The Story of Ruth

Chapter 1

Elimelech, driven by famine into Moab, dies there, 1-3. Mahlon and Chilion, having married wives of Moab, die also, 4, 5. Naomi, returning homeward, 6, 7, dissuades her two daughters-in-law from going with her, 8-13. Orpah leaves her, but Ruth with great constancy accompanies her, 14-18. The two of them come to Beth-lehem where they are gladly received, 19-22.

1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Beth-lehem-judah went to dwell in the country of Moab—he, his wife, and his two sons. 2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Beth-lehem-judah. And they came into the country of Moab and continued there. 3 And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died, and she was left, she and her two sons. 4 And they took for themselves wives of the women of Moab: the name of one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. 5 And Mahlon and Chilion both died also, and the woman was left by her two sons and her husband.

6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law so that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab how the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. 7 Therefore, she went forth from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go. Return each to her mother's house. May the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 May the LORD grant you that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband." Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voice and wept. 10 And they said to her, "Surely we will return with you to your people." 11 And Naomi said, "Turn back, my daughters. Why will you go with me? Shall I bear more sons so that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, 'I have hope,' if I should have a husband also tonight and should also bear sons, 13 Would you wait for them until they were grown? Would you forbear from having husbands for them? No, my daughters, for it grieves me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me."

14 And they lifted up their voice and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth cleaved to her.

15 And she said, "Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. Return after your sister-in-law." 16 And Ruth said, "Do not entreat me to leave you, or to return from following you. For where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death shall part you and me." 18 When she saw that she was steadfastly resolved to go with her, then she ceased speaking to her.

19 So the two of them went until they came to Beth-lehem. And it came to pass, when they had come to Beth-lehem, that all the city was stirred because of them, and they said, "Is this Naomi?" 20 And she said to them, "Do not call me Naomi. Call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, and the LORD has brought me home again empty. Why then do you call me Naomi, seeing the LORD has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?"

22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Beth-lehem in the beginning of barley-harvest.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Ruth, Chapter 1[➚]