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Ruth 1 World English Bible (WEB)

In the days when the judges judged, there was a famine in the land. A certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to live in the country of Moab with his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. They came into the country of Moab and lived there. Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left with her two sons. They took for themselves wives of the women of Moab. The name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other was Ruth. They lived there about ten years. Mahlon and Chilion both died, and the woman was bereaved of her two children and of her husband. Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab; for she had heard in the country of Moab how Yahweh[a] had visited his people in giving them bread. She went out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her. They went on the way to return to the land of Judah. Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May Yahweh deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. May Yahweh grant you that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband.”

Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices, and wept. 10 They said to her, “No, but we will return with you to your people.”

11 Naomi said, “Go back, my daughters. Why do you want to go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Go back, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, ‘I have hope,’ if I should even have a husband tonight, and should also bear sons, 13 would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from having husbands? No, my daughters, for it grieves me seriously for your sakes, for Yahweh’s hand has gone out against me.”

14 They lifted up their voices and wept again; then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth stayed with her. 15 She said, “Behold,[b] your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her god. Follow your sister-in-law.”

16 Ruth said, “Don’t urge me to leave you, and to return from following you, for where you go, I will go; and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God[c] my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May Yahweh do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.”

18 When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

19 So they both went until they came to Bethlehem. When they had come to Bethlehem, all the city was excited about them, and they asked, “Is this Naomi?”

20 She said to them, “Don’t call me Naomi.[d] Call me Mara,[e] for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, and Yahweh has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since Yahweh has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” 22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, who returned out of the country of Moab. They came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:6 “Yahweh” is God’s proper Name, sometimes rendered “LORD” (all caps) in other translations.
  2. 1:15 “Behold”, from “הִנֵּה”, means look at, take notice, observe, see, or gaze at. It is often used as an interjection.
  3. 1:16 The Hebrew word rendered “God” is “אֱלֹהִ֑ים” (Elohim).
  4. 1:20 “Naomi” means “pleasant”.
  5. 1:20 “Mara” means “bitter”.
World English Bible (WEB)

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Ruth 1 New International Version (NIV)

Naomi Loses Her Husband and Sons

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. 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.

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

Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem

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. 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. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. 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.

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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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