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Elimelech’s Family in Moab

It came to pass in the days when judges were governing, there was a famine in the land. A man went from the town of Bethlehem[a] in Judah to dwell in the region of Moab with his wife and his two sons. The man’s name was Elimelech, his wife’s name was Naomi, and his two sons were named Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephratites from Bethlehem in Judah. They came to the region of Moab and remained there.

Then Naomi’s husband Elimelech died, so she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women—one was named Orpah and the second was named Ruth, and they dwelt there about ten years. Then those two, Mahlon and Chilion, also died. So the woman was left without her children and her husband.

Then she got up, along with her daughters-in-law to return from the region of Moab, because in the region of Moab she had heard that Adonai had taken note of His people and given them food. So she left the place where she was, along with her two daughters-in-law, and they started out on the road to return to the land of Judah.

So Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to your mother’s house. May Adonai show you the same kindness that you have shown to the dead and to me. May Adonai grant that you find rest, each of you in the house of her own husband.” Then she kissed them and they wept loudly.

10 “No!” they said to her, “we will return with you to your people.”

11 Now Naomi said, “Go back, my daughters! Why should you go with me? Do I have more sons in my womb who could become your husbands? 12 Go home, my daughters! I am too old to have a husband. Even if I were to say that there was hope for me and I could get married tonight, and then bore sons, 13 would you wait for them to grow up? Would you therefore hold off getting married? No, my daughters, it is more bitter for me than for you—for the hand of Adonai has gone out against me!”

14 Again they broke into loud weeping. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye. But Ruth clung to her. 15 She said, “Look, your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Return, along with your sister-in-law!”

Ruth’s Covenant With Naomi

16 Ruth replied,

“Do not plead with me to abandon you,
    to turn back 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 my God.
17 Where you die, I will die,
    and there I will be buried.
May Adonai deal with me, and worse,
    if anything but death comes between me and you!”

18 When she saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she no longer spoke to Ruth about it.

19 So the two of them went on until they arrived in Bethlehem. As soon as they arrived in Bethlehem the whole city was excited because of them, and the women asked, “Is this Naomi?”

20 “Do not call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara—since Shaddai has made my life bitter. [b] 21 I went away full, but Adonai has brought me back empty. Why should you call me Naomi, since Adonai has testified against me and Shaddai has brought calamity on me?”

22 So Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth the Moabitess returned from the region of Moab. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Gleaning in Boaz’s Field

Now, Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side—from Elimelech’s family—a prominent man of substance whose name was Boaz.

Ruth the Moabitess, said to Naomi, “Please let me go out to the field and glean grain behind anyone in whose eyes I may find favor.”

Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So Ruth went out and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. She just so happened to be in the field of Boaz, who was from Elimelech’s family.

Soon after Boaz arrived from Bethlehem, he said to the harvesters, “Adonai be with you.”

They replied, “May Adonai bless you.”

Then Boaz asked the foreman of his harvesters, “Whose young woman is this?”

“She is a Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the region of Moab,” the foreman replied. “She asked ‘Please allow me to glean and gather among the barley sheaves behind the harvesters.’ So she came and has been working in the field since morning until now, except for a little while in the shelter.”

Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen to me, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field or even pass on from here, but stay close to my female workers. Keep your eyes on the field that they are harvesting, and follow after them. I strongly ordered the young men not to touch you. When you are thirsty, you can go to the jars and drink from the water the young men have drawn.”

10 Then she fell upon her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes that you have noticed me, even though I am a foreigner?”

11 Boaz replied and said to her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since your husband’s death has been fully reported to me—how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people you did not know before. 12 May Adonai repay you for what you have done, and may you be fully rewarded by Adonai, God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

13 She said, “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your maidservant, even though I am not one of your maidservants.”

14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here and eat some bread and dip your piece into the wine vinegar.” So she sat beside the harvesters and he held out to her roasted grain. She ate until she was full, and some was still left. 15 When she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his workers saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, do not humiliate her. 16 Also be sure to pull out some grain for her from the sheaves and leave them for her to pick up, and do not rebuke her.”

17 So she gleaned in the field until evening. When she thrashed what she had gathered, there was about an ephah of barley. 18 She carried it back to town, where her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. Ruth took some out and gave her what was left over after eating her fill.

19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? May the one who noticed you be blessed!”

