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ORPAH (Heb. עָרְפָּה), Moabite woman. Elimelech and Naomi, driven by famine from Beth-Lehem in Judah, settled in Moab. After Elimelech's death, their two sons, Mahlon and *Chilion, married Orpah and *Ruth. After her two sons died, Naomi set out for home and tried to persuade her daughters-in-law to remain behind in Moab, their native land. Orpah obeyed, while Ruth insisted on accompanying her mother-in-law (Ruth 1:4–14).


Ginsberg, Legends, index; I. Ḥasida, Isheiha-Tanakh (1964), 353.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.