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And it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man went from Bethlehem-Judah, to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem-Judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

And they took them Moabitish wives; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the second Ruth: and they abode there about ten years.

And Mahlon and Chilion died also, both of them; and the woman was left of her two children and of her husband.

And she arose, she and her daughters-in-law, and returned from the fields of Moab; for she had heard in the fields of Moab how that Jehovah had visited his people to give them bread.

Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she had been, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.

And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each to her mother's house. Jehovah deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead and with me.

Jehovah grant you that ye may find rest, each in the house of her husband. And she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice and wept.

10 And they said to her, We will certainly return with thee to thy people.

11 And Naomi said, Return, my daughters: why will ye go with me? Are there yet sons in my womb, that they could be your husbands?

12 Return, my daughters, go; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, I have hope, should I even have a husband to-night, and should I also bear sons,

13 would ye wait on that account till they were grown? Would ye stay on that account from having husbands? No, my daughters, for I am in much more bitterness than you; for the hand of Jehovah is gone out against me.

14 And they lifted up their voice and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clave to her.

15 And she said, Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back to her people and to her gods: return after thy sister-in-law.

16 And Ruth said, Do not intreat me to leave thee, to return from [following] after thee; for whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God;

17 where thou diest will I die, and there will I be buried. Jehovah do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part me and thee!

18 And when she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, she left off speaking to her.

19 And they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they came to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and the [women] said, Is this Naomi?

20 And she said to them, Call me not Naomi—call me Mara; for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

21 I went out full, and Jehovah has brought me home again empty. Why do ye call me Naomi, seeing Jehovah has brought me low, and the Almighty has afflicted me?

22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, who returned out of the fields of Moab; and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of the barley-harvest.

Naomi Loses Her Husband and Sons

In the days when the judges ruled,[a](A) there was a famine in the land.(B) So a man from Bethlehem in Judah,(C) together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while(D) in the country of Moab.(E) The man’s name was Elimelek,(F) his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion.(G) They were Ephrathites(H) from Bethlehem,(I) 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,(J) one named Orpah and the other Ruth.(K) After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion(L) also died,(M) and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem

When Naomi heard in Moab(N) that the Lord had come to the aid of his people(O) by providing food(P) for them, she and her daughters-in-law(Q) 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.(R) May the Lord show you kindness,(S) as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands(T) and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest(U) in the home of another husband.”

Then she kissed(V) them goodbye and they wept aloud(W) 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?(X) 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?(Y) Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter(Z) for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!(AA)

14 At this they wept(AB) aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law(AC) goodbye,(AD) but Ruth clung to her.(AE)

15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law(AF) is going back to her people and her gods.(AG) Go back with her.”

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you(AH) or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go,(AI) and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people(AJ) and your God my God.(AK) 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely,(AL) if even death separates you and me.”(AM) 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.(AN)

19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem.(AO) When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred(AP) 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](AQ) has made my life very bitter.(AR) 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty.(AS) Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted[e] me;(AT) the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”

22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite,(AU) her daughter-in-law,(AV) arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest(AW) was beginning.(AX)

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

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