Updated: Oct 1, 2021
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In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.
Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that Yahweh had considered his people and given them food. So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah. But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back each of you to your mother's house. May Yahweh deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. Yahweh grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband." Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. They said to her, "No, we will return with you to your people." But Naomi said, "Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of Yahweh has turned against me." Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
So she said, "See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to eloheha her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said,
“Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people,
and welohayik elohay your gods and my gods.
Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried.
May Yahweh do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!”
When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
This is the Track 1 Old Testament reading selection to be read aloud on the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 26], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. If the individual church is on the Track 1 path for Year B, then this will be accompanied by a singing of Psalm 146, where David wrote, “Yahweh loves the righteous; Yahweh cares for the stranger; he sustains the orphan and widow, but frustrates the way of the wicked.” That pair will precede a reading from Hebrews, where Paul wrote, “When Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place.” All will accompany the Gospel reading from Mark, where we read, “One of the scribes came near and heard the Sadducees disputing with one another, and seeing that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”’
I wrote about Ruth 1:1-18 back in 2018, the last time it came up in the lectionary cycle. I posted my views on my website at that time, which has since been shut down. The posting, however, can be view on this website, by clicking on this link. I did a thorough breakdown of the name meanings found in this reading; and, I explained how names help one gather deeper insight from all Scriptural readings of this sort. My views then of Ruth’s story became a metaphorical prophecy of modern times, which I doubt has ever been explained as such elsewhere. I stand behind that analysis firmly and welcome all readers to read what I wrote then. That can be compared to what I will now add. I will make observations that will align Ruth to the other readings for this Sunday. Please let me know your views.
In 2018, I was not focused on the mistranslations in Old Testament text into English. I now see the importance of pointing those errors out. In the above translations [from the NRSV], you will note that I have placed in bold font the proper name “Yahweh,” which is clearly written. This specific name has been reduced by translators [more than just the NRSV] to say “the Lord.” Without realizing Yahweh was the One God of Israel, “in the days when judges ruled,” one can easily get confused and think “the Lord” was one of the “gods” of the Moabites, where they had too many “lords” to name [in this story]. That polytheism is further masked when the translators take the plural words that are formed from the plural root “elohim” and pretend they say “your God” and “her God” and “my God.” I have restored the transliterations of the Hebrew, because all that is written there tells of “gods,” with those actually being the “lords” of the flesh that people worship, rather than Yahweh.
Because I did such a deep interpretation of Ruth in 2018, I will try not to repeat all that I wrote then. My focus now becomes relative to the specific naming of Yahweh, as the truth of Naomi’s story is her soul was married to Yahweh. That made her soul in the flesh become a Yahweh elohim. Her references to her daughters-in-law, relative to “her gods” (her elohim) and “your gods” (your elohim), in the verses with Naomi saying “my gods” (my elohim) the elohim must be understood as the possession of a soul within its flesh, with a soul (as an eternal entity) being the “god” (in the singular – an el) of one’s flesh. All who were like Naomi had the same divine possession of their souls through marriage to Yahweh. As such, “my gods” becomes a statement of “my people who are Israelites,” where the name “Israel” means “One Who Retains Yahweh as one of His elohim.” Thus, “my gods” is stating the difference from calling any old “god” mine [saying “the lord”] and specifically naming Yahweh mine [saying “Yahweh”].
In 2018, I mentioned the element of Naomi and Ruth being female characters of the Old Testament, which makes them be used by female priests as a reflection of lady Christians, which is bogus crap. I said the story of Ruth must be seen in all who read this story, both men and women, because one’s “god” of the flesh (one’s soul) has no reproductive parts. All should read Ruth and come to the realization that every he or she Christian reading this story must realize one’s own personal need to find a most holy Husband, which is Yahweh. This means the story is clearly stated to be about the need to find that Husband, in order to survive. The elements of famine and death without heirs are all worldly limitations. Divine marriage to Yahweh is the only way to withstand the harshness of the material realm and have a soul gain eternal life.
