1 In the days when the judges governed [Israel], there was a famine in the land [of Canaan]. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live temporarily in the [a]country of Moab with his wife and his two sons.2 The man’s name was Elimelech and his wife’s name was Naomi and his two sons were named Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went to the country of Moab and stayed there.3 Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left [a widow] with her two sons.4 They took wives from the Moabite women; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other was Ruth. They lived there about ten years;5 and then both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so the woman [Naomi] was left without her two sons and her husband.
Ruth 1:1Moab was located on a high plateau on the eastern shore of the Salt (Dead) Sea. The Moabites were related to the Israelites through their common ancestor, Terah. Their primary god was Chemosh, but the Moabites also worshiped many other pagan gods and sometimes engaged in human sacrifice.
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