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Ruth 1 Good News Translation (GNT)

Elimelech and His Family Move to Moab

1-2 Long ago, in the days before Israel had a king, there was a famine in the land. So a man named Elimelech, who belonged to the clan of Ephrath and who lived in Bethlehem in Judah, went with his wife Naomi and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion to live for a while in the country of Moab. While they were living there, Elimelech died, and Naomi was left alone with her two sons, who married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. About ten years later Mahlon and Chilion also died, and Naomi was left all alone, without husband or sons.

Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem

Some time later Naomi heard that the Lord had blessed his people by giving them good crops; so she got ready to leave Moab with her daughters-in-law. They started out together to go back to Judah, but on the way she said to them, “Go back home and stay with your mothers. May the Lord be as good to you as you have been to me and to those who have died. And may the Lord make it possible for each of you to marry again and have a home.”

So Naomi kissed them good-bye. But they started crying 10 and said to her, “No! We will go with you to your people.”

11 “You must go back, my daughters,” Naomi answered. “Why do you want to come with me? Do you think I could have sons again for you to marry? 12 Go back home, for I am too old to get married again. Even if I thought there was still hope, and so got married tonight and had sons, 13 would you wait until they had grown up? Would this keep you from marrying someone else? No, my daughters, you know that's impossible. The Lord has turned against me, and I feel very sorry for you.”[a]

14 Again they started crying. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye and went back home,[b] but Ruth held on to her. 15 So Naomi said to her, “Ruth, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her god.[c] Go back home with her.”

16 But Ruth answered, “Don't ask me to leave you! Let me go with you. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Wherever you die, I will die, and that is where I will be buried. May the Lord's worst punishment come upon me if I let anything but death[d] separate me from you!”

18 When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.

19 They went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived, the whole town became excited, and the women there exclaimed, “Is this really Naomi?”

20 “Don't call me Naomi,” she answered; “call me Marah,[e] because Almighty God has made my life bitter. 21 When I left here, I had plenty, but the Lord has brought me back without a thing. Why call me Naomi when the Lord Almighty has condemned me and sent me trouble?”

22 This, then, was how Naomi came back from Moab with Ruth, her Moabite daughter-in-law. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the barley harvest was just beginning.

Footnotes:

  1. Ruth 1:13 sorry for you; or bitter about what has happened to you.
  2. Ruth 1:14 One ancient translation and went back home; Hebrew does not have these words.
  3. Ruth 1:15 god; or gods.
  4. Ruth 1:17 anything but death; or even death.
  5. Ruth 1:20 In Hebrew Naomi means “pleasant” and Marah means “bitter.”
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

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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