Woman living before Israel’s Monarchy

Orpah is a woman mentioned in the book of Ruth, specifically in Ruth 1:4. She was a Moabite woman who was married to Chilion, the son of Elimelek and Naomi. Orpah, along with her sister-in-law Ruth, accompanied Naomi back to Bethlehem after the death of their husbands. However, Orpah eventually decided to return to her own people and her gods, while Ruth chose to stay with Naomi and embrace the God of Israel.

Orpah’s decision to return to Moab is often contrasted with Ruth’s faithful commitment to Naomi and the God of Israel. While Orpah’s choice may seem practical and understandable, it ultimately led her away from the blessings and purposes that God had in store for Ruth. Orpah’s name means
eck or back of the neck, which can symbolize turning away or departing from something.

From a biblical perspective, Orpah’s decision serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of choosing comfort and familiarity over obedience to God. It highlights the importance of faithfulness and loyalty to God, even in difficult circumstances.

Ultimately, Orpah’s story emphasizes the contrast between temporary worldly comfort and the eternal blessings that come from following God wholeheartedly. While Orpah’s fate is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible after she returns to Moab, her example serves as a reminder for believers to remain steadfast in their faith and commitment to God, even when faced with challenges and uncertainties.

In summary, Orpah was a woman of the Moabites who lived before Israel’s monarchy, and her decision to return to Moab rather than continue with Naomi and Ruth serves as a lesson on the importance of faithfulness and obedience to God.

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