When she heard in Moab1 that the LORD had come to the aid of his people2 by providing food3 for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law4 prepared to return home from there.
With 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.
Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's home.5 May the LORD show kindness6 to you, as you have shown to your dead7 and to me.
May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest8 in the home of another husband." Then she kissed9 them and they wept aloud1010
and said to her, "We will go back with you to your people."
But 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?1112
Return 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--
would you wait until they grew up?12 Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter13 for me than for you, because the LORD's hand has gone out against me!14"
At this they wept15 again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law16 good-by,17 but Ruth clung to her.1815
"Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law19 is going back to her people and her gods.20 Go back with her."
But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you21 or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go,22 and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people23 and your God my God.2417
Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely,25 if anything but death separates you and me."2618
When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.2719
So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem.28 When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred29 because of them, and the women exclaimed, "Can this be Naomi?"
"Don't call me Naomi,a " she told them. "Call me Mara,b because the Almightyc30 has made my life very bitter.3121
I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty.32 Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflictedd me;33 the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me."
So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess,34 her daughter-in-law,35 arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest36 was beginning.37