Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Ruth 4:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The neighbors gave it a name - That is, they recommended a name suitable to the circumstances of the case; and the parents and grandmother adopted it.

They called his name Obed - עובד obed, serving, from עבד abad, he served. Why was this name given? Because he was to be the nourisher of her old age, Rth 4:15. And so he must be by lying in her bosom, even if services in future life were wholly left out of the question. These neighbors of Naomi were skillful people. See on Rth 4:16 (note). Other meanings, of which I am not ignorant, have been derived from these words; those who prefer them have my consent.

He is the father of Jesse, the father of David - And for the sake of this conclusion, to ascertain the line of David, and in the counsel of God to fix and ascertain the line of the Messiah was this instructive little book written.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Obed - i. e. serving, with allusion to the service of love and duty which he would render to his grandmother Naomi.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Ruth bore a son, through whom thousands and myriads were born to God; and in being the lineal ancestor of Christ, she was instrumental in the happiness of all that shall be saved by him; even of us Gentiles, as well as those of Jewish descent. She was a witness for God to the Gentile world, that he had not utterly forsaken them, but that in due time they should become one with his chosen people, and partake of his salvation. Prayer to God attended the marriage, and praise to him attended the birth of the child. What a pity it is that pious language should not be more used among Christians, or that it should be let fall into formality! Here is the descent of David from Ruth. And the period came when Bethlehem-Judah displayed greater wonders than those in the history of Ruth, when the outcast babe of another forlorn female of the same race appeared, controlling the counsels of the Roman master of the world, and drawing princes and wise men from the east, with treasures of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh to his feet. His name shall endure for ever, and all nations shall call Him blessed. In that Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.