Biblical People

Biblical People: Orpah

Orpah is the widowed daughter-in-law of Naomi and sister-in-law to Ruth. When Naomi decides to return to Judah, her Moabite daughters-in-law start out with her. Naomi releases them both, encouraging them to return to their mothers and find new husbands.

Though Ruth refuses, Orpah does the logical thing and goes home. 

That’s the last we hear of Orpah. We don’t know if she marries again or ever has any children. We don’t know how long she lives. We just know she does the sensible thing. 

However, Orpah’s sister-in-law chooses the path that doesn’t make sense, and God honors her for her loyalty to him and her mother-in-law.

Sometimes the sensible solution isn’t the one God honors. Do we have the discernment to put God first even if it doesn’t make sense?

[Discover more about Orpah in Ruth 1:4–16.]

Learn about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at