She told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and she said, “The name of the man for whom I worked is Boaz.”

20 So Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by Adonai who has not stopped his kindness to the living or to the dead.” Then Naomi said to her, “This man is closely related to us, one of our kinsmen-redeemers.”[c]

21 Then Ruth the Moabitess said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay close to my workers until they have finished the entire harvest.’”

22 Naomi answered her daughter-in-law Ruth, “It is good, my daughter-in-law, that you go out with his female workers, so that you will not be harmed in another field.”

23 So she stayed close to Boaz’s female workers, gleaning until both the barley harvest and the wheat harvest were completed. Meanwhile she lived with her mother-in-law.

Naomi the Matchmaker

Naomi her mother-in-law said to her “My daughter, should I not be seeking a resting place for you, so it may go well for you? Now, is Boaz, with whose female workers you have been, not our relative? Look, he will be winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. So bathe and perfume yourself, put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor. But do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Let it be that when he lies down and you know the place where he lies down, go uncover his feet and lie down there. He will tell you what to do.”

Ruth answered her, “I will do everything you say.” So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law had said.

After Boaz ate, drank, and was in a good mood, he went to lie down at the far side of the grain pile. So she came to the grain pile quietly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. Now in the middle of the night, the man was startled and pulled back—and to his surprise, a woman was lying at his feet!

“Who are you?” he asked.

“I am Ruth, your handmaid,” she answered. “Spread the corner of your garment over your handmaid, for you are a goel.”

10 “May you be blessed by Adonai, my daughter!” he replied. “You have made the latter act of loyalty greater than the first, by not running after the young men, whether rich or poor. 11 Now my daughter, do not be afraid! Everything you propose, I will do for you, for everyone in town knows that you are a woman of valor. 12 Although it is true that I am a goel, there is one who is a closer goel than me. 13 Stay here tonight, and in the morning, if he will be your goel—good! Let him do so. But if he is not willing to be your goel, then I will be your goel myself, as surely as Adonai lives. Lie down until morning.”

14 So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before one person could be distinguished from another, for he said, “Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 Then he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” She held it out and he poured six measures of barley into it and put it on her. Then he returned to town.

16 When Ruth came back to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?”

So Ruth told her all that the man had done for her. 17 She said “He gave me six measures of barley, for he said, ‘You shouldn’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”

18 “Wait, my daughter,” Naomi said, “until you find out how the matter turns out, for he will not rest until he has settled the matter today.”

Who Will Redeem?

Meanwhile Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And all of a sudden, the goel about whom Boaz had spoken passed by. “Come over,” he called, “and sit down here, my friend.” So he came over and sat down.

Then Boaz took ten of the town’s elders and said, “Sit down here,” so they sat down. Then he said to the goel, “Naomi, who has returned from the region of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belongs to our brother Elimelech. I thought I should inform you saying, ‘Buy it in the presence of the people sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you want to redeem it, redeem it. But if it will not be redeemed, then tell me, so that I can know, because there is no one else in line to redeem it. I am after you.’”

“I will redeem it,” he said.

Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from Naomi’s hand, you will also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased over his inheritance.”

The kinsman said, “Then I cannot redeem it for myself, or else I might endanger my own inheritance. You, take my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”

Now in the past in Israel, one removed his sandal and gave it to another, in order to finalize the redemption and transfer of a matter. This was a legal transaction in Israel.

So the kinsman said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself,” then took off his shoe.

Boaz announced to the elders and all the people: “You are witnesses today that I have bought from Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10 Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased over his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased will not be cut off from his brothers or from the gate of his town. You are witnesses today.”

11 All the people at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May Adonai make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Leah, who both built up the house of Israel. May you prosper in Ephrath and be renowned in Bethlehem. 12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah,[d] through the seed that Adonai will give you by this young woman.”

13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. When he went to her, Adonai enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be Adonai, who has not left you without a goel today. May his name be famous throughout Israel. 15 Moreover, He will be to you a renewer of life and a sustainer of your old age, for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”

16 Naomi took the child and held it to her bosom, and took care of him. 17 The neighboring women gave him a name saying “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they called him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

18 These are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron, 19 Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, 20 Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, 21 Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, 22 Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.

