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.H3117H8199H8199H7458H776H376H1035H3063H3212H1481H7704H4124H802H8147H11212The 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.H8034H376H458H8034H802H5281H8034H8147H1121H4248H3630H673H1035H3063H935H7704H41243Now Elimelek, Naomi's husband, died, and she was left with her two sons.H458H5281H376H4191H7604H8147H11214They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years,H5375H802H802H4125H8034H259H6204H8034H8145H7327H3427H6235H81415both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.H4248H3630H4191H8147H802H7604H8147H3206H376
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.H6965H3618H7725H7704H4124H8085H7704H4124H3068H6485H5971H5414H38997With 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.H3318H4725H8147H3618H3212H1870H7725H776H30638Then Naomi said to her two daughters-inlaw, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the LORD show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead and to me.H5281H559H8147H3618H3212H7725H802H517H1004H3068H6213H2617H6213H41919May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband." Then she kissed them good-by and they wept aloudH3068H5414H4672H4496H802H1004H376H5401H5375H6963H105810and said to her, "We will go back with you to your people."H559H7725H597111But 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?H5281H559H7725H1323H3212H1121H4578H58212Return 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—H7725H1323H3212H2204H376H559H3426H8615H376H3915H3205H112113would 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!"H7663H3860H1431H5702H3860H376H1323H4843H3966H3027H3068H331814At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.H5375H6963H1058H6204H5401H2545H7327H169215"Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."H559H2994H7725H5971H430H7725H310H299416But 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.H7327H559H6293H5800H7725H310H3212H3212H3885H3885H5971H5971H430H43017Where 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."H4191H4191H6912H3068H6213H3254H4194H650418When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.H7200H553H3212H2308H169619So 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?"H8147H3212H935H1035H935H1035H5892H1949H559H528120"Don't call me Naomi, " she told them. "Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.H559H7121H5281H7121H4755H7706H3966H484321I 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."H1980H4392H3068H7725H7387H7121H5281H3068H6030H7706H748922So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.H5281H7725H7327H4125H3618H7725H7704H4124H935H1035H8462H8184H7105
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