Who was Naomi in the Bible?
The story of Naomi shows us how God’s plan can still overcome the bitterness and tragedy that occurs in our lives. Naomi lived in Bethlehem with her husband, Elimelech, and her two sons, Makhlon and Kilion.
A famine struck the land, so the family moved to the country of Moab to survive. Shortly after the move, Elimelech died, leaving Naomi a widow and mother to their two sons. Her sons married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other named Ruth.
Unfortunately, about ten years later, both of her sons died. By that time the famine in Judah had ended, and so Naomi decided to return home to Judah. She encouraged her daughters-in-law to leave her and return to Moab to try and find husbands.
They protested and cried together, but Orpah returned home. Ruth decided that no matter what, she would follow Naomi and her God. Once she saw that Ruth’s mind was set, Naomi allowed her to continue the journey.
Upon returning to Bethlehem, Naomi felt her name, which means “my pleasantness” was no longer fitting, and she insisted she be called Marah, which means “bitterness”.
With no means of supporting themselves, Ruth began gleaning in the fields to gather grain. Once Naomi discovered that Ruth was in the fields of Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s husband, she instructed Ruth on how to ask Boaz to save her from her plight.
Boaz agreed to become Ruth’s kinsman redeemer, and after approaching the first man in line who turned away the offer, Boaz married Ruth. In time, Ruth gave birth to a son, Obed. Naomi rejoiced in Obed’s birth and assisted with his care as if he was her own son.