Song of Jerusalem’s Groaning

How lonely sits the city,
        once so full of people!
    She who was once great among the nations
        has become like a widow.
    The princess among the provinces
        has become a forced laborer.
Bitterly she weeps in the night,
        her tears are on her cheeks.
    Among all her lovers,
        there is no one to comfort her.
    All her friends have betrayed her.
    They have become her enemies!
Judah is gone into exile
        under affliction and great servitude.
    She dwells among the nations.
        She finds no resting place.
    All her pursuers have overtaken her
        in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Zion mourn
        for no one comes to her moadim.
All her gates are desolate.
        Her kohanim groan,
her maidens[e] grieve—
        she is in bitter anguish.
Her foes have become her masters.
        Her enemies are at ease.
    For Adonai has afflicted her,
        because of her many transgressions.
    Her children have gone away
        as captives before the adversary.
All her splendor has departed,
        from the daughter of Zion.
    Her princes are like stags
        that find no pasture.
    They have fled without strength
        before the pursuer.
In the days of her affliction
        and her wandering,
Jerusalem remembers all the treasures
        that were hers from the days of old.
    When her people fell into enemy hands,
        there was no one to help her.
Her enemies saw her
        and mocked at her destruction.
Jerusalem has greatly sinned—
        therefore, she has become niddah.
All who honored her despise her,
        for they have seen her nakedness.
She herself groans,
        and turns away.
Her uncleanness was in her skirts.
        She did not consider her future.
Her demise was astonishing,
        there was no one to comfort her.
    Adonai, see my affliction,
        for the enemy has triumphed!”
10 The enemy has stretched his hand
        over all her treasures.
She even saw nations
        enter her sanctuary—
those You had commanded
        not to enter Your congregation.
11 All her people groan,
        as they seek bread.
They traded their treasures for food
        to keep themselves alive.
“Look, Adonai, and see!
        For I have become despised!”
12 “Is it nothing to you,
        all you who pass by on the road?
        Look and see!
Is any suffering like my suffering
    that was brought on me,
        that Adonai has inflicted
    in the day of His fierce anger?
13 From on high He sent fire into my bones
    and it overcame them.
He spread out a net for my feet;
    He turned me back.
He made me desolate,
    faint all the day long.
14 My transgressions are bound into a yoke,
        woven together by His hand.
    They have come upon my neck
        and He has sapped my strength.
    The Lord delivered me over
    to those I cannot withstand.
15 The Lord has rejected
    all the mighty ones in my midst.
He has summoned an assembly against me
    to crush my young men.
In a winepress the Lord has trampled[f]
    the virgin daughter of Judah.
16 Over these things I weep.
    My eyes overflow with water.
For far from me is a comforter,
    who might refresh my soul.
My children are desolate,
    because the enemy has prevailed.”

17 Zion spreads out her hands—
    there is no one to comfort her.
Adonai has decreed against Jacob.
    Those surrounding him have become his foes;
Jerusalem has become
    niddah in their eyes.
18 Adonai is righteous,
    for I have rebelled against His word.
Hear now, all peoples—
    look at my suffering!
My maidens and my young men
    have gone into captivity.
19 I called to my lovers—
    they deceived me!
My kohanim and my elders
    perished in the city
when they sought food
    to keep themselves alive.
20 Look, Adonai, for I am in distress!
    My stomach churns,
my heart pounds within me,
    for I have been very rebellious.
Outside, the sword bereaves,
    in the house it is like death.
21 They have heard me groaning.
    There is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies heard of my distress,
    They rejoice that You have done it.
May You bring about the day that You proclaimed,
    so they may become like me!
22 Let all their evil come before You.
Deal with them as you dealt with me,
    because of all my transgressions.
For my groans are many
    and my heart is faint!”