In the Track 2 Old Testament reading, from Deuteronomy 6, we read: “Moses said: Now this is the commandment--the statutes and the ordinances--that Yahweh elohekem ["you gods of Yahweh"] charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, so that you and your children and your children's children, may fear Yahweh eloheka all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long.” That was the marriage vows between all Israelites and their Husband Yahweh. They were told to live up to that agreement and raise their children to love Yahweh and also marry their souls to Him. However, what happened? They maintained the agreement for forty years, and then they backslid and cheated on Yahweh for forty years, leading them to the brink of destruction. In those down times, judges would be sent to rescue them from a divorce agreement. That is called “a famine in the land.” The “famine” was caused by waywardness.
The Deuteronomy reading then becomes a direct link to the Gospel reading from Mark, as Moses proclaimed: “Hear, O Israel: Yahweh is elohekem, Yahweh alone. You shall love Yahweh eloheka with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart.” That statement of love means divine marriage, with “Israel” being a statement of self – a soul in the flesh married to Yahweh. The sad thing about this is the NRSV translation cannot even say the name Yahweh. I had to restore the name, so love can truly be expressed. The poor translations are a sign that we too live in a “famine,” where spiritual food is non-existent for souls to feed on.
In the story of Ruth, when there are no longer any churches that can enhance one’s faith (through the deaths of all the menfolk, leaving the women husbandless), Naomi declared (basically), “It is every soul for itself.” She was going to die married to Yahweh, such that she welcomed death over having to pander to some half-baked religious views that were false and unsatisfying. She told her daughters-in-law to go back to find their own “gods” that could keep them alive on the material plane for forty more years or so. Maybe if they survive, then they will find their souls finding a return of spiritual food, so they can be led to marry Yahweh (not some lesser god or gods). All of this is because there is no longer love of Yahweh, as seen by the words of the Old Testament being stripped bare of Yahweh’s name (in English versions).
The words of Paul that tell of the high priest being Jesus, such that he enters the tabernacle of flesh; and, instead of animal blood he sacrifices his blood. This reflects Naomi saying she has already given birth to sons and is too old to bear more children, much less attract a new husband. It is the children Moses said must be raised to keep the Spirit of Israel alive, away from famine and death. When Ruth held onto Naomi, Ruth was a Gentile woman [all non-Israelites of the world, including Jews then and Jews now] that had found a Saint, whose God was the truth. Ruth did not want to simply stay alive via service to some lesser gods; she wanted to marry Yahweh. This becomes a story of love, where she was willing scarified her own blood to be filled by the blood of Jesus, the Son of Yahweh.
This then leads to the Gospel reading from Mark, where the trick question posed to Jesus was, “What is the most important law [out of over six hundred listed]?" Jesus told them what they knew, which came from Deuteronomy 6, but added the love your neighbor as yourself, which could have been stated as, “And then there is the Naomi rule, where even Gentiles who want to marry their souls to Yahweh have that right.” This means Jesus told the ones who were like a famine on the land, keeping all the Jews from becoming true Israelites, they were why all the Israelites of Israel and Judah were scattered all over the known world. The most important Law is fall in love with Yahweh, marry your soul to His Spirit, be reborn as His Son, and then let the whole world know the same love is available to them too.
This makes Naomi become metaphor for the love of Yahweh. It makes Ruth metaphor for marriage to Yahweh, as a soul that refuses to turn away from Yahweh, fearing evil elohim, as we read in Job. Again, I urge all to read what I published in 2018, as the story told in Ruth is like a parable that is highly symbolic and difficult to see with eyes that are not in love with Yahweh. Naomi is the story of commitment; but Ruth is the story of love and marriage; and, that is offered to those of all nations and all peoples, as long as they cut their ties to their “gods.”
As an optional reading to be read aloud on the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own personal ministry for Yahweh should already be well underway, the lesson here is to marry into the true holy family of Yahweh. The seed of faith taking root within one’s soul becomes the strength one needs to withstand all spiritual famines without. It is, like we read last Sunday in Psalm 126, the stream of divine love from the outpouring of holy Spirit, which returns life to the Negev. Famine is the result of drought; but an oasis in the middle of the desert is due to deep waters that find a way to surface. True Christianity is being that source of eternal life that can be shared with others in ministry. Ruth is the metaphor for all who become true priests of Yahweh, refusing to turn away from living waters that are sourced in spiritual love.