Wife of Elimelech and mother-in-law of Ruth. Naomi accompanied her husband and two sons into the land of Moab; but after the death of her husband and sons she returned to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law Ruth, whom she vainly endeavored to dissuade from following her. Naomi was so much changed by poverty and affliction that those who had known her there exclaimed, "Is this Naomi?" She answered that instead of Naomi ("pleasant") she should be called rather Mara ("bitter"), for the Almighty had dealt bitterly with her. Naomi contributed to bring about the marriage of Boaz and Ruth and became the nurse of their child (Ruth i. 1 et seq.; iii. 1 et seq.; iv. 16, 17). See Ruth.

E. G. H. M. Sel.
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