1And it came to pass in the days when the judges judged that there was a famine in the land, so a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab; he and his wife and his two sons.
2The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife was Naomi and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. And they came into the country of Moab and they stayed there.
3Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died. And she was left; she and her two sons,
4and they took wives for themselves of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other was Ruth. And they lived there about ten years.
5But Mahlon and Chilion both died, so the woman was left without her two children and her husband.
6Then she arose with her daughters-in-law in order to return from the country of Moab, for in the country of Moab she had heard that Yahweh had visited his people by giving them bread.
7So she set out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her, and they went on the road to return to the land of Judah.
8And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, each of you return to the house of her mother. May Yahweh show faithful love to you, just as you have shown to the dead and to me.
9May Yahweh grant you that you find rest, each of you in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voice and wept.
10And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”
11But Naomi said, “Go back, my daughters! Why would you go with me? Do I still have sons in my gut that they could be your husbands?
12Go back, my daughters! Go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I were to say, ‘I have hope,’ and even have a husband tonight and also bear sons,
13would you therefore wait until they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from having husbands? No, my daughters! For life is bitter for me, too much for you, for the hand of Yahweh has gone out against me.
14They lifted up their voice and wept again, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
15And Naomi said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her god. Go back after your sister-in-law.”
16But Ruth said, “Do not press me to abandon you or to return from following after you! For where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge; your people are my people, and your God is my God;
17where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. Yahweh do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.”
18When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
19So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass when they came to Bethlehem that the whole city was astir about them, and the women said, “Is this Naomi?”
20She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi.a Call me Mara,b for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
21I went out full and Yahweh has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since Yahweh has testified against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?”
22So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law who returned with her out of the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.