1 In the days of one of the judges, when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. And a man from Bethlehem in Judah departed to sojourn in the region of the Moabites with his wife and two children.
2 He called himself Elimelech, and his wife Naomi, and his two sons, the one Mahlon, and the other Chilion, Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. And entering into the region of the Moabites, they stayed there.
3 And Elimelech the husband of Naomi died; and she remained with her sons.
4 They took wives from among the Moabites, of whom one was called Orpah, and the other Ruth. And they lived there ten years.
5 And they both died, namely Mahlon and Chilion, and the woman was left alone, bereaved of her two children and her husband.
6 And she arose so that she might journey to her native land, with both her daughters-in-law, from the region of the Moabites. For she had heard that the Lord had provided for his people and had given them food.
7 And so she departed from the place of her sojourn, with both her daughters-in-law, and having set out upon the way, she was about to return to the land of Judah.
8 She said to them, “Go to the home of your mother. May the Lord deal mercifully with you, just as you have dealt with the dead and with me.
9 May he grant you to find rest in the houses of the husbands, whom you will obtain by lot.” And she kissed them. They lifted up their voice, and began to weep,
10 and to say, “We will journey with you to your people.”
11 But she answered them, “Return, my daughters. Why come with me? Do I have any more sons in my womb, so that you could hope for husbands from me?
12 Return, my daughters, go forth. For I am now exhausted by old age, and not fit for the bond of marriage. Even if I were to conceive on this night, and bear sons,
13 if you were willing to wait until they were grown and had completed the years of adolescence, you would be elderly before you could marry. Do not do so, I beg you, my daughters. For your difficulties weigh upon me greatly, and the hand of the Lord has been set against me.”
14 In response, they lifted up their voice and began to weep again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, and then turned back. Ruth clung to her mother-in-law.
15 Naomi said to her, “See, your kinswoman returns to her people, and to her gods. Hurry after her.”
16 She answered, “Do not be against me, as if I would abandon you and go away; for wherever you will go, I will go, and where you will stay, I also will stay with you. Your people are my people, and your God is my God.
17 Whichever land will receive you dying, in the same I will die, and there I will have the place of my burial. May God cause these things to happen to me, and add more also, if anything except death alone should separate you and I.”
18 Therefore, Naomi saw that Ruth, being firmly resolved in her soul, was determined to go with her, and that she was unwilling to be dissuaded, and that nothing further could convince her to return to her own.
19 And so they set out together, and they came to Bethlehem. When they had entered the city, the news quickly spread among them all. And the women said, “This is that Naomi.”
20 But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi (that is, beautiful), but call me Mara (that is, bitter). For the Almighty has greatly filled me with bitterness.
21 I went out full and the Lord led me back empty. So then, why call me Naomi, whom the Lord has humbled and the Almighty has afflicted?”
22 Therefore, Naomi went with Ruth, the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, from the land of her sojourn, and returned to Bethlehem, at the time of the first reaping of the barley.