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would not send hier empty away, and took her into a marriage relation, so Christ feasteih his people, and will not send them empty away, but says, “ Eat, O my friends : open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it;" for he gives grace liberally and upbraideth not, and likewise takes poor gentile sinners into a marriage relation to himself, by which relation the gentile church becomes a joint-beir with him to all the riches, dignities, treasures, and fulness of the mediatorial kingdom, in short to all the blessings of the new covenant, and the graces of his Spirit; for our Lord Jesus is our God, our kinsman, our redeemer; and he looked with compassion on the fallen gentiles, as Boaz did on Ruth, and at the expence of his precious blood, life, and deatb, he purchased the church as his inheritance, that the dead and buried name of the gentiles might not be cut off in Israel ; therefore he says, “I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they sball say, Thou art my God," Hosea ii. 23.
In this chapter we have Naomi's afflictions. (1.) As a distressed house
keeper, forced by famine to remove into the land of Moab, ver. 1, 2. (2.) As a mournful widow and nother, bewailing the death of her husband and lier two sons, ver. 3-5. (3.) As a careful mother-in-law, desirous to be kind to her two daughters, but at a loss how to be so, when she returns to her owu country, ver. 6-13. Orpah she parts with in sorrow, ver. 14. Roth she takes with her in fear, ver. 15-18. (4.) As a poor woman sent back to the place of her first settlement; to be supported by the kindness of her friends, ver. 19-22. All those things were nelaucholy, and seemed against her, and yet all working for good.
VER. 1. " Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land.”]-10 came to pass by the counsel and providence of God, in the days of the judges, which probably were in the days of Gideon, when there was a scarcity of bread through the oppression of the Midianites, Judg. vi. 6. for in those days there was a great famine in the land, that is, the land of Canaan, so called by way of eminency, as it was the glory of all lands, Ezek. xx. O. and called "a land flowing with milk and honey:" yet there was a famine therein. Note, divine love and favour cannot be known by the outward dispensations of providence; for the Moabites, who were
equently, ihlikely that thisie God of Isthin
enemies to the people of God, had a plenty of bread when there was a famine among the people of God, even in the land of promise : thus it appears that the judgments of God " are a great deep," Psalın xxxvi. 6. Eccles. ix. 1, 2, 3.
Ver. 2. “And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of bis wife Noami.”]-This Elimelech, which signifies God is my king, is thought to be the brother of Salmon, prince of the tribe of Judah: for it is certain, that Boaz, who was the son of Salmon, Matt. i. 5. was a kinsman of his, chap. ii. 1. and he is called "a certain man," which frequently in scripture denotes a great and renowned man; and it is likely that this Elimelech was a good man, one that feared and served the God of Israel, and the import of his name might be a comfort to him under this trving distressing dispensation, that God was his king, in every land to provide for him, to protect him, and keep him, though in a strange land and among an idolatrous people. Hence observe, that this famine, and Elimelech's going into the land of Moab for bread, may be figurative of the dark and distressing providences which the children of God are often called to pass through, and of their being obliged, under these trials, to take those steps for their relief that they never thought on before : for doubtless Elimelech thought little of a famine in the land of promise, and more especially that it should happen to him who very probably was a great man in Israel; and thus unexpected trials befal the children of God, who have been ready to think that, under favourable circumstances, blessings and promises, they should never have been brought into sorrows and tribulations in the dispensations of providence: hence we see that “this is not our rest, that it is polluted.”
“ The name of his wife Naomi."]-She is thought to be Elimelech's brother's daughter, whose father Nashan was a prince in Israel. Which name signifies my sweet or plea. sant one ; a fit name for a wife, who should ever be to her husband as the “ loving hind, and the pleasant roe;" on which account she is called “the wife of his bosom," Deut. xiii. 6.
“ And the name of bis two sons Mahlon and Chilon.”] -Mahlon signifies infirmity or weakness; Chilon signifies perfect or finished: which names, I bumbly conceive, might have a spiritual nieaning couched in them; as Elimelech denotes God my king, it might be figurative of Christ, who is the God of Israel and the King of Zion; Naomi signify.
ing my pleasais fair one hind how pleasantes which we says, Hown, the elder, asays the apostlich through
perrecounger, made nomine ceremonia dhe me
ing my pleasant one, may be figurative of the Jewish church, which was his fair one, his delight, and his pleasant one: hence he says, How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, or delights!" Mahlon, the elder, as it denotes weakness, may be figurative of the law, which, says the apostle, is “ weak through the flesh;” or the ceremonial law, which through weakness “ made nothing perfect in itself :” and Chilon, the younger, as it signities finished, might point out the perfect and finished salvation that was preached to tbe gentile church.
Ver. 3. “And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.”]—This may be figurative of the death of Christ in the land of his enemies : and as Naomi was left by her two sons, it may be figurative of the Jewish church being left to the weakness of the law, which was not so spiritual a dispensation as the gospel is.
