ESV - 20 She said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
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Just as names do today, the names given to, or assumed by, people in Biblical times had meanings. The meaning of the name "Naomi" in Hebrew was "pleasant", or "delightful". After Naomi's husband and sons died, she requested that people now call her "Mara" (meaning "bitter" in Hebrew), which was meant as a description of the bitter misfortune that had befallen her. (However, as told in the book of Ruth, God subsequently alleviated this misfortune through the marriage of Naomi's daughter-in-law Ruth (the widow of one of Naomi's two sons) to Naomi's kinsman Boaz, through whom Ruth (even though she was a Moabite by birth, rather than an Israelite) became the great-grandmother of King David, and thus an ancestor of Jesus (Matthew 1:5-6).)
1:20 Mara The name Mara means “bitter.” Given her circumstances, Naomi thinks “bitter” is a more fitting name than “pleasant” (see Ruth 1:2). -- Naomi—“fair or pleasant”; and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, are supposed to be the same as Joash and Saraph (1 Ch 4:22). However, she is never referred to as Mara because—despite her claim—Yahweh did not deal bitterly with her (Ruth 4:14–15). Mara [EBD] bitter; sad, a symbolical name which Naomi gave to herself because of her misfortunes (Ruth 1:20). (sad, bitter), the name which Naomi adopted in the exclamation forced from her by the recognition of her fellow citizens at Bethlehem. (Ruth 1:20) MARA [ISBE] MARA - ma'-ra, mar'-a (marah, "bitter"): The term which Naomi applies to herself on her return from Moab to her native country (Ruth 1:20). Changed beyond recognition, she creates astonishment among her former acquaintances, who ask, "Is this Naomi?" She replies, "Call me not Naomi" (i.e. "pleasant" or "sweet"), but "call me Mara" (i.e. "bitter"). In the light of her bitter experience, and her present pitiable plight, the old name has become peculiarly inappropriate. Hebrew Strongs #04755: arm Mara' Mara = "bitterness" 1) a name that Naomi called herself due to her calamities Mara : an encampment site where Moses made bitter water sweet Rut 1:20 Does anyone remember the Bible reference for this? Elimelech and Naomi had sinned against the Lord by moving to Moab when the famine hit Palestine, thus walking by sight and not by faith, majoring on the physical and not the spiritual, and honoring the enemy and not the Lord. Because Naomi did not surrender to God and accept His loving discipline, she didn't experience "the peaceable fruit of righteousness" (Hebrews 12:11).
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