In the days when the judges ruled,1 there was a famine in the land,2 and a man from Bethlehem in Judah,3 together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while4 in the country of Moab.5
The man's name was Elimelech,6 his wife's name Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion.7 They were Ephrathites8 from Bethlehem,9 Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.
Now Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died, and she was left with her two sons.
They married Moabite women,10 one named Orpah and the other Ruth.11 After they had lived there about ten years,
both Mahlon and Kilion12 also died,13 and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
When she heard in Moab14 that the LORD had come to the aid of his people15 by providing food16 for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law17 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.18 May the LORD show kindness19 to you, as you have shown to your dead20 and to me.