Megillat Ruth 1:1-5 in PaRDeS

By Hakham Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

 

The Story – Chapter 1:1-5

 

INTRODUCTION

 

In this series of documents I will be translating Megillat Ruth in four separate ways to produce a Pshat translation, a Remez translation, a Drash translation, and a Sod translation. I will be building these four translations by examining how Chazal translated the words in the oral and written Torah. For all four levels I will examine the Torah. For the Pshat I will draw from the text of Ruth, sefer Mordechai, the Mishna, Rashi, and Ibn Ezra. For the Remez I will draw from the Gemara, sefer Luqas, Meam Loez, and sefer Baal HaTurim. For the Drash I will draw from the Midrash, sefer Matityahu, Alshich, and the Malbim. Finally, for the Sod I will draw from the Zohar and sefer Yochanan. I will also, on occasion, use logical arguments (sevarah) to justify a particular translation.

 

I will be presenting the Hebrew, Greek, and english translations in order to see the traditional understanding of the text. I will then build the PaRDeS translation for the key words. Finally, I will retranslate the pasukim to bring out the PaRDeS translation. This is the goal of this work. To bring to the English speaking audience a glimpse of the richness of the text ans seen through the eyes of Chazal in the four levels of PaRDeS.

 

 

SECTION I

Include hermeneutical laws when needed.

Ruth 1:1-2

 

Text:

 

וַיְהִי בִּימֵי שְׁפֹט הַשֹּׁפְטִים וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ וַיֵּלֶךְ אִישׁ מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה לָגוּר בִּשְׂדֵי מֹואָב הוּא וְאִשְׁתֹּו וּשְׁנֵי בָנָֽיו׃

א

וְשֵׁם הָאִישׁ אֱֽלִימֶלֶךְ וְשֵׁם אִשְׁתֹּו נָעֳמִי וְשֵׁם שְׁנֵֽי־בָנָיו מַחְלֹון וְכִלְיֹון אֶפְרָתִים מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה וַיָּבֹאוּ שְׂדֵי־מֹואָב וַיִּֽהְיוּ־שָֽׁם׃

ב

וַיָּמָת אֱלִימֶלֶךְ אִישׁ נָעֳמִי וַתִּשָּׁאֵר הִיא וּשְׁנֵי בָנֶֽיהָ׃

ג

וַיִּשְׂאוּ לָהֶם נָשִׁים מֹֽאֲבִיֹּות שֵׁם הָֽאַחַת עָרְפָּה וְשֵׁם הַשֵּׁנִית רוּת וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם כְּעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִֽים׃

ד

וַיָּמוּתוּ גַם־שְׁנֵיהֶם מַחְלֹון וְכִלְיֹון וַתִּשָּׁאֵר הָֽאִשָּׁה מִשְּׁנֵי יְלָדֶיהָ וּמֵאִישָֽׁהּ׃

ה

 

Ruth 1:1 AND IT came to pass in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Beth-lehem in Judah went to sojourn in the field of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

2  And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Beth-lehem in Judah. And they came into the field of Moab, and continued there.

3  And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

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; and they dwelt there about ten years.

5 And Mahlon and Chilion died both of them; and the woman was left of her two children and of her husband.


 

TANAKH

Translation

SEPTUAGINT

Translation

וַיְהִי

And it came to pass

καὶ ἐγένετο

And it came to pass,

בִּימֵי

in the days of

ἐν 

When

שְׁפט

the judging

τῷ κρίνειν

were judging,

הַשּׁפְטִים

the judges

τοὺς κριτὰς

the judges

וַיְהִי

and it came to pass

καὶ ἐγένετο

that there was

רָעָב

a famine

λιμὸς

a famine

בָּאָרֶץ

in the land

ἐν τῇ γῇ

in the land

וַיֵּלֶךְ

and went

καὶ ἐπορεύθη

and went

אִישׁ

nobleman

ἀνὴρ

a man

מִבֵּית

from house

ἀπὸ βαιθλεεμ

from Bethleëm

לֶחֶם

Bread

 

 

