It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare. — Edmund Burke

Heroes of Israel - Lawton Evans




Naomi and Ruth

In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, there was a famine in the land. A certain man who lived in Bethlehem went down with his wife and his two sons to the country of Moab, where there was food to be found. The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife was Naomi.

Soon after reaching the country of Moab, Elimelech died and Naomi was left with her two sons. These sons married two women of Moab. The name of one was Orpah, the name of the other was Ruth. And they dwelled in the land of Moab for about ten years. Then the sons died, and Naomi was left with her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth.

Naomi had heard that bread was to be had in the land of her own people, and so she arose with her two daughters-in-law to leave the country of Moab and to return to Judah and to her own people.

When they had started on their way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law: "Go, return each of you to your mother's house. You need not follow me if you do not desire. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you, in the house of a husband."

Then Naomi kissed Orpah and Ruth, and they wept upon the shoulders of their mother-in-law, for they loved her, and remembered the many years they were happy together in the land of Moab. The two young women said to Naomi: "Surely, we will return with you unto the land of your people."

Naomi said to them: "Why will you go with me? I pray that you leave me in my age to return to my kind and kin, and that you find husbands among the men of Moab." Then Orpah kissed Naomi, and weeping, turned aside to the land of her own people.

But Ruth loved her mother-in-law more dearly and refused to turn back. Naomi said to her: "See, your sister has gone back unto her people, and unto her gods. Why do you not return also?"

To this Ruth replied: "Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God shall be my God. Where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried."

When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to follow her, she kissed her again, and left off persuading her to return. So they went on together until they came to Bethlehem. When the people of that city saw them coming there was great excitement, and they asked: "Is this Naomi, who, for so many years has lived in the land of Moab?"

But Naomi replied: "Call me not Naomi, but call me Mara, which means bitterness, for the Lord has dealt very bitterly with me in all these years. I went forth full of hope and joy but I return empty; His hand has been hard upon me and He has afflicted me."

Thus Naomi returned and Ruth, the Moabitess with her, and they dwelt in Bethlehem, and it was the beginning of the barley harvest.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

The Garden of Eden
The First Great Crime
The Flood
The Tower of Babel
Abraham Moves into Canaan
Sodom and Gomorrah
The Trial of Abraham's Faith
Searching for a Wife for Isaac
Isaac and Rebekah
Esau Sells his Birthright
Jacob Serves for Rachel
Jacob Returns to Canaan
Joseph is Sold into Egypt
Pharaoh's Dream
Joseph's Brethren Buy Corn
Jacob Moves into Egypt
The Early Life of Moses
Egyptians Smitten with Plagues
Egyptians Drowned in Red Sea
The Lord Provides for Israel
Plan to Build the Tabernacle
The Golden Calf
Wanderings of the Israelites
Spying Out the Land of Canaan
Punishing the Israelites
Balaam is Made to Prophesy
Border of the Promised Land
Last Days of Moses
Rahab Saves the Spies
The Destruction of Jericho
The Capture of Ai
Joshua Conquers Canaan
Gideon is Given a Sign
Gideon Overcomes Midianites
The Punishment of Abimelech
Jephthah's Daughter
The Young Samson
Samson and the Philistines
The Death of Samson
Naomi and Ruth
Ruth and Boaz
The Young Samuel
Philistines Capture the Ark
Philistines Return the Ark
Saul in Anointed King
Jonathan and the Philistines
The Disobedience of Saul
Samuel Anoints David
David and Goliath
Saul is Jealous of David
David and Jonathan
The Madness of Saul
David Spares the Life of Saul
The Last Days of King Saul
David Becomes King
The Rebellion of Absalom
The Death of Absalom
Solomon Becomes King
The Wisdom of Solomon
Solomon Builds the Temple
Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
Revolt of the Ten Tribes
The Wickedness of Jeroboam
Elijah Begins His Ministry
Elijah Destroys the Prophets
Elisha is Made a Prophet
Death of Ahab
Sickness of Ahaziah
Last Days of Elijah
Miracles of Elisha
Naaman is Cured of Leprosy
Flight of the Syrians
Jehu is Appointed King
The Story of Joash
Last days of Elisha
Destruction of Sennacherib
Judah Led into Captivity
Destruction of Jerusalem
Daniel Interprets the Dream
The Fiery Furnace
Madness of Nebuchadnezzer
Handwriting on the Wall
Daniel in the Lion's Den
Jonah Swallowed by a Fish
Jonah Warns Nineveh
Esther Becomes Queen
The Vengeance of Haman
Esther Saves Her People
The Return from Captivity
Nehemiah Rebuilds Jerusalem