Elimelech Takes His Family to Live in Moab
1And it happened in the days when the judges ruled,#Literally “the judging of the judges” there was a famine in the land, and a man from Bethlehem of Judah went to reside#Literally “to dwell as an alien” in the countryside of Moab—he and his wife and his two sons. 2And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephraimites from Bethlehem in Judah. And they went to the countryside of Moab and remained there.
3But Elimelech the husband of Naomi died and she was left behind with her two sons.#Literally “she and her two sons” 4And they took#Literally “they lifted up” for themselves Moabite wives. The name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other was Ruth. And they lived there about ten years. 5But both#Literally “the two of them” Mahlon and Kilion died, and the woman was left without her two sons and without her husband.
Naomi Returns with Ruth
6And she got up, she and her daughters-in-law, and returned from the countryside of Moab, because she had heard in the countryside of Moab that Yahweh had come to the aid of#Literally “had considered” his people to give food to them. 7So she set out from the place where she was#Literally “which she was there” and her two daughters-in-law with her, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
8But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, each of you return to her mother’s house. May Yahweh show kindness to you#Literally “do loyal love with you” just as you did with the dead and with me. 9May Yahweh grant that you#Literally “give to you” find a resting place, each in the house of her husband.” And she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and cried.
10And they said to her, “No, we want to return with you to your people.” 11And Naomi said, “Return, my daughters. Why do you still want to go with me?#Literally “To what do you want to go still for me?” Are there sons in my womb#Literally “in my intestines” that may be husbands for you? 12Turn back, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to have a husband.#Literally “I am too old from being to a man” If I should think there is hope for me, even if I should have a husband this night, and even if I should bear sons, 13would you therefore wait until they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying?#Literally “Would you therefore let yourself be hindered to not belong to a man?” No, my daughters, for it is far more bitter to me than to you. For the hand of Yahweh has gone out against me.” 14And they lifted up their voices and cried again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. 15And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has returned to her people and to her gods. Return after your sister-in-law too.”
16But Ruth said, “Do not urge#Literally “You shall not press me” me to leave you or to return from following you!#Literally “from behind you” For where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God. 17Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. So may Yahweh do to me, and even more, unless#Literally “and so may he do again, that” death separates you and me!”#Literally “makes a separation between you and between me” 18When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.#Literally “she ceased to speak to her”
19So the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came#Literally “And it happened at the moment of coming” to Bethlehem, all of the town was stirred because of them. And they said, “Is this Naomi?” 20And she said to them, “You should not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for Shaddai#Often translated “the Almighty” has caused me to be very bitter.#Literally “caused very bitterness to me” 21I went away full, but Yahweh brought me back empty-handed! Why call me Naomi when Yahweh has testified against me#Literally “and Yahweh answered against me” and Shaddai#Often translated “the Almighty” has brought calamity upon me?” 22So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, returning from the countryside of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the harvest of barley.