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Ruth 1:8-10 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Listen to me! Each of you should return to your mother’s home.[a] May the Lord show[b] you[c] the same kind of devotion that you have shown to your deceased husbands[d] and to me.[e] May the Lord enable each of you to find[f] security[g] in the home of a new husband.”[h] Then she kissed them goodbye, and they wept loudly.[i] 10 But they said to her, “No![j] We will[k] return with you to your people.”


  1. Ruth 1:8 tn Heb “each to the house of her mother.” Naomi’s words imply that it is more appropriate for the two widows to go home to their mothers, rather than stay with their mother-in-law (see F. W. Bush, Ruth, Esther [WBC], 75).
  2. Ruth 1:8 tc The MT (Kethib) has the imperfect יַעֲשֶׂה (yaʿaseh, “[the Lord] will do”), but the marginal reading (Qere) has the shortened jussive form יַעַשׂ (yaʿas, “may [the Lord] do”), which is more probable in this prayer of blessing. Most English versions adopt the jussive form (KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, JPS, TEV, CEV, NLT).
  3. Ruth 1:8 tn Heb “do with you”; NRSV “deal kindly with you”; NLT “reward you for your kindness.” The pronominal suffix “you” appears to be a masculine form, but this is likely a preservation of an archaic dual form (see E. F. Campbell, Ruth [AB], 65; F. W. Bush, Ruth, Esther [WBC], 75-76).
  4. Ruth 1:8 tn Heb “the dead” (so KJV, NRSV); NLT “your husbands.” This refers to their deceased husbands.
  5. Ruth 1:8 tn Heb “devotion as you have done with the dead and with me.” The noun חֶסֶד (khesed, “devotion”) is a key thematic term in the book of Ruth (see 2:20; 3:10). G. R. Clark suggests that חֶסֶד “is not merely an attitude or an emotion; it is an emotion that leads to an activity beneficial to the recipient”; an act of חֶסֶד is “a beneficent action performed, in the context of a deep and enduring commitment between two persons or parties, by one who is able to render assistance to the needy party who in the circumstances is unable to help him—or herself” (The Word Hesed in the Hebrew Bible [JSOTSup], 267). HALOT 336-37 s.v. II חֶסֶד defines the word as “loyalty” or “faithfulness.” Other appropriate glosses might be “commitment” and “devotion.”
  6. Ruth 1:9 tn Heb “may the Lord give to you, and find rest, each [in] the house of her husband.” The syntax is unusual, but following the jussive (“may he give”), the imperative with vav (ו) conjunctive (“and find”) probably indicates the purpose or consequence of the preceding action: “May he enable you to find rest.”
  7. Ruth 1:9 tn Heb “rest.” While the basic meaning of מְנוּחָה (menukhah) is “rest,” it often refers to “security,” such as provided in marriage (BDB 629-30 s.v.; HALOT 600 s.v.). Thus English versions render it in three different but related ways: (1) the basic sense: “rest” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NIV); (2) the metonymical cause/effect sense: “security” (NRSV, NJPS, REB, NLT, GW); and (3) the referential sense: “home” (RSV, TEV, CEV, NCV).
  8. Ruth 1:9 tn Heb “in the house of her husband” (so KJV, NASB); NRSV “your husband.”
  9. Ruth 1:9 tn Heb “they lifted their voice[s] and wept” (KJV, ASV, NASB all similar). This refers to loud weeping characteristic of those mourning a tragedy (Judg 21:2; 2 Sam 13:36; Job 2:12).
  10. Ruth 1:10 tn The particle כִּי (ki) here has the force of “no, on the contrary” (see Gen 31:26; Ps 44:22; HALOT 470 s.v. II כִּי 3).
  11. Ruth 1:10 tn Or perhaps “we want to” (so NCV, CEV, NLT), if the imperfect is understood in a modal sense indicating desire.
New English Translation (NET)

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