In the Book of Ruth, Mahlon and Chilion were two brothers, the sons of Elimelech of the tribe of Judah and his wife Naomi. Together with their parents, they settled in the land of Moab during the period of the Israelite Judges. Mahlon married the Moabite woman Ruth while Chilion married Orpah (according to the Midrash, Ruth's sister).
Elimelech and his sons all died in Moab, leaving Naomi, Ruth and Orpah widowed. Naomi returns to Israel, but advises her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab; while Orpah takes the advice, Ruth chooses to stay with Naomi and convert to Judaism. In Israel, she then takes part in levirate marriage---marrying a relative of Mahlon's, an act which will ensure that Mahlon's name is not forgotten, as any child she has will be considered as if it were Mahlon's child. She marries Boaz, and her child, Obed (biologically Boaz's but counted as if Mahlon's), becomes the paternal grandfather of King David.
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