Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, thatthere was a famine in the land. And a certain man ofBeth-lehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, andhis wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man wasElimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of histwo sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Beth-lehem-judah. Andthey came into the country of Moab, and continued there. AndElimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her twosons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name ofthe one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dweltthere about ten years. And Mahlon and Chilion died also both ofthem; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she mightreturn from the country of Moab for she had heard in the countryof Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving thembread. Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was,and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the wayto return unto the land of Judah.
And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return eachto her mother's house the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye havedealt with the dead, and with me. The Lord grant you that ye mayfind rest, each of you in the house of her husband.
Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, andwept. And they said unto her, Surely we will return with theeunto thy people.
And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go withme? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be yourhusbands? Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too oldto have a husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should havea husband also to night, and should also bear sons; would yetarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them fromhaving husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much foryour sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.
And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpahkissed her mother in law but Ruth cleave unto her.
And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto herpeople, and unto her gods return thou after thy sister inlaw.
And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return fromfollowing after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; andwhere thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people,and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there willI be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought butdeath part thee and me.
When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her,then she left speaking unto her.
So they two went until they came to Beth-lehem.—Ruth i,1-19.