יְהוּדָה

Judah

τῆς ιουδα

of Judah

לָגוּר

to sojourn

τοῦ παροικῆσαι

to sojourn

בִּשְׂדֵי

in the fields

ἐν ἀγρῷ

in the land

מוֹאָב

Moab

μωαβ

of Moab

הוּא

he

αὐτὸς

He

וְאִשְׁתּוֹ

and his wife

καὶ ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ

and his wife

וּשְׁנֵי

and two

καὶ 

and two

בָנָיו

his sons

οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτοῦ

his sons

וְשֵׁם

And name

καὶ ὄνομα

And the name

הָאִישׁ

the nobleman

τῷ ἀνδρὶ

of the man

אֱלִימֶלֶךְ

Elimelekh

αβιμελεχ

Abimelech

וְשֵׁם

and name

καὶ ὄνομα

and the name

אִשְׁתּוֹ

his wife

τῇ γυναικὶ αὐτοῦ

of his wife

נָעֳמִי

Naomi

νωεμιν

Noemin

וְשֵׁם

and name

καὶ ὄνομα

and the names of

שְׁנֵי־בָנָיו

two his sons

τοῖς δυσὶν

his two sons

מַחְלוֹן

Machlon

μααλων

Maälon

וְכִלְיוֹן

and Kilyon

καὶ χελαιων

and Chelaion

אֶפְרָתִים

Ephrathites

εφραθαῖοι

Ephra-thites

מִבֵּית

from house

ἀπὸ βαιθλεεμ

from Bethleëm

לֶחֶם

of bread

 

 

יְהוּדָה

(In) Judah

τῆς ιουδα

of Juda

וַיָּבאוּ

and they came

καὶ ἤλθοσαν

and they went

שְׂדֵי־מוֹאָב

fields of Moab

ἀγρὸν μωαβ

into the land of Moab

וַיִּהְיוּ־שָׁם

and stayed there

καὶ ἦσαν ἐκεῖ

and stayed there.

וַיָּמָת

And died

καὶ ἀπέθανεν

and died

אֱלִימֶלֶךְ

Elimelech

αβιμελεχ

Abimelech

אִישׁ

husband

ὁ ἀνὴρ

husband

נָעֳמִי

Naomi’s

τῆς νωεμιν

Noemin

וַתִּשָּׁאֵר

and she was left

καὶ κατελείφθη

and she was left behind

הִיא

she

αὐτὴ

she

וּשְׁנֵי

and two

καὶ οἱ δύο

and two

בָנֶיהָ

her sons

υἱοὶ αὐτῆς

her sons

וַיִּשְׂאוּ

And they took

καὶ ἐλάβοσαν

and they took possession

לָהֶם

to themselves

ἑαυτοῖς

to themselves

נָשִׁים

(as) wives

γυναῖκας

wives

מֹאֲבִיּוֹת

women of Moab

μωαβίτιδας

moabite women

שֵׁם

name

ὄνομα

name

הָאַחַת

(of) the one

τῇ μιᾷ

the one

עָרְפָּה

Orpah

ορφα

Orpah

וְשֵׁם

and name

καὶ ὄνομα

and name

הַשֵּׁנִית

the second

τῇ δευτέρᾳ

the second

רוּת

Ruth

ρουθ

Ruth

וַיֵּשְׁבוּ

And they dwelt (sat)

καὶ κατῴκησαν

and they lived

שָׁם

there

ἐκεῖ

there

כְּעֶשֶׂר

about ten

ὡς δέκα

that ten

שָׁנִים

years

ἔτη

years

וַיָּמוּתוּ

And they died

καὶ ἀπέθανον

and they died

גַם

also

καίγε

and even

שְׁנֵיהֶם

both of them

ἀμφότεροι

the two of them

מַחְלוֹן

Machlon

μααλων

Maälon

וְכִלְיוֹן

and Kilion

καὶ χελαιων

and Chelaion

וַתִּשָּׁאֵר

and remained

καὶ κατελείφθη

and was left

הָאִשָּׁה

the woman

ἡ γυνὴ

the woman

מִשְּׁנֵי

of two

 

of two

יְלָדֶיהָ

her children

 

children

וּמֵאִישָׁהּ

and of her husband

 

and of her husband

 

Peshitta

 

1:1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. And a certain man from Beth-lehem of Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.

 

1:2 And the name of the man was Elimeleck, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons Malion and Calion, Ephrathites from Beth-lehem of Judah. And they came to the land of Moab to sojourn there.

 

1:3 And Elimeleck the husband of Naomi died; and she was left with her two sons.

 

1:4 And they took them wives of the Moabite women; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth; and they dwelt there about ten years.

 

1:5 And Malion and Calion, her two sons, died; and the woman was be­reft of her husband and her two sons.

 

Stone’s Translation

 

1:1 And it happened in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land, and a man went from Beth-lehem in Judah to sojourn in the fields of Moab, he, his wife, and his two sons.

 

1:2 The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Beth-lehem in Judah. They came to the field of Moab and there they remained.

 

1:3 Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left with her two sons.

 

1:4 They married Moabite women, the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the second Ruth, and they lived there about ten years.

 

1:5 The two of them, Mahlon and Chilion, also died; and the woman was left of her two children and of her husband.

 

KJV

 

1:2 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Beth-lehem-Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

 

1:2 And the name of the man [was] Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Beth-lehem-Judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

 

1:3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

 

1:4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one [was] Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. 

