Again they cried openly. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye; but Ruth embraced her and held on.
Naomi said, "Look, your sister-in-law is going back home to live with her own people and gods; go with her."
But Ruth said, "Don't force me to leave you; don't make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I'll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god;
where you die, I'll die, and that's where I'll be buried, so help me God - not even death itself is going to come between us!"
When Naomi saw that Ruth had her heart set on going with her, she gave in.
And so the two of them traveled on together to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem the whole town was soon buzzing: "Is this really our Naomi? And after all this time!"
But she said, "Don't call me Naomi; call me Bitter. The Strong One has dealt me a bitter blow.
I left here full of life, and God has brought me back with nothing but the clothes on my back. Why would you call me Naomi? God certainly doesn't. The Strong One ruined me."
And so Naomi was back, and Ruth the foreigner with her, back from the country of Moab. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)