Ruth Loved Naomi as Adam Loved Eve

The same Hebrew word that is used in Genesis 2:24 to describe how Adam felt about Eve (and how spouses are supposed to feel toward each other) is used in Ruth 1:14 to describe how Ruth felt about Naomi. Her feelings are celebrated, not condemned.

The word in question is “cleave”.

Genesis 2:24 — Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Ruth 1:14And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.

And throughout Christian history, Ruth’s vow to Naomi  in Ruth 1:16-17 has been used to illustrate the nature of the marriage covenant. These words are often read at Christian wedding ceremonies and used in sermons to illustrate the ideal love that spouses should have for one another. The fact that these words were originally spoken by one woman to another tells us a lot about how God feels about same-gender relationships.

Ruth 1:16-17 But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!”

In this vow, Ruth relinquishes ties with her own people and culture to embrace the home, people and God of Naomi for the rest of their lives. That looks like a marriage.

While I do not think that Ruth is literally marrying Naomi (there is of course the need for Boaz in the book), I’m wondering if this is done in imitation of an ancient wedding ceremony, with a similar level of intent and commitment as a marriage bond.

The point here is that the intensity of the emotional investment commitment to the well-being and care of the partner is universal regardless if we are talking Adam and Eve or Ruth and Naomi. Same-sex attraction and love among those of the same-sex can be just as committed and emotionally intense and fulfilling as any other attraction. The story of Naomi and Ruth is but one strong example of a healthy relationship that can inspire other relationships like it.



About Rachel Conlin McLeod

Transgender activist, Christian at First Baptist Church in Willimantic, Connecticut. B.A. in History and Social Sciences, B.A. in Sociology Freelance writer, tutor, research assistant Loves hockey, ballet, women's gymnastics, and Bible studies.
This entry was posted in Genesis, Inspiration, Love, Ruth. Bookmark the permalink.

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