 

1:5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.  


 

Symbols and their Meaning

פשת Pshat

simple meaning

רמז Remez

Hinted / allegorical meaning

דרש    Drush

Metaphoric Meaning

סוד Sod

Symbolic meaning

Vay’hi: And it came to pass

Vay’hi: Trouble is approaching.

Vay’hi: Unprecedented trouble or unprecedented joy is approaching.

Vay’hi: Trouble is about to be narrated.

Ish (Man): a very wealthy man and the leader of the generation.

Ish (Man): A noble / scholarly man like Adam HaRishon.

Ish (Man):  A stump of a King.

Ish (Man): A Living Torah named Adam.

The Judges: The judges were judging.

The Judges:  HaShem is judging and being judged.

The Judges:  The judges who needed judging.

The Judges: Judges in heaven and on earth are being judged.

Famine A lack of bread.

Famine A lack of Torah.

Famine  A lack of a king / Mashiach ben David.

Famine  A lack of unity of the ten sefirot and the men of the community.

In the land: The land of Israel.

In the land: Where ever God’s people are.

In the land: The land of the living.

In the land: The lower world.

Bethlehem: “Bread House” or ‘House of War”

Bethlehem: The House of Torah.

Bethlehem: “Royal House”.

Bethlehem: The universal capital of the world.

Judah: “Now I will praise HaShem”.

Judah: HaShem’s worship.

Judah: Lion's whelp / HaShem’s kingship.

Judah: Kingship and divine order.

To sojourn: To stay temporarily.

To sojourn: To become a proselyte.

To sojourn: To become more beloved.

To sojourn: To pray with kavanah (with emotion and intent).

Fields: A working place for nourishment.

Fields:  A place where Torah Scholars work.

Fields: A city (Edom) / the world.

Fields: A woman.

Moab: “by my father”.

Moab: The forty-ninth level of impurity.

Field of Moab: Beit din of Moav.

Moab: Place of Lions, of the Temple.

Wife:   Man’s helper or opposer.

Wife:   The Receiver

Wife:   A man’s house.

Wife:  Foundation of the house.

Two sons:  Two sons.

Two sons:  The feet and hands of Elimelech. ‘Builders’

Two sons:  Two talmidim.

Two sons:  A proliferation of sons.

Name: Name

Name: In the authority of

Name: His mission

Name: The essence

Women: Women

Women: Nations

Women: Husband’s crown

Woman: The great city

Elimelech: My God is king.

Elimelech: Torah scholars will emanate from me”

Elimelech: ‘To me shall the kingdom come’

Elimelech: Adam

Naomi: My delight

Naomi: Ami – (my people)

Naomi: Pleasant and sweet [the Torah]

Naomi: Chava

Machlon:  Sick

Machlon:  Joash (‘To give up hope’) / ‘Profane’

Machlon:  blotted out (nimhu) from the world [soul of Mashiach]

Machlon:  Abel

Kilion:  Pining

Kilion:  Saraph (‘To burn’) / ‘Destruction’

Kilion:  perished (kalu) from the world

Kilion:  Cain

Efrathites:  Important people

Efrathites:  Noblemen

Efrathites:  Aristocrats

Efrathites: Worldly rulers.

Died: Died

Died: Separated from Torah / Atonement / Ever Living

Died: Relieved from duty. (exempt)

Died: The penalty of transgression (Tree of Death).

Wives:   Man’s helpers or opposers.

Wives:   The Receivers

Wives:   men’s houses.

Wives:  Foundations of the houses.

Moabite: People “by my father”.

Moabite: People of the forty-ninth level of impurity.

Moabite: People of the Chamber of Hewn stone.

Moabite: People of Lions, of the Temple.

Orpah: Fawn

Orpah (Harafah – the giant):

Orpah: Nape of the neck. [the nations]

Orpah: Phaoroh?

Nefesh-Soul of the left side. ‘Stiff necked’

Ruth: Friend or companion.

Ruth: To saturate or replenish.

Ruth: Considered well. (‘she saw’) [Israel]

Ruth: Turtle dove (faithful spouse)

Dwelled (Yashav): Sat.

Dwelled: Taking possesion and settling down.

Dwelled: Left the Presence of HaShem.

Dwelled: To learn and receive.

Ten years: 10 years

Ten years : Unfruitful time.

Ten years:  Barren time.

Ten years: Life-time of an inferior creature.

The woman: Man’s helper or opposer.

The woman: The Receiver

The woman: A man’s house.

The woman: Foundation of the house.

