Jan Victors: Ruth swearing her allegiance to Naomi (1653)

(Private Collection)

A painting by the Dutch artist Jan Victors (1619-1676). This painting shows an episode from the Old Testament. According to the Book of Ruth during a famine in Israel,Naomi with her husband nad two sons came to live in the country of Moab, one of Israel's enemies. Her two sons married women from Moab, one Orpah and the other Ruth. When Naomi's husband and sons all died and Naomi decided to return home to Bethlehem, Naomi pleaded with her daughters-in-law to take care of themselves and to return to their family homes where they might have a chance of marrying again and having a family. But Ruth refused to leave Naomi, and swears loyalty to Naomi:

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you. (Ruth 1:16-17)

Painting from 1653