Ver. 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.”-Ruth signifies walered, or filled; in which respect she was figurative of the gentile church; and her marriage with Mablon, ber first husband, may denote the union of the moral and ceremonial law in the salvation of the gentile church. And the name Orpah signifies stiff. necked, or bare-faced; and as she returned back to her pco. ple, and to her gods, her marriage with Chilon may be tigu. rative of many false professors, who, like Orpah, will turn back to their idols; for it seems that Orpah served the God of Israel during the life of her husband, and till she went from Naomi.
Ver. 5. "And the woman was left of her two sons, and her busband.”]— Whicb were her only hope and comfort; and as Naomi was a figure of the Jewish church, it might denote the disconsolate state of that church for despising the Messiab.
Ver. 6. 6 How that the Lord had visited his people, in giving them bread."]-Which may be figurative of the latler day's glory, when the Lord will visit his ancient peo. ple, the Jews, with the bread of life, the heavenly manna, that is, with the glory, power, and blessings of the gospel.
Ver. 10. “And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.”]-This shews that a false professor may at first seem as warm and zealous as a real christian, and that it is only by persevering grace that we know the one from the other; for Orpal, like a false professor, turns back.
Ver. 14. “But Ruth clave unto her."]_Which sets forth that real heart-union and strength of love that there is in young converts to the ways of the Lord and his people.
Ver. 15. “ Return thou after thy sister-in-law."Which Naomi said unto her to try the truth and sincerity of her love; and thus the Lord often tries the bearts of bis people, respecting the truth and reality of love to his nanie and ways.
Ver. 16. ^ Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.”]-Which resolution of Ruth was figurative of the ardent desire of a gracious soul, who loves the Lord Jesus Christ strongly and affectionately, and therefore cleaves to him with intense desire, and resolves in the strength of divine grace to follow the Lord in all his ways: 66 Tby God shall be my God,” are words so strong, intent, and fervent, that they set forth the strongest satisfaction and delight in the Lord, to hold communion and fellowsbip with him in all the commands and ordinances of his house; and ibis love unites the affections of the soul to the people of God as “the excellent of the earth,” delighting to be with them, to hold converse and communion together, and to abide by them under all the dispensations of divine provi. denee. These words, “ Where thou lodgest, there will I Jodge," point out the union of the saints one to another; which the bishops' translation renders, "W bere thou dwellest there will I dwell.'
Ver. 17. - Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried.”]– Which shews the strong ties or the love of believers one to another, or the young convert's love to the church of Christ; that as the church dies in the Lord, and sleeps in Jesus, and their dust lies buried in the bosom of Christ's love, so the believer desires 6 to die the death of tbe righteous, and that his last end may be like his."
Ver. 19. * Is this Naomi?"] Which is figurative of that astonishment which will take place, when the Lord shall call his exile church, the Jews, to tbe enjoyment of his blessing, presence, and ordinances : then they will say, “ Is this Naomi?” namely, Is this the Lord's pleasant one, his delight, his peculiar people, to whom belonged the law and the covenants? “Is this Naomi,” who was once full of the blessings of the Lord ?
Ver. 20. “ Call me not Naomi.”] Which is figurarative how sensible the Jewish church will be of her for. mer privileges, when she shall be brought into the liberty and blessings of the gospel with the fulness of the gentiles.
Sare there is scarce any chapter in all the sacred history that stoops so low
as this, to take cognizance of so mean a person as Ruth, a poor Moabitish widow, so mean an action as her gleaning corn in a neighbour's field, and the minnte circumstances thereof. But all this was in order to her being grafted into the line of Christ, and taken in among bis ancestors, that she might be a figure of the espousals of the gentile church to Christ (Isaiah liv. 1.) And this makes the story remarkable; and many of the passages of it instructive, and very improveable. Here is, 1. Ruth's humility and industry in gleaning corn, providence directing her to Boaz's field, ver. 1—3. 2. The great favour which Boaz shewed to her in many instances, ver. 4-16. 3. The return of Ruth to her mother-in-law, ver. 18—23.
VER. 1. “A kinsman of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.”]- Elimelech and Naomi may be said to be figures of Christ and his church under the Jewish dispensation, so Boaz and Ruth may be said to be typical of Cbrist and his church under the gospel dispensation ; for the word Ruth signifies watered, or filled, and the word Boax signifies in strength; he is likewise said to be a "mighty man of wealth ;' in which respect he mght be a figure of Christ, in whom is hid or laid up all the wealth of Israel, and all the treasures and unscarchable riches of the covenant.
Ver. 2. “ And glean ears of corn after him, in whose sight I shall find grace.” 1-Which is figurative of the language of faith, and the earnest desire of the soul to glean in the field of the divine word, to gather the ears of corn, that is, the blessings of the covenant; it likewise denotes that persuasion of mind the christian enjoys that it shall find grace in bis sight.
Ver. 3. • And her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging into Boaz.”]-As Ruth, whose name signi. fies watered, or filled, or enriched, may point out the church, which is a garden watered by the Lord, filled with his Spirit, and with all joy and peace in believing, that is, enriched, satiated, and satisfied with his love; so her hap being to light on the field of Boaz, may be figurative of electing love, which leads the soul to the field of Christ's word.
Ver. 4. “ And said unto the reapers, The Lord be with you: and they answered him, The Lord bless thee." Which is figurative of Christ's being with his spiritual reapers, the ministers of the word, and of their praising