During the time of the Judges there was a famine in the land of Israel. As a result, a man named Elimelech from Bethlehem departs for the nearby country of Moab, southeast of Israel in present-day Jordan. He brings with him his wife, Naomi, and two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. While in Moab, Elimelech and then his two sons die. Before their death, the sons marry two Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah. Destitute, Naomi returns to her home town Bethlehem to commence the life of a poor widow. Despite Naomi’s plea for both her daughter’s-in-law to remain in Moab, Ruth vows loyalty to Naomi and returns with her to Israel. Once in Bethlehem, Ruth’s life takes an unexpected turn, going from a poor widow scavenging in the fields to the wife of a wealthy land owner and eventually, great-grandmother of King David.
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