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. 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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