Skip to main content

Mahlon and Chilion

MAHLON AND CHILION

MAHLON AND CHILION (Heb. מַחְלוֹן and כִּלְיוֹן), the two sons of Elimelech and Naomi (Ruth 1:2ff.; 4:9–10). They were Ephrathites of Bethlehem who migrated to Moab, together with their parents, during a drought in the time of the Judges. After their father's death, the two brothers married Moabite women, Chilion marrying Orpah, and Mahlon, *Ruth. Both died childless. Their names have been taken to mean "sickness" and "destruction" and have been explained as symbolic of their untimely death. But Mahlon could be connected with mahol, "dance," and Chilion with a word meaning "completion."

In the Aggadah

Mahlon and Chilion are identified with Joash and Saraph of I Chronicles 4:22, the different names indicating their characteristics and destiny. Joash was so called because he lost hope (from the root יאשׁ, "to give up hope") of the messianic era; Saraph because he was condemned to be burned (from the root שרף, "to burn"); Mahlon, because he committed acts of profanation (from the root חלל, "to profane"); and Chilion because he was condemned by God to destruction (כלה "to destroy"; bb 91b). They sinned in leaving Ereẓ Israel (bb 91a), and in that they neither proselytized their wives nor ensured that they performed ritual immersion (Ruth R. 2:9). Before they died, they were rendered penniless (Ruth R.2:10).

bibliography:

Noth, Personennamen, 54, 249; Ginzberg, Legends, 4 (1925), 31; 6 (1925), 189; Y. Ḥasida, Ishei ha-Tanakh (1964), 258–9.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Mahlon and Chilion." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 8 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Mahlon and Chilion." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 8, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mahlon-and-chilion

"Mahlon and Chilion." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved September 08, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mahlon-and-chilion

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.