Lament for Zion

How my Lord has clouded over
the daughter of Zion in His anger!
He hurled down the splendor of Israel
    from heaven to earth.
He has not remembered His footstool
    in the day of His anger.
My Lord has mercilessly swallowed up
    all the dwellings of Jacob.
He threw down the strongholds
    of the daughter of Judah in His fury.
He knocked to the ground and humiliated
    the kingdom and its princes.
In fierce anger He has cut off
    every horn of Israel.
He has withdrawn His right hand
    from before the enemy.
He blazed against Jacob like raging fire,
    devouring everything around.
He bent His bow like an enemy,
    set His right hand like a foe,
and killed all those pleasant to the eye.
In the tent of the daughter of Zion
    He has poured out His wrath like fire.
My Lord is like an enemy.
        He has swallowed up Israel.
    He swallowed up all her citadels,
        destroyed her fortifications
    and multiplied mourning and moaning
        for the daughter of Judah.
Like the garden He laid waste His dwelling,
    destroyed His appointed meeting place.
Adonai has caused moed and Shabbat
    to be forgotten in Zion.
In the indignation of His anger
    He spurned king and kohen.
The Lord rejected His altar,
    despised His Sanctuary.
He has delivered the walls of her citadels
        into the hand of the enemy.
They raised a shout in the house of Adonai
    as if it were the day of a moed.
Adonai resolved to destroy
    the wall of the daughter of Zion.
He stretched out a measuring line.
    He did not withdraw His hand from destroying.
He caused rampart and wall to lament—
    together they languished away.
Her gates sank into the ground.
    Her bars He destroyed and shattered.
Her king and princes are among nations.
    There is no more Torah.
Also her prophets find
    no vision from Adonai.
10 The elders of the daughter of Zion
    sit upon the ground in silence.
They threw dust on their heads
    and girded themselves with sackcloth.
The maidens of Jerusalem
    have bowed their heads to the ground.
11 My eyes are filled with tears.
    My stomach is in torment.
My heart[g] is poured out on the ground
    over the destruction of the daughter of my people—
as young children and infants
    languish in the city squares.
12 They say to their mothers,
    “Where is grain and wine?”
as they faint like a wounded soldier
    in the city squares,
as their lives ebb away
    in their mothers’ bosom.
13 How can I admonish you?
To what can I compare you,
    O daughter of Jerusalem?
To what can I liken you, so that I might console you,
    O virgin daughter of Zion?
For your wound is as deep as the sea!
    Who can heal you?
14 Your prophets have seen for you
    false and worthless visions.
They did not expose your iniquity,
    so as to restore your captivity.
Rather, they have seen for you
    false and worthless oracles.
15 All who pass your way
    clap their hands at you.
They hiss and shake their heads
    at the daughter of Jerusalem.
“Is this the city of which they said,
    ‘The perfection of beauty,’
    ‘the joy of the whole earth’?”
16 All your enemies
    opened their mouth wide against you;
    they hissed and gnashed their teeth,
    and say, “We have swallowed her up!
Surely this is the day we have waited for;
    we have lived to see it!”
17 Adonai has done what He planned;
He has fulfilled His word
    that He commanded from days of old.
He has overthrown you without pity,
He enabled the enemy to gloat over you.
He has exalted the horn of your foes.
18 Their heart cried out to the Lord:
    O wall of the daughter of Zion,
let tears run down
    like a river day and night.
Give yourself no relief,
    your eyes no rest.
19 Arise! Cry out in the night
    at the beginning of the watches!
Pour out your heart like water
    before the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to Him
    for the life of your children
who faint from hunger
    at the head of every street.
20 Look, Adonai, and consider
    with whom You have dealt so severely!
Should women eat their offspring,
    their healthy newborn infants?
Should kohen and prophet be slain
    in the Sanctuary of the Lord?
21 On the ground in the streets
    lie both young and old.
My maidens and my young men
    have fallen by the sword.
You slew them in the day of Your anger.
    You slaughtered them without pity.
22 As on a moed day, You summon
    against me terrors on every side.
On the day of the wrath of Adonai
    no one escaped or survived.
Those whom I bore and raised
    my enemy has destroyed.
I am the strong man who has seen affliction
    by the rod of His wrath.
He has driven me and made me walk
    in darkness and not light.
Surely, He has turned His hand against me
    again and again all day long.
He made my flesh and my skin
    waste away, broken my bones.
He has besieged me and surrounded me
    with bitterness and hardship.
He made me dwell in dark places
    like those long dead.
He has walled me in so I cannot get out.
    He made my chain heavy.
Even when I cry out and call for help,
    He shuts out my prayer.
He walled in my ways with hewn stone.
    He twisted my paths.
10 He is a lurking bear to me,
    a lion in hiding.
11 He turned aside my paths and tore me to pieces.
    He has made me desolate.
12 He bent His bow and made me
    the target for His arrow.
13 He shot into my kidneys
    arrows from His quiver.
14 I have become a laughing stock
    to all my people,
their song all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitterness
    and made me drink wormwood.
16 He broke my teeth with gravel.
    He made me wallow in ashes.
17 My soul has been deprived of shalom,
    I have forgotten goodness.
18 So I said, “My endurance has perished,
    and my hope from Adonai.”
19 Remember my affliction
my homelessness, bitterness and gall.
20 Whenever I remember,
    my soul is downcast within me.

