Naomi loses her husband and sons
1In the days when the judges ruled,1:1 Traditionally judged there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.
3Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem
6When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.
8Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, ‘Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. 9May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.’
Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 10and said to her, ‘We will go back with you to your people.’
11But Naomi said, ‘Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me – even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons – 13would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!’
14At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung 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 urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.’ 18When Naomi realised that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
19So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, ‘Can this be Naomi?’
20‘Don’t call me Naomi,1:20 Naomi means pleasant.’ she told them. ‘Call me Mara,1:20 Mara means bitter. because the Almighty1:20 Hebrew Shaddai; also in verse 21 has made my life very bitter. 21I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted1:21 Or has testified against me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.’
22So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
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？”