1 Now it came about in the days when the judges+ administered justice that a famine+ arose in the land, and a man proceeded to go from Beth′le·hem+ in Judah to reside as an alien in the fields of Mo′ab,+ he with his wife and his two sons. 2 And the man’s name was E·lim′e·lech,* and his wife’s name Na′o·mi, and the names of his two sons were Mah′lon and Chil′i·on, Eph′rath·ites*+ from Beth′le·hem in Judah. Eventually they came to the fields of Mo′ab and continued there.
3 In time E·lim′e·lech the husband of Na′o·mi died, so that she remained with her two sons. 4 Later the men took wives for themselves, Mo′ab·ite women.+ The name of the one was Or′pah, and the name of the other Ruth.+ And they went on dwelling there for about ten years. 5 In time the two of them, Mah′lon* and Chil′i·on,* also died, so that the woman remained without her two children and her husband. 6 And she proceeded to get up with her daughters-in-law and to return from the fields of Mo′ab, for she had heard in the field of Mo′ab that Jehovah had turned his attention to* his people+ by giving them bread.+
7 And she went her way out from the place where she had continued,+ and both of her daughters-in-law were with her, and they kept walking on the road to return to the land of Judah. 8 Finally Na′o·mi said to both of her daughters-in-law: “Go, return, each one to the house of her mother. May Jehovah exercise loving-kindness* toward YOU,+ just as YOU have exercised it toward the men now dead and toward me.+ 9 May Jehovah make a gift+ to YOU, and do YOU find a resting-place+ each one in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed+ them, and they began to raise their voices and weep. 10 And they kept saying to her: “No, but with you we shall return to your people.”+ 11 But Na′o·mi said: “Return, my daughters. Why should YOU go with me? Do I still have sons in my inward parts, and will they have to become YOUR husbands?+ 12 Return, my daughters, go, for I have grown too old to get to belong to a husband. If I had said I had hope also that I should certainly become a husband’s tonight and also should certainly bear sons,+ 13 would YOU keep waiting for them* until they could grow up? Would YOU keep yourselves secluded for them so as not to become a husband’s? No, my daughters, for it is very bitter to me because of YOU, that the hand of Jehovah has gone out against me.”+
14 At that they raised their voices and wept some more, after which Or′pah kissed her mother-in-law. As for Ruth, she stuck with her.+ 15 So she said: “Look! Your widowed sister-in-law* has returned to her people and her gods.+ Return with your widowed sister-in-law.”+
16 And Ruth proceeded to say: “Do not plead with me to abandon you, to turn back from accompanying you;* for where you go I shall go, and where you spend the night I shall spend the night.+ Your people will be my people,+ and your God my God.+ 17 Where you die I shall die,+ and there is where I shall be buried. May Jehovah do so to me and add+ to it if anything but death should make a separation between me and you.”
18 When she got to see that she was persistent about going with her,+ then she left off speaking to her. 19 And they both continued on their way until they came to Beth′le·hem.+ And it came about that as soon as they came to Beth′le·hem, all the city became stirred up over them,+ and the women kept saying: “Is this Na′o·mi?”+ 20 And she would say to the women: “Do not call me Na′o·mi.* Call me Ma′ra,* for the Almighty*+ has made it very bitter for me.+ 21 I was full when I went,+ and it is empty-handed that Jehovah has made me return.+ Why should YOU call me Na′o·mi, when it is Jehovah that has humiliated me+ and the Almighty that has caused me calamity?”+