Naomi Widowed

Now it came about in the days (A)when the judges [a]governed, that there was (B)a famine in the land. And a man (C)of Bethlehem in Judah went to reside in the land of Moab [b]with his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi; and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. So they (D)entered the land of Moab and remained there. Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left with her two sons. And they took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other, Ruth. And they lived there about ten years. Then [c]both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.

Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the land of Moab, because she had heard in the land of Moab that the Lord had (E)visited His people by (F)giving them food. So she departed from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to [d]your mother’s house. (G)May the Lord deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me. May the Lord grant that you may find a place of rest, each one in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they raised their voices and wept. 10 However, they said to her, “No, but we will return with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb, that (H)they may be your husbands? 12 Return, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, if I were even to have a husband tonight and also give birth to sons, 13 would you therefore wait until they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters; for it is much more bitter for me than for you, because (I)the hand of the Lord has come out against me.”

Ruth’s Loyalty

14 And they raised their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

15 Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her (J)gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said, “Do not plead with me to leave you or to turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you sleep, I will sleep. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May (K)the Lord do so to me, and worse, if anything but death separates [e]me from you.” 18 When (L)she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her about it.

19 So they both went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they had come to Bethlehem, (M)all the city was stirred because of them, and [f]the women said, “Is this Naomi?” 20 But she said to them, “Do not call me [g]Naomi; call me [h]Mara, for [i](N)the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went away full, but (O)the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me and [j]the Almighty has afflicted me?”

22 So Naomi returned, and with her Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, who returned from the land of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at (P)the beginning of barley harvest.

Footnotes

  1. Ruth 1:1 Or judged
  2. Ruth 1:1 Lit he, and
  3. Ruth 1:5 Lit both of them
  4. Ruth 1:8 Lit her
  5. Ruth 1:17 Lit between me and you
  6. Ruth 1:19 Lit they
  7. Ruth 1:20 I.e., pleasant
  8. Ruth 1:20 I.e., bitter
  9. Ruth 1:20 Heb Shaddai
  10. Ruth 1:21 Heb Shaddai