In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him.
The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there.
Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons.
The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later,
both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband.
Then Naomi heard in Moab that the had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland.