Naomi in Moab. 1Once in the time of the judges* there was a famine in the land; so a man from Bethlehem of Judah departed with his wife and two sons to reside on the plateau of Moab. 2The man was named Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and his sons Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem of Judah. Some time after their arrival on the Moabite plateau, 3Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons, 4who married Moabite women, one named Orpah, the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, 5both Mahlon and Chilion died also, and the woman was left with neither her two sons nor her husband. 6She then made ready to go back from the plateau of Moab because word reached her there that the LORD had visited his people and given them food.
7She and her two daughters‐in‐law left the place where they had been living. Then as they were on the road back to the land of Judah, 8Naomi said to her two daughters‐in‐law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother's house!* May the LORD be kind to you as you were to the departed and to me! 9May the LORD grant each of you a husband and a home in which you will find rest.” She kissed them good‐by, but they wept with loud sobs, 10and told her they would return with her to her people. 11“Go back, my daughters!” said Naomi. “Why should you come with me? Have I other sons in my womb who may become your husbands? 12Go back, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to marry again. And even if I could offer any hopes, or if tonight I had a husband or had borne sons, 13would you then wait and deprive yourselves of husbands until those sons grew up? No, my daughters! my lot is too bitter for you, because the LORD has extended his hand against me.” 14Again they sobbed aloud and wept; and Orpah kissed her mother‐in‐law good‐by, but Ruth stayed with her.
15“See now!” she said, “your sister‐in‐law has gone back to her people and her god. Go back after your sister‐in‐law!” 16 * But Ruth said, “Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you! for wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17Wherever you die I will die, and there be buried. May the LORD do so and so to me, and more besides, if aught but death separates me from you!” 18Naomi then ceased to urge her, for she saw she was determined to go with her.
The Return to Bethlehem. 19So they went on together till they reached Bethlehem. On their arrival there, the whole city was astir over them, and the women asked, “Can this be Naomi?” 20 a Ex 15, 23 . But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi.* Call me Mara, for the Almighty has made it very bitter for me. 21I went away with an abundance, but the LORD has brought me back destitute. Why should you call me Naomi, since the LORD has pronounced against me and the Almighty has brought evil upon me?” 22Thus it was that Naomi returned with the Moabite daughter‐in‐law, Ruth, who accompanied her back from the plateau of Moab. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.*