Women in the Bible: Naomi

Naomi means pleasant. She, her husband, and their two sons leave their home country and travel to Moab because of a famine. While in Moab, Naomi’s husband dies, leaving her a widow. Later both of her sons die, too, leaving Naomi with two widowed daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. Naomi blames God for her misfortune and grows bitter.

Naomi decides to return home when she hears they have food. Orpah and Ruth start back with her. At Naomi’s urging Orpah decides to remain in Moab, but Ruth expresses deep commitment to Naomi and to God, promising to stay with her forever.

Soon after they return to Israel, Naomi develops a plan for Ruth to marry their relative, Boaz. They get married and Ruth has her first child, Obed. Naomi cares for Obed like a son, as the local women celebrate him and Naomi’s good fortune.

Like all of us, Naomi’s life contains struggle and disappointment, but God cares for her, providing a loyal daughter-in-law and a cherished grandson.

[Read about Naomi in the book of Ruth.]

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