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Ruth 1-2 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Naomi’s Family in Moab

During the time[a] of the judges, there was a famine in the land. A man left Bethlehem[b] in Judah with his wife and two sons to stay in the territory of Moab for a while. The man’s name was Elimelech,[c] and his wife’s name was Naomi.[d] The names of his two sons were Mahlon[e] and Chilion.[f] They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They entered the fields of Moab and settled there. Naomi’s husband Elimelech died, and she was left with her two sons. Her sons took Moabite women as their wives: one was named Orpah and the second was named Ruth. After they lived in Moab about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two children and without her husband.

Ruth’s Loyalty to Naomi

She and her daughters-in-law set out to return from the territory of Moab, because she had heard in Moab that the Lord had paid attention to his people’s need by providing them food. She left the place where she had been living, accompanied by her two daughters-in-law, and traveled along the road leading back to the land of Judah.

Naomi said to them, “Each of you go back to your mother’s home. May the Lord show kindness to you as you have shown to the dead and to me. May the Lord grant each of you rest in the house of a new husband.” She kissed them, and they wept loudly.

10 They said to her, “We insist on returning with you to your people.”

11 But Naomi replied, “Return home, my daughters. Why do you want to go with me? Am I able to have any more sons who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters. Go on, for I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me to have a husband tonight and to bear sons, 13 would you be willing to wait for them to grow up? Would you restrain yourselves from remarrying?[g] No, my daughters, my life is much too bitter for you to share,[h] because the Lord’s hand has turned against me.” 14 Again they wept loudly, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15 Naomi said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. Follow your sister-in-law.”

16 But Ruth replied:

Don’t plead with me to abandon you
or to return and not follow you.
For wherever you go, I will go,
and wherever you live, I will live;
your people will be my people,
and your God will be my God.
17 Where you die, I will die,
and there I will be buried.
May the Lord punish me,[i]
and do so severely,
if anything but death separates you and me.

18 When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped talking to her.

19 The two of them traveled until they came to Bethlehem. When they entered Bethlehem, the whole town was excited about their arrival[j] and the local women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”

20 “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara,”[k] she answered, “for the Almighty has made me very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has opposed[l] me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”

22 So Naomi came back from the territory of Moab with her daughter-in-law Ruth the Moabitess. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Ruth and Boaz Meet

Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side. He was a prominent man of noble character from Elimelech’s family. His name was Boaz.

Ruth the Moabitess asked Naomi, “Will you let me go into the fields and gather fallen grain behind someone with whom I find favor?”

Naomi answered her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So Ruth left and entered the field to gather grain behind the harvesters. She happened to be in the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was from Elimelech’s family.

Later, when Boaz arrived from Bethlehem, he said to the harvesters, “The Lord be with you.”

“The Lord bless you,” they replied.

Boaz asked his servant who was in charge of the harvesters, “Whose young woman is this?”

The servant answered, “She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the territory of Moab. She asked, ‘Will you let me gather fallen grain among the bundles behind the harvesters?’ She came and has been on her feet since early morning, except that she rested a little in the shelter.”[m]

Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter.[n] Don’t go and gather grain in another field, and don’t leave this one, but stay here close to my female servants. See which field they are harvesting, and follow them. Haven’t I ordered the young men not to touch you?[o] When you are thirsty, go and drink from the jars the young men have filled.”

10 She fell facedown, bowed to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor with you, so that you notice me, although I am a foreigner?”

11 Boaz answered her, “Everything 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 your native land, and how you came to a people you didn’t previously know. 12 May the Lord reward you for what you have done, and may you receive a full reward from the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”

13 “My lord,” she said, “I have found favor with you, for you have comforted and encouraged[p] your servant, although I am not like one of your female servants.”

14 At mealtime Boaz told her, “Come over here and have some bread and dip it in the vinegar sauce.” So she sat beside the harvesters, and he offered her roasted grain. She ate and was satisfied and had some left over.

15 When she got up to gather grain, Boaz ordered his young men, “Let her even gather grain among the bundles, and don’t humiliate her. 16 Pull out some stalks from the bundles for her and leave them for her to gather. Don’t rebuke her.” 17 So Ruth gathered grain in the field until evening. She beat out what she had gathered, and it was about twenty-six quarts[q] of barley. 18 She picked up the grain and went into the town, where her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She brought out what she had left over from her meal and gave it to her.

19 Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you gather barley today, and where did you work? May the Lord bless the man who noticed you.”

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

20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May the Lord bless him because he has not abandoned his kindness to the living or the dead.” Naomi continued, “The man is a close relative. He is one of our family redeemers.”

21 Ruth the Moabitess said, “He also told me, ‘Stay with my young men until they have finished all of my harvest.’”

22 So Naomi said to her daughter-in-law Ruth, “My daughter, it is good for you to work[r] with his female servants, so that nothing will happen to you in another field.” 23 Ruth stayed close to Boaz’s female servants and gathered grain until the barley and the wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with[s] her mother-in-law.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 Lit In the days of the judging
  2. 1:1 = House of Bread
  3. 1:2 = My God Is King
  4. 1:2 = Pleasant
  5. 1:2 = Sickly
  6. 1:2 = Weak or Failing
  7. 1:13 Litmarrying a man
  8. 1:13 Lit daughters, for more bitter to me than you
  9. 1:17 A solemn oath formula; 1Sm 3:17; 2Sm 3:9,35; 1Kg 2:23; 2Kg 6:31
  10. 1:19 Lit excited because of them
  11. 1:20 = Bitter
  12. 1:21 LXX, Syr, Vg read has humiliated
  13. 2:7 LXX reads morning, and until evening she has not rested in the field a little; Vg reads morning until now and she did not return to the house; Hb uncertain
  14. 2:8 Lit “Haven’t you heard, my daughter?
  15. 2:9 Either sexual or physical harassment
  16. 2:13 Lit and spoken to the heart of
  17. 2:17 Lit about an ephah
  18. 2:22 Lit go out
  19. 2:23 Some Hb mss, Vg read she returned to
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

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