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(The last 4 chapters of Judges)
JUDGES CHAPTER 22
Compiled by JS Lowther
Rth_1:1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Rth 1:2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
Some commonalities of these continued place names and peoples have been pointed out in the last few messages, I shall point this out again for clarification and remembrance:
1. the book of Ruth is not it’s own book, it is the last 4 chapters of Judges. This is important because of the misconceptions and ignorant or arrogant suppositions made upon the woman Ruth and her offspring, that is mainly King David and David’s Lord Jesu(s) the Christ (which we shall further discuss).
2. The fact that our subject characters are once again taken from the area we have so many times referenced Bethlehem Judah, the future home of King David, the King of Judah and Israel united. Bethlehem is the place in which the Levite of the prior chapter took his unfaithful concubine from, it is as well the original home to Johnathan the Levite, Micah’s idol priest Judges 17:7 another unfaithful character.
3.The people of Bethlehem Judah, here mentioned are said to go sojourning in the land of Moab, now if it may be recalled from
Jdg_3:1-31 the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel… eighteen years.
Jdg 3:15 But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
Jdg 3:16 But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, and Eglon was a very fat man.
And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.
Jdg 3:21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:
Jdg 3:27 And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.
Here is where the story starts to get interesting by examining the scriptural record, if we wish to know why Israelites where sojourning in pagan Moab: The back ground from Ch3, in Judges 21 is a war just had with Benjamin, a people who had gone after other god’s by serving them, a service which included homosexuality and rape, which was the cause of the war.
The Levite’s Concubine from Bethlehem was raped to death by the enemy which was from Benjamin; In our next chapter and story called Ruth or Judges chapter 22, the Bethlehemites are fleeing famine to Moab, in Judges chapter 3 Moab was the oppressor and Benjamin delivered Israel through Ehud, Ehud the Son of Gera blew the trumpet on Mt.Ephriam the home of the prior Levite, and of Micah the Idolator…a very interwoven story to say the least!
Why would the people of Bethlehem Judah sojourn in Moab?
Apparently Benjamites had a tenancy to sojourn there often, consider:
1Ch_8:1 Now Benjamin begat Bela his firstborn…
1Ch 8:3 And the sons of Bela were, Addar, and Gera…
1Ch_8:6 And these are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Geba, and they removed them to Manahath:
1Ch 8:7 And Naaman, and Ahiah, and Gera, he removed them, and begat Uzza, and Ahihud.
1Ch 8:8 And Shaharaim begat children in the country of Moab, after he had sent them away; Hushim and Baara were his wives.
It can not be said why Ehud and his Father moved some of his family to Manahath of Moab if that is a literal place, which the commentaries agree to, but another possibility in Jdg_3:15 exists: as the word “present” in the KJV is from the Hebrew מנחה / MeNHE (H4503) and the place said in 1Ch_8:6 that they were removed to is called מנחת׃ / MeNHaTh (H4506) , the word is identical in meaning, and the E/ ה replaced with the Th/ ת is a matter of tense, both are suffixes, in other words the verse could read ‘ they removed them with presents’, this is perhaps the time in which theses men left and dwelt in Moab, at the time described in Jdg_3:18, as the text shows that Israel went to Moab to present the present, some we are told did not return to there inhieritance, in any case of if Manahath is shown to be a literal place in Moab or if the reference is the time of the present-ation, these Benjamites did not endure the war of Judges 19-21, they were removed.
Rth_1:3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
Rth 1:4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
Here is the reason I dwelt so long on the history of Israel in Moab.
Consider the law, which these men of Judah would have violated and the repercussions it would have for the Biblical Testament:
Deu_23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:
Deu 23:4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.
Deu 23:5 Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.
Deu 23:6 Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever.
