Ruth 1:16, Your God will be my God

Your people shall be my people and your God my God.

//The book of Ruth is such a sweet little story, and this speech by Ruth is such an inspiring example of love. As Naomi heads back from Moab to the land of Israel, she instructs her daughter-in-law Ruth to turn back, go back to Moab. Ruth says, “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge.” But Ruth doesn’t stop there. She continues, “Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.”

But if other scripture is to be believed, Ruth could not have said these words, except in ignorance. Naomi could never have accepted them. No such thing should have been possible. The book of Deuteronomy is clear on the subject:

“An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the LORD forever, because they did not meet you with bread and water on the road when you came out of Egypt” –Deuteronomy 23:3-4

Supposing this story of Ruth and Naomi were true, can you begin to imagine the heartache Naomi would feel as she led Ruth back to a land that she believed could never accept her? Supposing this story were true, then what changed when they arrived back in Israel: the Law or the Lord?

1 Comment

  1. Shoshana

    Actually the story is true but it is translated wrong. In the LXX which is much older it reads ” your people my people, your Elohim your Elohim… The “shall be” is found in parentheses in later versions then as part of Ruth said. Ruth was an Israelite CITIZEN of the country of Moab, thus Moabitess. Israel had that land for 300 years… and yes, the Israelite tended to worship the local deities. To her credit Ruth did teshuva returning to her people and Elohim so no breaking of Dev 23:3 took place.

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