While Naomi was in Moab, she heard that the LORD had helped his people. He had begun to provide food for them again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to go from Moab back to her home.
She left the place where she had been living. Her two daughters-in-law went with her. They started out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.
Naomi spoke to her two daughters-in-law. "Both of you go back," she said. "Each of you go to your own mother's home. You were kind to your husbands, who have died. You have also been kind to me. So may the LORD be just as kind to you.
May he help each of you find a secure place in the home of another husband. May he give you peace and rest." Then she kissed them good-by. They broke down and sobbed loudly.
They said to her, "We'll go back to your people with you."
But Naomi said, "Go home, my daughters. Why would you want to come with me? Am I going to have any more sons who could become your husbands?
"Go home, my daughters. I'm too old to have another husband. Suppose I thought there was still some hope for me. Suppose I got married to a man tonight. And later I had sons by him.
Would you wait until they grew up? Would you stay single until you could get married to them? No, my daughters. My life is more bitter than yours. The LORD's powerful hand has been against me!"
When they heard that, they broke down and sobbed again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by. But Ruth held on to her.
"Look," said Naomi. "Your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."
But Ruth replied, "Don't try to make me leave you and go back. Where you go I'll go. Where you stay I'll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.
Where you die I'll die. And there my body will be buried. I won't let anything except death separate you from me. If I do, may the LORD punish me greatly."