Children: Affectionate for sons

Children: Consented sons without Torah Knowledge

Children: Spoiled sons without Torah Understanding

Children: Imature sons without Torah Wisdom

Husband: Husband

Husband: The Giver

Husband: Dweller in the house.

Husband: Provider of the house.

 


When we substitute the meanings of the names and the other words, we see the following:

 

Pshat

Ruth 1:1 And it came to pass in the days when the judges were judging, that there was a lack of bread in the land of Israel. There went a very wealthy man, who was the leader of his generation, from the house of bread of praise to sojourn in the place of nourishment [provided] by my father, he, his helper, and his two sons.

 

Ruth 1:2 And the name of the very wealthy man and the leader of the generation was ‘my God is king’, and the name of his helper (opposer) was ‘My Delight’, and the name of his two sons were ‘Sick’ and ‘Pining’, important people of the House of Bread, in the praise of HaShem. And they came into the working place, by my father, and continued there.

 

Ruth 1:3  And ‘my God is king’, ‘My Delight’s’ husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

 

Ruth 1:4 And they them helpers/opposers of the woman by my father; the name of the one was ‘Fawn’ and the name of the other was ‘Friend’: and they sat there about ten years.

 

Ruth 1:5 And ‘Sick’ and ‘Pining’ died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two affectionate sons and her husband.

 

Remez

Ruth 1:1 Trouble was coming in the days when HaShem judged and was judged, that there was a lack of Torah in the world. There went a noble / scholarly man from the house of Torah, to become a proselyte in the beit Midrash of the forty-ninth level of impurity, he, and his descendants.

 

Ruth 1:2 And the emanation of kings came in the authority of the tzadik, And my people came as the receiver of my authority, And the authoritative feet of kings will emanate from me came to eliminate hope and be destroyed, noblemen of the royal house of HaShem’s kingship. And they came into the the house of study, at the forty-ninth level of impurity, and continued there.

 

Ruth 1:3 And the emanation of Torah scholars, My people’s giver died; and she was left, with her giver’s builders.

 

Ruth 1:4 And they took receivers of the nation of Moab; the authority of the one was great, and the authority of the other was replenished.

 

Ruth 1:5 And the ones who gave up hope and burned both died; and the nations were left of her consented sons, without Torah knowledge, and her giver.

 

Drash

Ruth 1:1 Unprecedented trouble or joy was approaching in the days when the judges needed judging, that there was no King in the land of the living. There went a stump of a king from the house of Messiah, of the lion’s whelp, to become more beloved in the city of the beit din of Moav, he, his house and his two talmidim.

 

Ruth 1:2 And the mission of the stump of a king was to gain a kingdom. And the mission of his house was pleasant and sweet. And the mission of his talmidim was blotted out from the world and it perished from the world of aristocrats in the house of Torah in a lion’s whelp. And they came into the chamber of hewn stone (the meeting place of the Sanhedrin), and continued there.

 

Ruth 1:3 To me shall the kingdom come, Pleasant and sweet’s [the Torah] Dweller in the house died; and she was left with her two talmidim who were without Torah understanding.

 

Ruth 1:4 They married women of the Chamber of Hewn stone of the Goyim, the name of the one was the nape of the neck. [the nations] and the name of the second considered well (‘she saw’) [Israel], and they lived there about the time of the barren ones.

 

Ruth 1:5 and blotted out from the world [soul of Mashiach] and perished from the world also died; and the husband’s crown was left of her spoiled sons without Torah understanding and the dweller in her house.

 

Sod

Ruth 1:1 Trouble is about to be narrated in the days when the judges in heaven and on earth are being judged, that there was a lack of unity in the sefirot and in the minyanim in the lower world. There went a descendant of the living Torah, named Adam, from the universal capital of kingship and divine order and he went with kavanah (intent) to pray with crying in a temple modeled after a foreign woman, he, the foundation of his house, and a proliferation of descendants.

 

Ruth 1:2 And the essence of The Living Torah was Adam, and the essence of the foundation of his house was Chava, and the essence of his two sons were Abel and Cain, royalty of the royal capital wherein are kingship and thanksgiving. And they came to a woman in the place of lions, in a temple.

 

Ruth 1:3 And Adam, Chava’s provider, died; and she was left with her proliferation of sons.

 

Ruth 1:4 They married lions of a temple, the name of the one was ‘Stiff necked’, and the name of the second ‘Faithful spouse’, and they lived there about the life-time of an inferior creature.

 

Ruth 1:6 And Abel and Cain, also died; and the great city was left of her imature sons without Torah wisdom and of the provider of the house.

 

 

* * *

 

 

Supporting materials for these first five pesukim will be found here.


 

 

* * *

 

This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address: gkilli@aol.com

Web page: http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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Send comments to Greg Killian at his email address: gkilli@aol.com