- Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem-Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab — he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi, and the name of his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem-Judah. And they came into the country of Moab and continued there. And Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left and her two sons. And they took themselves wives of the women of Moab. The name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other, Ruth; and they dwelled there about ten years. And Mahlon and Chilion died also, both of them, and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab how the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread. Wherefore, she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her, and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah. And Naomi said unto her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each to her mother’s house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant you that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them and they lifted up their voice and wept. And they said unto her, Surely we will return with you unto your people. And Naomi said, Return again, my daughters. Why will you go with me? Are there yet any more sons in my womb that they may be your husbands? Return again, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, I have hope — if I should have a husband also tonight and should also bear sons — would you stay for them until they were grown? Would you refrain from having husbands for them? Nay, my daughters, for it grieves me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me. And they lifted up their voice and wept again.
- And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth cleaved unto her. And she said, Behold, your sister-in-law is gone back unto her people and unto her gods; return after your sister-in-law. And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave you or to return from following after you, for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die will I die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death part you and me. When she saw that she was steadfastly-minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
- So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why then do you call me Naomi, seeing the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has afflicted me? So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, who returned out of the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
THE BOOK OF RUTH