Our Hope—His Faithfulness

21 This I recall to my heart—
    therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the mercies of Adonai
    we will not be consumed,
    for His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning!
    Great is Your faithfulness.
24 Adonai is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in Him.”
25 Adonai is good to those who wait for Him,
    to the soul that seeks Him.
26 It is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of Adonai.
27 It is good for a man
    to bear the yoke in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone and be silent,
    since He has laid it upon him.
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust—
    there may yet be hope.

Intercession for Justice

30 Let him offer his cheek
    to the one who strikes him.[h]
Let him have his fill of disgrace.
31 For the Lord will not reject forever.
32 For though He has caused grief,
    yet He will have compassion
    according to His abundant mercies.
33 For He does not afflict from His heart
    or grieve the sons of men.
34 To crush under His foot
    all the prisoners of the land,
35 to deprive a person of justice
    before the face of Elyon,
36 to defraud a person in his lawsuit—
    would the Lord not see?
37 Who speaks and it comes to pass
    unless the Lord has decreed it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of Elyon
that both calamities and good things proceed?
39 Why should any living person complain
    when punished for his sins?
40 Let us examine and test our ways,
    and let us return to Adonai.
41 Let us lift up our heart and hands
    to God in heaven.
42 We have transgressed and rebelled—
    You have not pardoned.
43 You covered Yourself with anger and pursued us.
    You have slain without pity.
44 You shrouded Yourself with a cloud
    so that no prayer can get through.
45 You have made us scum and refuse
    in the midst of the peoples.
46 All our enemies opened their mouth
    wide against us.
47 Panic and pitfall have befallen us,
    devastation and destruction.
48 Streams of tears run down my eyes
    because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 My eye flows unceasingly,
    without stopping,
50 until Adonai looks down
    from heaven and sees.
51 My eye torments my soul
    because of all the daughters of my city.
52 For no reason, my enemies
    hunted me down like a bird.
53 They cut off my life in the Pit,
    and cast stones upon me.
54 Waters flowed over my head.
    I said, “I have been cut off!”
55 I called on Your Name, Adonai,
    from the depths of the Pit.
56 You heard my voice,
    “Do not close Your ears to my cry for relief.”
57 You drew near on the day I called to You.
    You said, “Do not fear!”
58 Lord, You pled my soul’s case,
    You redeemed my life.[i]
59 Adonai, You saw the wrong done to me;
    judge my cause!
60 You have seen all their vengefulness,
    all their schemes against me.
61 You heard their taunt, Adonai,
    all their plots against me.
62 The lips of my assailants and their whispering
    are against me all day long.
63 Look at them, sitting or standing,
    they mock me in their song.
64 Pay them back what they deserve, Adonai,
    according to the work of their hands.
65 Give them a distraught heart.
    May Your curse be on them.
66 Pursue them in anger and destroy them
    from under the heavens of Adonai.

