1In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. 2The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. 3But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, 5both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.
6Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had considered his people and given them food. 7So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah. 8But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go back each of you to your mothers house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband. Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. 10They said to her, No, we will return with you to your people. 11But Naomi said, Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, 13would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me. 14Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15So she said, See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law. 16But Ruth said, Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17Where you die, I will die there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you! 18When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
1Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
3Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
4When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
5Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
7who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
9The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
28One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, Which commandment is the first of all? 29Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. 31The second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. 32Then the scribe said to him, You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and besides him there is no other; 33and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love ones neighbor as oneself, this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God. After that no one dared to ask him any question.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011