1It happened in the days when the judges ruled that there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem of Judah went to the country of Moab with his wife and his two sons.
2The name of the man was Elimelek, and the name of his wife was Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion, who were Ephrathites of Bethlehem of Judah. They arrived at the country of Moab and lived there.
3Then Elimelek, Naomi's husband, died, and she was left with her two sons.
4These sons took wives from the women of Moab; the name of one was Orpah, and the name of the other was Ruth. They lived there for about ten years.
5Then both Mahlon and Kilion died, leaving Naomi without her husband and without her two children.
6Then Naomi decided to leave Moab with her daughters-in-law and return to Judah because she had heard in the region of Moab that Yahweh had helped his people in need and had given them food.
7So she left the place where she had been with her two daughters-in-law, and they walked down the road to return to the land of Judah.
8Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return, each of you, to your mother's house. May Yahweh show kindness toward you, as you have shown kindness toward the dead and toward me.
9May the Lord grant you that you find rest, each of you in the house of another husband.” Then she kissed them, and they raised their voices and cried.
10They said to her, “No! We will return with you to your people.”
11But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters! Why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb for you, so that they may become your husbands?
12Turn back, my daughters, go your own way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I said, 'I hope I get a husband tonight,' and then give birth to sons,
13would you therefore wait until they were grown? Would you choose not to marry a husband? No, my daughters! It is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of Yahweh has gone out against me.”
14Then her daughters-in-law lifted up their voices and cried again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law farewell, but Ruth held on to her.
15Naomi said, “Listen, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. Go back with your sister-in-law.”
16But Ruth said, “Do not make me go away from you, for where you go, I will go; where you stay, I will stay; 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. May Yahweh punish me, and even more, if anything but death ever separates us.”
18When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped arguing with her.
19So the two traveled until they came to the town of Bethlehem. It happened that when they arrived in Bethlehem, the entire town was very excited about them. The women said, “Is this Naomi?”
20But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi. Call me Bitter, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
21I went out full, but Yahweh has brought me home again empty. So why do you call me Naomi, seeing Yahweh has condemned me, that the Almighty has afflicted me?”
22So Naomi and Ruth the Moabite woman, her daughter-in-law, returned from the country of Moab. They came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.