As well, we see a Realistic application of this Law in Ezr_9:1, and Ezr_10:1 as well as the 2nd witness of Nehemiah Neh_13:1-3, both of which show us that Moabite women were not to be married into Israel, and that as some suppose contrary to the sovereignty and Law of God, this Law was not relaxed in the days of Ruth. Rather the Context of the book of Judges, of which Ruth is the last 4 chapters of , and the Historical record shown in 1Chronicles chapter 8, provide evidence for a much more holistic story than most ‘scholars and seminarians’ fondly oppose them selves thereby and negate their own faith by asserting that Deu_23:3 was Ignored by Elimelech , Mahlon and Chilion, and thus, that ancestors of King David and of the Perfect Christ were infact unfit to be part of YHWH’s Congregation, that is His Church, His Ekklasia, forever! That is a big problem, do not let it go unnoticed by pushing this Law aside and using a universal doctrine of love and tolerance to justify the inconsistency your bible seems to hold by those who teach your theology as those who due such insist upon due to the fleshly mind which is at enmity with YHWH’s perfection and righteousness, an enmity that seeks in it’s end to dethrone CHRIST THE ANOINTED MESSIAH, THE SON OF DAVID, THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH.
Rth 1:5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
Rth 1:6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.
Rth 1:7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.
Rth 1:8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
Rth 1:9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
Rth 1:10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.
Rth 1:11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
Rth 1:12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;
Rth 1:13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.
Rth 1:14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
Here is the next pivotal point in our story, the discussion of the law of the leverate.
The Law of the leverate was a commonly practiced custom among the people of Europe and the middle east up until the time of Catholic power, it was even after that practiced by more tribal and clanish peoples, such as the Scotts, Welsh and Slovics despite Catholic disapproval and after polygany was banned. The Law is found in Deu_25:5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.
Deu 25:6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
We will continue looking at this Law as the story of Ruth and Naomi continue, but it is this portion which shows the operation of the discussion between Naomi,and Ruth and Orpah.
Rth_1:15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her god: return thou after thy sister in law. (god / ALEY (Elhy) not plural (gods)
Rth_1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
Rth 1:17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
Rth 1:18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her. (same word usedin 16 is used in v.15. not necisarily the plural ‘gods’ but God. In other words there is no insinuation that Ruth and Orpah serve gods and Naomi serves God, both statements are speaking of the same form of entity ALEY) This form is most commonly seen in the name LORD God or YHWH ALEY and secondly it is used in the phrase ‘strange god’ or god of a specific people as well as of idols’, the word is used specificly by the man Micah about his idols in Jdg_18:24 And he said, Ye have taken away my god which I made..
Thus, no matter if Ruth and Orpah served another God prior or Not, what this phrase is part of is the more important part of this story, as it is part of the covenantal binding between Ruth and Naomi, Ruth is pledging her self for the record to Naomi and Her family, no different than what happens when adoption takes place at any other time or should happen when marriage is agreed to. I believe the whole of this story of Ruth may be seen in the same words of the prophet Jeremiah toward the removed house of Judah:
Jer 24:6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.
Jer 24:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
This is the heart of the matter of Ruth, no different than, Ruth the Benjamite of Moab, was being reconciled unto her people and unto her God, whether this her prior God was a bastardized form of YHWH ALEY by idolatry or if it was YHWH by a strange law or if she were a full blown server of other another ‘God’ of pagan origin the consequences are the same for Ruth due to her family being removed into the land of Moab.
Consider more language of similar description from Hosea 1 and 2
Hos_1:6 And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.
Hos 1:7 But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.
Hos 1:8 Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.
Hos 1:9 Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.
Hos 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.
Rom_9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
Rom 9:2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
Rom 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
Rom 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Rom_ 9:25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
Rom 9:26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
Rom 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
Rom 9:28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness
Hos_1:11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
Hos_2:14 Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
Hos 2:15 And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
Hos 2:16 And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.
Hos 2:17 For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.
Hos 2:18 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.
Hos 2:19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.
Hos 2:20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
Hos 2:21 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth;
Hos 2:22 And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.
Hos 2:23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
All of this is speaking of Israel the removed, just as the evidence points to the fact the Ruth the Moabites was a removed member of the tribe of Benjamin! Ruth as removed Israel was ready to join herself to YHWH and be His people and He would be her GOD.
Rth 1:19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
Rth 1:20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
Rth 1:21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
So Naomi returned,
and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her,
which returned out of the country of Moab:
and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.