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Ruth 4:16, 17: The Blessedness of Grandparenting

Verse 16:[1] And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.


Verse 17:[2] (Luke 1:58, 59) And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.



[Now, the neighboring women, etc., וַתִּקְרֶאנָה֩ ל֙וֹ הַשְּׁכֵנ֥וֹת וגו״] And the neighboring women called to him a name (Montanus, Vatablus). Elsewhere mothers usually give names to their children, here the neighboring women: although these could only be said to have suggested the name to the mother and grandmother (Bonfrerius). Naomi gave the name according to the counsel and opinion of the women (Drusius).


Gave it a name, that is, they gave her advice about the name; for otherwise they had no power or right to do so.


[Obed, עוֹבֵד] That is, δουλεύων, one serving (Drusius out of Jonathan, Junius and Tremellius). The rationale for the name come from that which precedes, he shall sustain thy gray hair (Drusius, similarly Junius).


Obed; a servant, to wit, to thee, to nourish, and comfort, and assist thee; which duty children owe to their progenitors.

[1] Hebrew: וַתִּקַּ֙ח נָעֳמִ֤י אֶת־הַיֶּ֙לֶד֙ וַתְּשִׁתֵ֣הוּ בְחֵיקָ֔הּ וַתְּהִי־ל֖וֹ לְאֹמֶֽנֶת׃


[2] Hebrew: וַתִּקְרֶאנָה֩ ל֙וֹ הַשְּׁכֵנ֥וֹת שֵׁם֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר יֻלַּד־בֵּ֖ן לְנָעֳמִ֑י וַתִּקְרֶ֤אנָֽה שְׁמוֹ֙ עוֹבֵ֔ד ה֥וּא אֲבִי־יִשַׁ֖י אֲבִ֥י דָוִֽד׃

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Nov 22, 2019

William Gouge's Domestical Duties: 'Parents in Law to Perform Like Duties as Natural Parents


All these are to account their children-in-law (that is, the children of their husband and wife, or the wives of their sons, and the husbands of their daughters) as their own natural children, and according to the age and place of these children to perform the forenamed duties, and every way to seek their good (except in such duties as after a peculiar manner belong to natural parents, as nursing to a natural mother, leaving the inheritance to a natural parent).


For a pattern hereof take the forenamed examples of Joseph and Naomi. What natural parents could do more for their own children than Joseph did…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Nov 22, 2019


Matthew Henry: 'Now here, (1.) The child is named by the neighbours, Ruth 4:17. The good women would have it called Obed, a servant, either in remembrance of the meanness and poverty of the mother or in prospect of his being hereafter a servant, and very serviceable, to his grandmother. It is no dishonour to those that are ever so well born to be servants to God, their friends, and their generation. The motto of the princes of Wales is Ich dien—I serve. (2.) The child is nursed by the grandmother, that is, dry-nursed, when the mother had weaned him from the breast, Ruth 4:16. She laid it in her bosom, in token of her tender affection to it an…

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