Elimelech Moves His Family to Moab
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.
3Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons.
Naomi and Ruth Return
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.
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.
10“No,” they said. “We want to go with you to your people.”
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?
14And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi.
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.
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.
20“Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara,*1:20 Naomi means “pleasant”; Mara means “bitter.” for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me.
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.