A Family Tragedy: Famine and Death
1:1 During the time of the judges1 there was a famine in the land of Judah.2 So a man from Bethlehem3 in Judah went to live as a resident foreigner4 in the region of Moab, along with his wife and two sons.5
1:2 (Now the man’s name was Elimelech,6 his wife was Naomi,7 and his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion.8 They were of the clan of Ephrath9 from Bethlehem in Judah.) They entered the region of Moab and settled there.10
1:3 Sometime later11 Naomi’s husband Elimelech died, so she and her two sons were left alone.
1:4 So her sons12 married13 Moabite women. (One was named Orpah and the other Ruth.)14 And they continued to live there about ten years.
1:5 Then Naomi’s two sons, Mahlon and Kilion, also died.15 So the woman was left all alone – bereaved of her two children16 as well as her husband!
1:6 So she decided to return home from the region of Moab, accompanied by her daughters-in-law,17 because while she was living in Moab18 she had heard that the
Ruth Returns with Naomi
1:7 Now as she and her two daughters-in-law began to leave the place where she had been living to return to the land of Judah,21
1:8 Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Listen to me! Each of you should return to your mother’s home!22May the
1:11 But Naomi replied, “Go back home, my daughters! There is no reason for you to return to Judah with me!33 I am no longer capable of giving birth to sons who might become your husbands!34
1:12 Go back home, my daughters! For I am too old to get married again.35Even if I thought that there was hope that I could get married tonight and conceive sons,36
1:13 surely you would not want to wait until they were old enough to marry!37 Surely you would not remain unmarried all that time!38 No,39 my daughters, you must not return with me.40For my intense suffering41 is too much for you to bear.42 For the
1:14 Again they wept loudly.44 Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye,45 but Ruth46 clung tightly to her.47 1:15 So Naomi48 said, “Look, your sister-in-law is returning to her people and to her god.49 Follow your sister-in-law back home!” 1:16 But Ruth replied,
“Stop urging me to abandon you!50
For wherever you go, I will go.
Wherever you live, I will live.
Your people will become my people,
and your God will become my God.
1:17 Wherever you die, I will die – and there I will be buried.
Only death will be able to separate me from you!”52
1:18 When Naomi53 realized that Ruth54 was determined to go with her, she stopped trying to dissuade her.55 1:19 So the two of them56 journeyed together until they arrived in Bethlehem.57
Naomi and Ruth Arrive in Bethlehem
When they entered58Bethlehem,59 the whole village was excited about their arrival.60 The women of the village said,61 “Can this be Naomi?”62
1:20 But she replied63 to them,64 “Don’t call me ‘Naomi’!65 Call me ‘Mara’66 because the Sovereign One67 has treated me very harshly.68
1:21 I left here full,69 but the