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.
Naomi Na Ruthu
11:1 Amu 2:16-18; Mwa 12:10; 35:19; 36:35; 47:4; 2Fal 6:25; Hag 1:11; Za 105:16; Kum 28:38; 1Fal 18:2; Mik 5:2Wakati Waamuzi walipotawala Israeli, kulikuwa na njaa katika nchi. Mtu mmoja kutoka nchi ya Bethlehemu ya Yuda, pamoja na mke wake na wanawe wawili, akaenda kuishi katika nchi ya Moabu. 21:2 Rut 2:1; 4:3; Amu 3:30; 1Sam 16:18; Mwa 35:16-19Mtu huyu aliitwa Elimeleki, mkewe aliitwa Naomi, na hao wanawe wawili waliitwa Maloni na Kilioni. Walikuwa Waefrathi kutoka Bethlehemu ya Yuda. Wakaenda katika nchi ya Moabu, wakaishi huko.
3Elimeleki mumewe Naomi akafa, hivyo Naomi akabaki na wanawe wawili. 41:4 1Fal 11:1; Mt 1:5; Rut 4:13; Ezr 9:2; Neh 13:23Nao wakaoa wanawake Wamoabu, jina la mmoja aliitwa Orpa, na wa pili aliitwa Ruthu. Baada ya kama miaka kumi, 51:5 Rut 2:11Maloni na Kilioni pia wakafa. Basi Naomi akabaki hana mume wala wanawe wawili.
61:6 Mwa 11:31; 36:35; 38:16; 50:24; Kut 4:31; Yer 29:10; Sef 2:7; Za 80:14; Zek 10:3; Lk 1:68; 7:16; Mwa 28:20; 48:15; Mit 30:8; Isa 55:10; Mt 6:11; Za 132:15Aliposikia akiwa huko Moabu kwamba Bwana amewasaidia watu wake kwa kuwapa chakula, Naomi na wakweze wakajiandaa kurudi nyumbani. 7Yeye na wakweze wawili wakaondoka pale walipokuwa wakiishi na kushika njia kurudi nchi ya Yuda.
81:8 Mwa 38:11; 19:19; Yos 24:25; 2Tim 1:16Ndipo Naomi akawaambia wale wakwe zake wawili, “Rudini, kila mmoja wenu nyumbani kwa mama yake. Bwana na awatendee fadhili kama mlivyowatendea hao waliofariki, na pia mimi. 91:9 Rut 3:1; Mwa 27:27, 38; 29:11; Hes 25:6Bwana na amjalie kila mmoja wenu maisha mema nyumbani kwa mume mwingine.”
Kisha akawabusu, nao wakalia kwa sauti kubwa, 10wakamwambia, “Tutarudi pamoja na wewe nyumbani kwa watu wako.”
111:11 Mwa 38:11; Kum 25:5Lakini Naomi akasema, “Rudini nyumbani, binti zangu. Kwa nini mnifuate? Je, mimi nitaweza tena kuwa na wana wengine ambao wataweza kuwaoa ninyi? 12Rudini nyumbani, binti zangu; mimi ni mzee kiasi kwamba siwezi kumpata mume mwingine. Hata kama ningefikiria kuwa bado kuna tumaini kwangu, hata kama ningekuwa na mume usiku huu na kuwazaa wana, 131:13 Mwa 38:11; Kut 1:14; 15:23; 1Sam 30:6; Ay 19:21; Za 32:4; 38:2; Amu 2:15; 4:5je, mngesubiri mpaka wakue? Mngebakia bila kuolewa mkiwasubiri? La, hasha, binti zangu. Nimepata uchungu kuliko ninyi, kwa sababu mkono wa Bwana umekuwa kinyume nami!”
141:14 Rut 2:11; 3:1; Mik 7:6; Mit 17:17; 18:24; Yn 6:66-69; Ebr 10:39; Mwa 31:28; Kum 10:20Kisha wakalia tena kwa sauti. Orpa akambusu mama mkwe wake, akaenda zake, lakini Ruthu akaambatana naye.
151:15 Kum 25:7; Yos 24:14; Amu 11:24Naomi akamwambia, “Tazama, mwenzako anarejea kwa watu wake na kwa miungu yake. Rudi pamoja naye.”
161:16 2Fal 2:2; Yos 24:15; Mwa 24:58; Za 45:10; Rut 2:11-12Lakini Ruthu akajibu, “Usinisihi nikuache au niache kukufuata. Utakakokwenda nami nitakwenda, na wewe utakapoishi nitaishi. Watu wako watakuwa watu wangu, na Mungu wako atakuwa Mungu wangu. 171:17 1Sam 3:17; 14:44; 20:13; 25:22; 1Fal 2:23; 19:2; 20:10; 2Sam 3:9; 19:13; 2Fal 6:31; 15:21Pale utakapofia nami nitafia hapo, na papo hapo nitazikwa. Bwana na aniadhibu vikali, kama kitu kingine chochote kitanitenga nawe isipokuwa kifo.” 181:18 Mdo 21:14Naomi alipotambua kwamba Ruthu amenuia kufuatana naye, hakuendelea kumsihi tena.
191:19 Amu 17:7; Isa 23:7; Mt 21:10; Mao 2:15Kwa hiyo hao wanawake wawili wakaondoka, wakafika Bethlehemu. Walipofika Bethlehemu, mji mzima ulitaharuki, wanawake wakashangaa, wakasema, “Huyu aweza kuwa ni Naomi?”
201:20 Mwa 15:1; 17:1; Za 91:1; Kut 6:3; Ay 6:4Akawaambia, “Msiniite tena Naomi,1:20 Naomi maana yake Wa Kupendeza, Wa Kufurahisha. niiteni Mara,1:20 Mara maana yake Chungu. kwa sababu Mwenyezi1:20 Mwenyezi hapa ina maana ya Shaddai kwa Kiebrania. amenitendea mambo machungu sana. 211:21 Ay 1:21; 30:11; Za 88:7; Isa 53:4Mimi niliondoka hali nimejaa, lakini Bwana amenirudisha mtupu. Kwa nini kuniita Naomi? Bwana amenitendea mambo machungu; Mwenyezi ameniletea msiba.”
221:22 Rut 2:2-6, 21; 4:5, 10; Kut 9:31; Mwa 11:31; Law 19:9; 2Sam 21:9Kwa hiyo Naomi alirudi pamoja na Ruthu Mmoabu mkwe wake, nao wakafika Bethlehemu mwanzoni mwa kuvuna shayiri.