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Ruth 1:5

Context
1:5 Then Naomi’s two sons, Mahlon and Kilion, also died. 1  So the woman was left all alone – bereaved of her two children 2  as well as her husband!

Ruth 1:20

Context
1:20 But she replied 3  to them, 4  “Don’t call me ‘Naomi’! 5  Call me ‘Mara’ 6  because the Sovereign One 7  has treated me very harshly. 8 

1 tn Heb “and the two of them also died, Mahlon and Kilion.”

2 tn The term יֶלֶד (yeled, “offspring”), from the verb יָלַד (yalad, “to give birth to”), is used only here of a married man. By shifting to this word from the more common term בֵּן (ben, “son”; see vv. 1-5a) and then using it in an unusual manner, the author draws attention to Naomi’s loss and sets up a verbal link with the story’s conclusion (cf. 4:16). Although grown men, they were still her “babies” (see E. F. Campbell, Ruth [AB], 56; F. W. Bush, Ruth, Esther [WBC], 66).

3 tn Heb “said.” For stylistic reasons the present translation employs “replied” here.

4 tn The third person feminine plural form of the pronominal suffix indicates the women of the village (see v. 19) are the addressees.

5 sn The name Naomi means “pleasant.”

6 sn The name Mara means “bitter.”

7 tn Heb “Shaddai”; traditionally “the Almighty.” The etymology and meaning of this divine name is uncertain. It may be derived from: (1) שָׁדַד (shadad, “to be strong”), cognate to Arabic sdd, meaning “The Strong One” or “Almighty”; (2) שָׁדָה (shadah, “mountain”), cognate to Akkadian shadu, meaning “The Mountain Dweller” or “God of the Mountains”; (3) שָׁדַד (shadad, “to devastate”) and שַׁד (shad, “destroyer”), Akkadian Shedum, meaning “The Destroyer” or “The Malevolent One”; or (4) שֶׁ (she, “who”) plus דִּי (diy, “sufficient”), meaning “The One Who is Sufficient” or “All-Sufficient One” (HALOT 1420-22 s.v. שַׁדַּי, שַׁדָּי). In terms of use, Shaddai (or El Shaddai) is presented as the sovereign king/judge of the world who grants life/blesses and kills/judges. In Genesis he blesses the patriarchs with fertility and promises numerous descendants. Outside Genesis he blesses/protects and also takes away life/happiness. In light of Naomi’s emphasis on God’s sovereign, malevolent deprivation of her family, one can understand her use of this name for God. For discussion of this divine name, see T. N. D. Mettinger, In Search of God, 69-72.

8 tn Or “caused me to be very bitter”; NAB “has made it very bitter for me.”



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