1在士师执政的时代，犹大发生了饥荒。有一个人带着妻子和两个儿子从犹大的伯利恒迁到摩押境内寄居。 2这个人名叫以利米勒，妻子叫拿俄米，两个儿子分别叫玛伦和基连。他们都是犹大伯利恒的以法他人。他们来到摩押，就在那里住了下来。 3后来，拿俄米的丈夫以利米勒去世了，留下她和两个儿子。 4这两个儿子都娶了摩押的女子为妻，一个名叫俄珥巴，一个名叫路得。他们在那里住了大约十年后， 5玛伦和基连二人也相继去世，只剩下拿俄米，没有了丈夫，也没有了儿子。
6后来，拿俄米在摩押听说耶和华眷顾祂的子民，使他们五谷丰登，就带着两个儿媳妇准备回故乡。 7她们离开所居住的地方，启程返回犹大。 8拿俄米对两个儿媳妇说：“你们还是各回娘家去吧！愿耶和华恩待你们，就好像你们恩待死去的丈夫和我一样。 9愿耶和华使你们都有机会再嫁，找到好归宿。”拿俄米说完了，就亲吻她们。她们都放声大哭， 10说：“不！我们要跟你一起回你的家乡。” 11拿俄米说：“我的女儿啊，回娘家去吧！为什么要跟我去呢？难道我还能生儿子做你们的丈夫吗？ 12回去吧！我的女儿啊，走吧！我已经老了，不可能再嫁人了。就算我还有指望，今晚能再结婚生子， 13难道你们能一直不嫁，等到他们长大吗？不要这样，我的女儿啊！这样你们会很苦，我就更苦了，因为耶和华伸手惩罚我。” 14她们又放声大哭，俄珥巴就亲吻婆婆，向她道别。然而，路得却依依不舍，不肯离去。
15拿俄米说：“你看，你嫂嫂已经回她家乡和她拜的神明那里去了，你也跟着嫂嫂回去吧！” 16路得说：“不要逼我撇你而去。你往哪里去，我也要往哪里去；你住在哪里，我也要住在哪里；你的同胞就是我的同胞，你的上帝就是我的上帝； 17你死在哪里，我也死在哪里、葬在哪里。只有死才能把我们分开。否则，愿耶和华重重地惩罚我！” 18拿俄米见路得坚决要跟她走，就不再劝阻她了。
19于是，二人便一同回到伯利恒。她们进了伯利恒，全城惊动。妇女们问：“这不是拿俄米吗？” 20拿俄米对她们说：“不要再叫我拿俄米1:20 “拿俄米”意思是“甜”。了，叫我玛拉1:20 “玛拉”意思是“苦”。吧！因为全能者叫我过得好苦啊！ 21我曾满满地离开这里，现在耶和华却使我空空地回来。既然耶和华叫我受苦，全能者使我遭遇不幸，为何还叫我拿俄米呢？”
Naomi Loses Her Husband and Sons
1There was a time when Israel didn’t have kings to rule over them. But they had leaders to help them. This is a story about some things that happened during that time. There wasn’t enough food in the land of Judah. So a man went to live for a while in the country of Moab. He was from Bethlehem in Judah. His wife and two sons went with him. 2The man’s name was Elimelek. His wife’s name was Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites whose home had been in Bethlehem in Judah. They went to Moab and lived there.
3Naomi’s husband Elimelek died. So she was left with her two sons. 4They married women from Moab. One was named Orpah. The other was named Ruth. Naomi’s family lived in Moab for about ten years. 5Then Mahlon and Kilion also died. So Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem
6While Naomi was in Moab, she heard that the Lord had helped his people. He had begun to provide food for them again. So Naomi and her two daughters-in-law prepared to go from Moab back to her home. 7She left the place where she had been living. Her daughters-in-law went with her. They started out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.
8Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Both of you go back. Each of you go to your own mother’s home. You were kind to your husbands, who have died. You have also been kind to me. So may the Lord be just as kind to you. 9May the Lord help each of you find rest in the home of another husband.”
Then she kissed them goodbye. They broke down and wept loudly. 10They said to her, “We’ll go back to your people with you.”
11But Naomi said, “Go home, my daughters. Why would you want to come with me? Am I going to have any more sons who could become your husbands? 12Go home, my daughters. I’m too old to have another husband. Suppose I thought there was still some hope for me. Suppose I married a man tonight. And later I had sons by him. 13Would you wait until they grew up? Would you stay single until you could marry them? No, my daughters. My life is more bitter than yours. The Lord’s power has turned against me!”
14When they heard that, they broke down and wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye. But Ruth held on to her.
15“Look,” said Naomi. “Your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”
16But Ruth replied, “Don’t try to make me leave you and go back. Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God. 17Where you die I’ll die. And there my body will be buried. I won’t let even death separate you from me. If I do, may the Lord punish me greatly.” 18Naomi realized that Ruth had made up her mind to go with her. So she stopped trying to make her go back.
19The two women continued on their way. At last they arrived in Bethlehem. The whole town was stirred up because of them. The women in the town asked, “Can this possibly be Naomi?”
20“Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara. The Mighty One has made my life very bitter. 21I was full when I went away. But the Lord has brought me back empty. So why are you calling me Naomi? The Lord has made me suffer. The Mighty One has brought trouble on me.”
22So Naomi returned from Moab. Ruth, her daughter-in-law from Moab, came with her. They arrived in Bethlehem just when people were beginning to harvest the barley.