Noemi e Rute
1-2No tempo em que os juízes governavam o povo de Israel, houve um homem efrateu de Belém de Judá chamado Elimeleque que deixou a sua terra, pois havia muita fome e emigrou para Moabe. Acompanharam-no a mulher, Noemi, e os dois filhos do casal, Malom e Quiliom.
3Elimeleque faleceu naquela terra e Noemi ficou sozinha com os dois rapazes. 4Entretanto, estes casaram com duas raparigas de Moabe, Orfa e Rute. Depois de ali terem vivido cerca de 10 anos, 5tanto Malom como Quiliom morreram e Noemi viu-se de novo desamparada, sem marido e sem filhos.
Noemi regressa a Belém com Rute
6Por isso, decidiu regressar a Israel na companhia das noras, pois tinha ouvido que o Senhor abençoara o seu povo, dando-lhe novamente boas colheitas. 7Na companhia das duas noras, deixou o lugar onde tinham estado a viver e tomaram o caminho que as conduziria de volta a Judá.
8Já a caminho resolveu dizer às noras: “Não preferem antes voltar para as vossas famílias em vez de me acompanharem? Se o fizerem, que o Senhor vos recompense pela vossa bondade com que trataram os vossos falecidos maridos e a mim mesma. 9Que ele vos abençoe, preparando-vos outro casamento feliz!” E abraçou-as e beijou-as e todas choraram de emoção.
10“Não”, diziam as moças. “Nós vamos viver contigo junto do teu povo.”
11Porém, Noemi insistiu: “Fariam melhor em voltar para o vosso povo. Sabem bem que já não há hipótese de eu vir a ter filhos que crescessem e casassem convosco. 12Não, minhas filhas, voltem para as vossas casas, porque já não tenho idade para tornar a casar. E mesmo que isso acontecesse e que esta mesma noite eu concebesse e viesse a ter filhos, 13iriam esperar tanto tempo até que eles fossem crescidos? Não, com certeza que não. Oh! Como eu lamento que o Senhor me tenha castigado assim! A minha amargura é maior do que a vossa!”
14E estiveram a chorar algum tempo até que Orfa, abraçando-se à sogra, decidiu dizer-lhes adeus e regressar à casa paterna. No entanto, Rute foi inflexível e quis ficar com Noemi. 15“Vê”, disse-lhe Noemi, “a tua cunhada já se foi embora para junto da sua família e dos seus deuses. Faz tu também o mesmo.”
16Mas Rute respondeu-lhe: “Não me forces a deixar-te. Porque eu irei para onde tu fores; onde passares a viver, aí eu também viverei; o teu povo é o meu e o teu Deus é o meu Deus. 17Quero vir a morrer onde tu morreres e ficar aí sepultada. Que o Senhor me castigue e faça aquilo que quiser se houver alguma coisa, a não ser a morte, que nos separe.” 18Quando Noemi viu que Rute tinha tomado uma decisão firme e que nada a podia demover, não insistiu mais.
19Então ambas vieram para Belém. A povoação inteira comoveu-se à sua chegada. “Mas é mesmo Noemi?”, perguntavam as mulheres.
20Ela respondia: “Não me chamem mais Noemi (agradável), mas sim Mara (amargurada), porque o Todo-Poderoso me tem afligido muito. 21Parti cheia e regresso vazia. Porque haveriam de chamar-me Noemi, quando o Senhor parece ter-se desviado de mim e me trouxe tamanha calamidade?”
22O regresso delas a Belém, vindas de Moabe, deu-se no princípio da colheita da cevada.
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.