1 IIn the daysII when the judgesIII ruled,IV there wasV a famineVI in the land,VII
and a certain manVIII of BethlehemIX in JudahX
wentXI to liveXII in the countryXIII of Moab,XIV
he and his wifeXV and twoXVI sons.XVII
2 The nameXVIII of the man was ElimelechXIX and the name of his wife Naomi,XX
and the names of his two sons were MahlonXXI and Chilion;XXII they were EphrathitesXXIII from Bethlehem in Judah. They wentXXIV into the country of Moab and remainedXXV there.
3 But Elimelech, the husbandXXVI of Naomi, died,XXVII and she was leftXXVIII with her two sons. 4 These tookXXIX MoabiteXXX wives;
the name of the oneXXXI was OrpahXXXII and the name of the otherXXXIII Ruth.XXXIV
When they had livedXXXV there about tenXXXVI years,XXXVII 5 bothXXXVIII Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the womanXXXIX was left without her two sonsXL and her husband.
6 Then she startedXLI to returnXLII with her daughters-in-lawXLIII from the country of Moab,
for she had heardXLIV in the country of Moab that the LordXLV had consideredXLVI his peopleXLVII and givenXLVIII them food.XLIX
7 So she set outL from the placeLI where she had been living,LII she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their wayLIII to go backLIV to the land of Judah.
8 But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go backLV eachLVI of you to your mother’sLVII house.LVIII
May the LordLIX dealLX kindlyLXI with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.
9 The LordLXII grantLXIII that you may findLXIV security,LXV eachLXVI of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissedLXVII them, and they wept aloud.LXVIII
10 They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi said, “Turn back,LXIX my daughters,LXX why will you go with me? Do I still have sonsLXXI in my wombLXXII that they may becomeLXXIII your husbands?
12 Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too oldLXXIV to haveLXXV a husband. Even if I thought there was hopeLXXVI for me, even if I should have a husband tonightLXXVII and bearLXXVIII sons,LXXIX
13 would you then waitLXXX until they were grown?LXXXI Would you then refrainLXXXII fromLXXXIII marrying?LXXXIV
No, my daughters, it has been far moreLXXXV bitterLXXXVI for me than for you, because the handLXXXVII of the LordLXXXVIII has turnedLXXXIX against me.” 14 Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law,XC but Ruth clungXCI to her.
15 So she said, “See,XCII your sister-in-lawXCIII has gone backXCIV to her people and to her gods;XCV return afterXCVI your sister-in-law.”
16 But Ruth said,
“Do not pressXCVII me to leaveXCVIII you
or to turn back from followingXCIX you!
Where you go, I will go;
where you lodge,C I will lodge;
your people shall be my people,
and your God my God.
17 Where you die, I will die—
there will I be buried.CI
May the LordCII doCIII thus and so to me,
and moreCIV as well,
if even deathCV partsCVI me from you!”
18 When Naomi sawCVII that she was determinedCVIII to go with her, she saidCIX no moreCX to her.
Image credit: “Whither Thou Goest: Naomi and Ruth” by Rupert Bunny, 20th century.