Japanese Living Bible

ルツ記 1

残されたナオミ

11-2 昔、士師といわれる人たち(イスラエルに王国が設立されるまでの軍事的・政治的指導者)が治めていたころのことです。イスラエルを大ききんが襲いました。そのため、ユダのベツレヘム出身のエリメレクは、家族とともにモアブの地に移り住みました。妻の名はナオミといい、二人の間にはマフロンとキルヨンという息子がいました。 ところが、モアブで暮らしている間にエリメレクは死に、ナオミと二人の息子があとに残されました。 4-5 やがて二人の息子は、モアブの娘と結婚しました。マフロンの妻はルツ、キルヨンの妻はオルパといいました。しかし、イスラエルを出てから十年が過ぎたころ、二人の息子も死んでしまいました。ナオミは夫ばかりか息子たちにまで先立たれ、とうとう一人になってしまったのです。

ベツレヘムに帰るナオミとルツ

6-7 そこで、ナオミは二人の嫁を連れてイスラエルに帰ろうと決心しました。それは、故郷のユダは主の恵みによって、ききんが去ったと伝え聞いたからでした。 しかし、帰郷の途についてまもなく、ナオミは考えを変えてルツとオルパに言い聞かせました。「あなたたちは、私について来るより実家へお帰りなさい。息子たちや私によくしてくれてほんとうにありがとう。 いい再婚相手が見つかるようにお祈りしていますよ。」ナオミが別れの口づけをすると、二人はわっと泣きくずれました。 10 「お母様、そんなことおっしゃらないで。お願いですから、お母様といっしょに行かせてください。」

11 しかしナオミは、首を横に振るばかりです。「いいえ、いけません。お里へ帰ったほうが幸せですよ。もう私にはあなたたちの夫になれるような息子がいないのですから〔当時、夫に先立たれた嫁は、亡き夫の弟と結婚する決まりがあった〕。 12 さあ、里へお帰り。私は今さら再婚できる年でもないし、かりに再婚して、今夜にでも身ごもって息子を産んだとしても、 13 その子が大人になるまで待てるわけもないでしょう。私の娘たち、もう私を苦しめないでちょうだい。あなたたちにつらい思いをさせたことで、もう十分主から罰を受けたつもりですよ。」

14 二人の嫁はまた、声を上げて泣きました。そしてオルパは、泣く泣くしゅうとめに別れの口づけをし、自分の郷里へ帰って行きました。しかしルツは、ナオミにすがりついて離れようとしません。

15 「ほら、オルパは里へ帰って行ったわよ。あなたもそうしなさい。」

16 「お願いです、お母さん。私を放り出さないでください。お伴させていただきたいのです。お母さんといっしょに暮らしたいのです。お嫁に来た以上、私もお母さんと同じ民です。お母さんの神様は私の神様です。 17 どうぞ、いつまでもおそばに置いてください。私たちを引き離すものは死だけです。もしおそばを離れでもしたら、主が幾重にも私を罰してくださいますように。」

18 ナオミは、ルツの決心が固く、これ以上説得してもむだだと知ると、もう何も言いませんでした。 19 こうして二人はベツレヘムへ帰り着き、村中がそのことでわき立ちました。女たちは、「まあ、ほんとうにナオミさんかい」と言って騒ぎましたが、 20 ナオミは答えました。「お願いだからナオミなんて呼ばないで。マラって呼んでちょうだい〔ナオミは「心地よい」、マラは「苦い」の意〕。全能の神様に、ずいぶんつらい目を見させられたんですから。 21 満たされてイスラエルを出て行ったのに、すべてをなくして帰って来たのです。主に見捨てられてこんな不幸に陥った私を、どうしてナオミなんて呼ぶのでしょう。」

22 ナオミとルツがモアブからベツレヘムへ帰り着いたのは、ちょうど大麦の刈り入れが始まったころでした。

New International Reader's Version

Ruth 1

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. The man’s name was Elimelek. His wife’s name was Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were from the tribe of Ephraim. Their home had been in Bethlehem in Judah. They went to Moab and lived there.

Naomi’s husband Elimelek died. So she was left with her two sons. They married women from Moab. One was named Orpah. The other was named Ruth. Naomi’s family lived in Moab for about ten years. Then Mahlon and Kilion also died. So Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem

While 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. She 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.

Naomi 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. May 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. 10 They said to her, “We’ll go back to your people with you.”

11 But 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? 12 Go 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. 13 Would 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!”

14 When 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.”

16 But 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. 17 Where 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.” 18 Naomi realized that Ruth had made up her mind to go with her. So she stopped trying to make her go back.

19 The 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. 21 I 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.”

22 So 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.