In Genesis 16:1-3 (NASB) we read that after 10 years Sarai have Hagar to Abram

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not borne him a child, but she had (B)an Egyptian slave woman whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please have relations with my slave woman; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 And so after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave woman, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife.

Then, in Ruth 1:4 (NASB), even though Ruth was married for 10 years she didn't conceive

And they took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other, Ruth. And they lived there about ten years.

Was Ruth barren like Sarai?

2 Answers 2


Ruth married a young man and had no child. Ruth married an old man and had a son. This was a work of God according to Psalm 127:3

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.

Moreover, it was a special work of God. God saved her first pregnancy to become an ancestor to David.

Ruth 4:

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. ...

16Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Both Sarah and Ruth were childless initially. Both bore a child by God's enablement explicitly stated in the Scripture. The timings of both were chosen by God. Both were ancestors of Jesus. God's works are wonderful.


We observe the following facts:

  1. While Naomi and her family was in Moab for 10 years, her sons would not have been married for all of that time. Perhaps only half (??) of that time.
  2. Further, it was while they we in Moab that the two sons died thus lessening the time available for marriage still further.
  3. Here two sons were called, "Mahlon and Chilion signifying sickness and consumption. Probably they were sickly children, and not likely to be long-lived." (Benson)

Thus, it is possible that the two sons' sickness made them too ill for child conception.

In any case, when Naomi returned to Israel with Ruth, and Ruth married Boaz, she appears to have had no trouble conceiving.

  • Notice that in Ruth 4:13, moment of conceiving, God comes into action Mar 21, 2021 at 11:41

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