Psalm 94

The Lord is a God who avenges.(A)
    O God who avenges, shine forth.(B)
Rise up,(C) Judge(D) of the earth;
    pay back(E) to the proud what they deserve.
How long, Lord, will the wicked,
    how long will the wicked be jubilant?(F)

They pour out arrogant(G) words;
    all the evildoers are full of boasting.(H)
They crush your people,(I) Lord;
    they oppress your inheritance.(J)
They slay the widow(K) and the foreigner;
    they murder the fatherless.(L)
They say, “The Lord does not see;(M)
    the God of Jacob(N) takes no notice.”

Take notice, you senseless ones(O) among the people;
    you fools, when will you become wise?
Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
    Does he who formed the eye not see?(P)
10 Does he who disciplines(Q) nations not punish?
    Does he who teaches(R) mankind lack knowledge?
11 The Lord knows all human plans;(S)
    he knows that they are futile.(T)

12 Blessed is the one you discipline,(U) Lord,
    the one you teach(V) from your law;
13 you grant them relief from days of trouble,(W)
    till a pit(X) is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not reject his people;(Y)
    he will never forsake his inheritance.
15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,(Z)
    and all the upright in heart(AA) will follow it.

16 Who will rise up(AB) for me against the wicked?
    Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?(AC)
17 Unless the Lord had given me help,(AD)
    I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.(AE)
18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,(AF)
    your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
19 When anxiety(AG) was great within me,
    your consolation(AH) brought me joy.

20 Can a corrupt throne(AI) be allied with you—
    a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?(AJ)
21 The wicked band together(AK) against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent(AL) to death.(AM)
22 But the Lord has become my fortress,
    and my God the rock(AN) in whom I take refuge.(AO)
23 He will repay(AP) them for their sins
    and destroy(AQ) them for their wickedness;
    the Lord our God will destroy them.

Naomi Loses Her Husband and Sons

In the days when the judges ruled,[a](A) there was a famine in the land.(B) So a man from Bethlehem in Judah,(C) together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while(D) in the country of Moab.(E) The man’s name was Elimelek,(F) his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion.(G) They were Ephrathites(H) from Bethlehem,(I) Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.

Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women,(J) one named Orpah and the other Ruth.(K) After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion(L) also died,(M) and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem

When Naomi heard in Moab(N) that the Lord had come to the aid of his people(O) by providing food(P) for them, she and her daughters-in-law(Q) prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.

Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home.(R) May the Lord show you kindness,(S) as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands(T) and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest(U) in the home of another husband.”

Then she kissed(V) them goodbye and they wept aloud(W) 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”

11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands?(X) 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up?(Y) Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter(Z) for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!(AA)

14 At this they wept(AB) aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law(AC) goodbye,(AD) but Ruth clung to her.(AE)

15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law(AF) is going back to her people and her gods.(AG) Go back with her.”

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you(AH) or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go,(AI) and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people(AJ) and your God my God.(AK) 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely,(AL) if even death separates you and me.”(AM) 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.(AN)

19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem.(AO) When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred(AP) because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”

20 “Don’t call me Naomi,[b]” she told them. “Call me Mara,[c] because the Almighty[d](AQ) has made my life very bitter.(AR) 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty.(AS) Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted[e] me;(AT) the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”

22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite,(AU) her daughter-in-law,(AV) arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest(AW) was beginning.(AX)

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Footnotes

  1. Ruth 1:1 Traditionally judged
  2. Ruth 1:20 Naomi means pleasant.
  3. Ruth 1:20 Mara means bitter.
  4. Ruth 1:20 Hebrew Shaddai; also in verse 21
  5. Ruth 1:21 Or has testified against

Widows, Elders and Slaves

Do not rebuke an older man(A) harshly,(B) but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men(C) as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.(D) But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents,(E) for this is pleasing to God.(F) The widow who is really in need(G) and left all alone puts her hope in God(H) and continues night and day to pray(I) and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.(J) Give the people these instructions,(K) so that no one may be open to blame. Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied(L) the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

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