Back in the days when the judges were judging, at a time when there was a famine in the land, a certain man from Beit-Lechem went to live in the territory of Mo'av - he, his wife and his two sons.
The man's name was Elimelekh, his wife's name was Na'omi, and his two sons were named Machlon and Kilyon; they were Efratim from Beit-Lechem in Y'hudah. They arrived in the plain of Mo'av and settled there.
Elimelekh, Na'omi's husband, died; and she was left, she and her two sons.
They took wives for themselves from the women of Mo'av; the name of the one was 'Orpah; and the name of the other was Rut. They lived there for about ten years.
Then Machlon and Kilyon died, both of them; and the woman was left with neither her two sons nor her husband.
So she prepared to return with her daughters-in-law from the plain of Mo'av; for in the plain of Mo'av she had heard how ADONAI had paid attention to his people by giving them food.
She left the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law and took the road leading back to Y'hudah.
Na'omi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Each of you, go back to your mother's house. May ADONAI show grace to you, as you did to those who died and to me.
May ADONAI grant you security in the home of a new husband."Then she kissed them, but they began weeping aloud.
They said to her, "No; we want to return with you to your people."
Na'omi said, "Go back, my daughters. Why do you want to go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb who could become your husbands?
Go back, my daughters; go your way; for I'm too old to have a husband. Even if I were to say, 'I still have hope'; even if I had a husband tonight and bore sons;
would you wait for them until they grew up? Would you refuse to marry, just for them? No, my daughters. On your behalf I feel very bitter that the hand of ADONAI has gone out against me."
Again they wept aloud. Then 'Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye. But Rut stuck with her.
She said, "Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her god; go back, after your sister-in-law."
But Rut said, "Don't press me to leave you and stop following you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.
Where you die, I will die; and there I will be buried. May ADONAI bring terrible curses on me, and worse ones as well, if anything but death separates you and me."
When Na'omi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
So the two of them went on until they came to Beit-Lechem. When they arrived in Beit-Lechem, the whole city was stirred with excitement over them. The women asked, "Can this be Na'omi?"
"Don't call me Na'omi [pleasant]," she answered them; "call me Marah [bitter], because Shaddai has made my life very bitter.
I went out full, and ADONAI has brought me back empty. Why call me Na'omi? ADONAI has testified against me, Shaddai has afflicted me."
This is how Na'omi returned, with Rut the woman from Mo'av, her daughter-in-law, accompanying her from the plain of Mo'av. They arrived in Beit-Lechem at the beginning of the barley harvest.