1在士師執政的時代，猶大發生了饑荒。有一個人帶著妻子和兩個兒子從猶大的伯利恆遷到摩押境內寄居。 2這個人名叫以利米勒，妻子叫拿俄米，兩個兒子分別叫瑪倫和基連。他們都是猶大伯利恆的以法他人。他們來到摩押，就在那裡住了下來。 3後來，拿俄米的丈夫以利米勒去世了，留下她和兩個兒子。 4這兩個兒子都娶了摩押的女子為妻，一個名叫俄珥巴，一個名叫路得。他們在那裡住了大約十年後， 5瑪倫和基連二人也相繼去世，只剩下拿俄米，沒有了丈夫，也沒有了兒子。
6後來，拿俄米在摩押聽說耶和華眷顧祂的子民，使他們五穀豐登，就帶著兩個兒媳婦準備回故鄉。 7她們離開所居住的地方，啟程返回猶大。 8拿俄米對兩個兒媳婦說：「你們還是各回娘家去吧！願耶和華恩待你們，就好像你們恩待死去的丈夫和我一樣。 9願耶和華使你們都有機會再嫁，找到好歸宿。」拿俄米說完了，就親吻她們。她們都放聲大哭， 10說：「不！我們要跟你一起回你的家鄉。」 11拿俄米說：「我的女兒啊，回娘家去吧！為什麼要跟我去呢？難道我還能生兒子做你們的丈夫嗎？ 12回去吧！我的女兒啊，走吧！我已經老了，不可能再嫁人了。就算我還有指望，今晚能再結婚生子， 13難道你們能一直不嫁，等到他們長大嗎？不要這樣，我的女兒啊！這樣你們會很苦，我就更苦了，因為耶和華伸手懲罰我。」 14她們又放聲大哭，俄珥巴就親吻婆婆，向她道別。然而，路得卻依依不捨，不肯離去。
15拿俄米說：「你看，你嫂嫂已經回她家鄉和她拜的神明那裡去了，你也跟著嫂嫂回去吧！」 16路得說：「不要逼我撇你而去。你往哪裡去，我也要往哪裡去；你住在哪裡，我也要住在哪裡；你的同胞就是我的同胞，你的上帝就是我的上帝； 17你死在哪裡，我也死在哪裡、葬在哪裡。只有死才能把我們分開。否則，願耶和華重重地懲罰我！」 18拿俄米見路得堅決要跟她走，就不再勸阻她了。
19於是，二人便一同回到伯利恆。她們進了伯利恆，全城驚動。婦女們問：「這不是拿俄米嗎？」 20拿俄米對她們說：「不要再叫我拿俄米1·20 「拿俄米」意思是「甜」。了，叫我瑪拉1·20 「瑪拉」意思是「苦」。吧！因為全能者叫我過得好苦啊！ 21我曾滿滿地離開這裡，現在耶和華卻使我空空地回來。既然耶和華叫我受苦，全能者使我遭遇不幸，為何還叫我拿俄米呢？」
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.