Devastation of Jerusalem

How dulled is the gold,
    how tarnished the fine gold.
The sacred gems are poured out
    at the corner of every street.
The precious sons of Zion,
    once worth their weight in gold—
alas! now they are treated like clay jars,
    the work of a potter’s hands!
Even jackals offer their breast
    to nurse their young.
The daughter of my people has become cruel,
    like ostriches in the desert.
The nursing infant’s tongue clings
    to the roof of his mouth for thirst.
Little children ask for bread,
    but no one gives it t0 them.
Those who used to eat delicacies
    are desolate in the streets.
Those who were brought up in purple
    embrace trash heaps.
For the iniquities of the daughter of my people
    is greater than the sin of Sodom,
which was overthrown in a moment,[j]
    yet no hands turned to her.
Purer than snow were her princes,[k]
    whiter than milk,
their bodies more ruddy than rubies,
    their appearance like sapphire.
Their form has become darker than soot!
    They are not recognized in the street.
Their skin has shriveled on their bones,
    withered like a tree.
Better are those slain by the sword
    than those struck down by famine—
they waste away, racked with pain,
    for lack of fruits of the field.
10 The hands of compassionate women
    boiled their own children.
They became their food
    when the daughter of my people were destroyed.
11 Adonai has vented His fury.
    He has poured out His burning anger.
Yes, He kindled a fire in Zion
    that devoured her foundations.
12 The kings of the earth did not believe,
    nor did the inhabitations of the world,
that enemy and foe would enter
    the gates of Jerusalem.
13 Yet it happened because of the sins of her prophets,
    and the iniquities of her kohanim,
who shed in her midst
    the blood of the tzadikim[l].
14 They wander in the streets,
    like blind men.
They are so defiled with blood,
    no one can touch their garments.
15 “Turn away! Unclean!”
    They cry to them.
“Turn away, turn away! Don’t touch!”
    So they fled and wandered about.
People among the nations say,
    “They can stay here no longer.”
16 Adonai Himself has scattered them.
    He will look on them no more.
They did not respect the kohanim.
    They did not favor the elders.
17 Even now our eyes waste away
    looking in vain for our help.
From our towers we watched
    for a nation that could not save us.
18 They hunted our steps,
    so we could not walk in our streets.
Our end was near.
    Our days were numbered, for our end had come.
19 Our pursuers were swifter
    than eagles of the sky;
they pursued us over the mountains;
    they ambushed us in the wilderness.
20 The anointed of Adonai,
    the breath of our nostrils,
was captured in their pits,
    of whom we have said,
“Under His shadow we will live among the nations.”
21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,
    you who dwell in the land of Uz.
To you also will the cup be passed.
    You will be drunk and stripped naked.
22 O daughter of Zion,
    your punishment is accomplished;
    He will exile you no longer.
But, O daughter of Edom,
    He will punish your iniquity
    and uncover your sins.

Remember Us!

Remember, Adonai,
what has come upon us.
Look, and see our disgrace!
Our inheritance is turned over to strangers,
    our homes to foreigners.
We have become orphans, fatherless,
    our mothers are like widows.
We pay silver for the water we drink;
    our wood comes at a price.
Our pursuers are at our necks.
    We are weary and have no rest.
We have held out our hand to Egypt
    and Assyria to be satisfied with bread.
Our fathers sinned and are no more,
    but we bear their punishment.
Slaves rule over us.
    There is no one to deliver us from their hand.
We get our bread at the peril of our lives
    because of the sword in the desert.
10 Our skin is hot as an oven
    due to fever from famine.
11 The women in Zion have been ravished,
    maidens in the towns of Judah.
12 Princes are hung up by their hands;
    elders are dishonored.
13 Young men toil at the millstone.
    Boys stagger under loads of wood.
14 Elders are gone from the gate,
    young men from their music.
15 Joy has ceased in our hearts.
    Our dance has turned into mourning.
16 The crown has fallen from our head.
    Oy to us, for we have sinned!
17 Because of this our heart is faint,
    for these things our eyes are dim,
18 for Mount Zion, which lies desolate,
    as jackals prowl over it.

Hashiveinu (Restore Us)

19 You, Adonai, are enthroned forever;
    Your throne endures from generation to generation.[m]
20 Why do You always forget us
    and forsake us for so long?
21 Bring us back to You, Adonai,
    and we will return.
Renew our days as of old—
22 unless You have utterly rejected us
    and are exceedingly angry with us.

Footnotes

  1. Ruth 1:1 Meaning, House of Bread.
  2. Ruth 1:21 Meaning, pleasant vs. bitter.
  3. Ruth 2:20 Heb. Goel; Matt. 22:24.
  4. Ruth 4:12 cf. Gen. 38:29; 46:12; Ruth 4:18.
  5. Lamentations 1:4 Lit. virgins.
  6. Lamentations 1:15 cf. Rev. 14:19-20.
  7. Lamentations 2:11 Lit. liver (seat of emotions).
  8. Lamentations 3:30 cf. Matt. 5:39.
  9. Lamentations 3:58 cf. 1 John 2:1.
  10. Lamentations 4:6 cf. Luke 10:12; 2 Pet. 2:6.
  11. Lamentations 4:7 Or, Nazirite, consecrated ones.
  12. Lamentations 4:13 Or just ones; or the righteous.
  13. Lamentations 5:19 cf. Rev. 4:9-10; 5:13.