ruth 2:11, 12) thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God…



[Be not against me, אַל־תִּפְגְּעִי־בִ֔י לְעָזְבֵ֖ךְ] Do not encounter[5] me to leave them (Montanus). Do not oppose, or rush upon, me, that is, with hostility; that is, Thou shalt not urge me. It is a Metaphor. Thus this phrase is properly taken in 1 Samuel 22:17;[6] 2 Samuel 1:15;[7] likewise in Exodus 5:3[8] (Piscator). Do not suggest to me, that is, do not urge/incite me (Vatablus, similarly Pagnine). Do not hinder me (Tigurinus).


[Thy God, my God] I shall say goodbye to the superstition of my own country, and adhere to thee (Menochius). It was much at that time, with idolatry reigning so widely, to believe in one God, Ruth 2:11, 12. There is able to be some friendship between men of diverse observances, Ruth 1:8; but that which has the bond of the true Religion is alone firm and indivisible (Grotius).


And thy God my God: I renounce those idols which my sister hath returned to, and I wilt worship no other God but thine, who is indeed the only true God.


Verse 17:[9] Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: (1 Sam. 3:17; 25:22; 2 Sam. 19:13; 2 Kings 6:31) the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.