1In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.2The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.3Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons.4They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years,5both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem
6When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there.7With 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.8Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me.9May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.” Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud10and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”11But 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?12Return 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—13would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”14At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.15“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”16But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.17Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”18When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.19So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”20“Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.21I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”22So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
English Standard Version
1In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. (Ge 12:10; Ge 26:1; Ge 43:1; Jud 2:16; Jud 17:7; 2Ki 8:1)2The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. (Ge 35:19)3But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons.4These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years,5and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.
Ruth’s Loyalty to Naomi
6Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. (Ex 3:16; Ex 4:31; Ps 132:15; Lu 1:68)7So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.8But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. (Jos 2:12; Jos 2:14; Jud 1:24; Ru 1:5; Ru 2:20)9The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. (Ru 3:1)10And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”11But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? (Ge 38:11; De 25:5)12Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons,13would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.” (Jud 2:15; Job 19:21; Ps 32:4; Ps 38:2; Ps 39:10)14Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.15And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” (Jud 11:24; 1Ki 11:7; Jer 48:7; Jer 48:13; Jer 48:46)16But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. (Ru 2:11)17Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” (1Sa 3:17; 1Sa 25:22; 2Sa 19:13; 1Ki 2:23)18And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. (Ac 21:14)
Naomi and Ruth Return
19So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, “Is this Naomi?” (Mt 21:10)20She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. (Ex 15:23)21I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?” (Job 1:21)22So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest. (Ru 2:23; 2Sa 21:9)