1In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him.H3117H8199H8199H7458H776H376H1035H3063H3212H1481H7704H4124H802H8147H1121 2The man's name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there.H8034H376H458H8034H802H5281H8034H8147H1121H4248H3630H673H1035H3063H935H7704H4124 3Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons.H458H5281H376H4191H7604H8147H1121 4The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later,H5375H802H802H4125H8034H259H6204H8034H8145H7327H3427H6235H8141 5both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband.H4248H3630H4191H8147H802H7604H8147H3206H376 6Then Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland.H6965H3618H7725H7704H4124H8085H7704H4124H3068H6485H5971H5414H3899 7With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah.H3318H4725H8147H3618H3212H1870H7725H776H3063 8But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back to your mothers' homes. And may the LORD reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me.H5281H559H8147H3618H3212H7725H802H517H1004H3068H6213H2617H6213H4191 9May the LORD bless you with the security of another marriage." Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept.H3068H5414H4672H4496H802H1004H376H5401H5375H6963H1058 10"No," they said. "We want to go with you to your people."H559H7725H5971 11But Naomi replied, "Why should you go on with me? Can I still give birth to other sons who could grow up to be your husbands?H5281H559H7725H1323H3212H1121H4578H582 12No, my daughters, return to your parents' homes, for I am too old to marry again. And even if it were possible, and I were to get married tonight and bear sons, then what?H7725H1323H3212H2204H376H559H3426H8615H376H3915H3205H1121 13Would you wait for them to grow up and refuse to marry someone else? No, of course not, my daughters! Things are far more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD himself has raised his fist against me."H7663H3860H1431H5702H3860H376H1323H4843H3966H3027H3068H3318 14And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi.H5375H6963H1058H6204H5401H2545H7327H1692 15"Look," Naomi said to her, "your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same."H559H2994H7725H5971H430H7725H310H2994 16But Ruth replied, "Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.H7327H559H6293H5800H7725H310H3212H3212H3885H3885H5971H5971H430H430 17Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!"H4191H4191H6912H3068H6213H3254H4194H6504 18When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.H7200H553H3212H2308H1696 19So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. "Is it really Naomi?" the women asked.H8147H3212H935H1035H935H1035H5892H1949H559H5281 20"Don't call me Naomi," she responded. "Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me.H559H7121H5281H7121H4755H7706H3966H4843 21I went away full, but the LORD has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the LORD has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?"H1980H4392H3068H7725H7387H7121H5281H3068H6030H7706H7489 22So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.H5281H7725H7327H4125H3618H7725H7704H4124H935H1035H8462H8184H7105
New Living Translation (NLT). Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. More details.