Ruth 1 International Standard Version (ISV)
1 Now there came a time of famine while judges were ruling in the land of Israel.[a] A man from Bethlehem of Judah, his wife, and his two sons left to live in the country of Moab. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech, his wife’s name was Naomi, and their two sons were named Mahlon and Chilion—Ephrathites from Bethlehem of Judah. They journeyed to the country of Moab and lived there for some time.[b] 3 Then Naomi’s husband Elimelech died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 Each of her sons[c] married Moabite women: one named Orpah and the other named Ruth. After they lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Chilion died, leaving Naomi[d] alone with neither her husband nor her two sons.
Naomi Returns to Judah
6 She and her daughters-in-law prepared to return from the country of Moab, because she had heard while living there[e] how the Lord had come to the aid of his people, giving them relief.[f] 7 So she left the place where she had been, along with her two daughters-in-law, and they traveled along the return road to the land of Judah. 8 But along the way,[g] Naomi told her two daughters-in-law, “Each of you go back home. Return to your mother’s house. May the Lord show his gracious love to you, as you have shown me and our loved ones who have died.[h] 9 May the Lord grant each of you security in your new[i] husbands’ households.” Then she kissed them good-bye,[j] and they cried loudly.
10 They both replied to her, “No! We’ll go back with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi responded, “Go back, my daughters. Why go with me? Are there still sons to be born to me[k] as future husbands for you? 12 So go on back, my daughters! Be on your way! I’m too old to remarry.[l] If I were to say that I’m hoping for a husband tonight and then also bore sons this very night,[m] 13 would you wait for them until they were grown? Would you refrain from marriage for them? No, my daughters! I’m more deeply grieved than you, because[n] the Lord is working against me!”
Ruth Remains with Naomi
14 They began to cry loudly again. So Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye,[o] but Ruth remained with her. 15 Naomi told Ruth,[p] “Look, your sister-in-law has returned to her people and to her gods. Follow your sister-in-law!”
16 But Ruth answered, “Stop urging me to abandon you and to turn back from following you. Because wherever you go, I’ll go. Wherever you live, I’ll live. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I’ll die and be buried. May the Lord do this to me—and more—if anything[q] except death comes between you and me.”
Naomi and Ruth Arrive in Bethlehem
Now when the two of them arrived in Bethlehem, the entire town got excited at the news of their arrival[t] and they asked one another, “Can this be Naomi?”
20 But Naomi replied, “Don’t call me ‘Naomi’![u] Call me ‘Mara’![v] That’s because the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me. 21 I left here full, but the Lord brought me back empty. So why call me ‘Naomi’? After all, the Lord is against me, and the Almighty has broken[w] me.”
22 So Naomi returned to Bethlehem[x] from the country of Moab, along with her daughter-in-law Ruth the Moabite woman. And they arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
Ruth 1 New International Version (NIV)
Naomi Loses Her Husband and Sons
1 In the days when the judges ruled,[a] there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2 The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.
3 Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem
6 When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7 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.
8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. 9 May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”
Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 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? 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? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”
14 At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.
15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred 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] has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted[e] me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.