Creating a Family

Ruth 1, Edited Steitz
During the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land of Bethlehem in Judah. A Elimelech, with his wife, Naomi and their two sons went to find refuge in the territory of Moab.

But Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died and her two sons took Moabites wives for themselves, named Orpah and Ruth. And after about ten years both of the sons also died. It was then that Naomi decided to return to Judah as she had heard the famine had ended. Both of her daughter in laws decided to go with her back to Judah.

However, Naomi said to them, “Go, turn back, each of you to the household of your mother. May the Lord deal faithfully with you, just as you have done with the dead and with me. May the Lord provide for you so that you may find security, each woman in the household of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.

But they replied to her, “No, we will return with you, to your people.” A second time, Naomi tried to convince them to go home and finally Oprah gave in but not Ruth.
Naomi tried once more, “Look, your sister-in-law is returning to her people and to her gods. Go with her.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to abandon you, to turn back from following after you. 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. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord do this to me and more so if even death separates me from you.” When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her about it.

So both of them went along until they arrived at Bethlehem. And upon their arrival the whole town heard about them, and the women of the town asked, “Can this be Naomi?”

She replied to them, “Don’t call me Naomi, but call me Mara, for the Almighty has made me very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has returned me empty. Thus Naomi returned. And Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, returned with her from the territory of Moab. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.