Ruth (1) 路得 之一

很久以前,在士师治理以色列的那段时期,地方上发生了饑荒。有一个以法他族人,名叫以利米勒,原住在犹大的伯利恒;他带妻子拿娥美和两个儿子─玛伦和基连,一起到摩押国,暂时住在那裏。他们在那裏的时候,以利米勒死了,留下拿娥美和她两个儿子;这两个儿子娶了摩押地方的女孩子─娥珥巴和路得。大约十年後,玛伦和基连也死了,留下拿娥美,没有丈夫,也没有儿子。

拿娥美还住在摩押的时候,听说上主眷顾他的子民,使他们有好收成,就準备跟两个媳妇离开摩押回本土去。她们一起动身回犹大,但是在路上,拿娥美对两个媳妇说:“你们各自回娘家去吧!愿上主以仁慈待你们,像你们善待了我和已故的人一样。 愿上主使你们两人有机会再结婚,都有归宿。” 於是,拿娥美吻别她们。两个媳妇就放声大哭,对拿娥美说:“不!我们要跟你回到你本族的人那裏去。” 拿娥美说:“女儿啊,你们还是回去吧!为甚麽要跟我走呢?我还能再生儿子来作你们的丈夫吗? 回去吧!我的女儿,走吧!我已经太老,不能再结婚了。就算我还有一点希望,能在今晚结婚,而且会生儿子, 你们愿意等他们长大吗?你们能等不去嫁别人吗?不!我的女儿,这是不可能的。上主惩罚了我;我很为你们难过。” 她们又哭了起来。娥珥巴终於吻别她的婆婆,回娘家去了;但是路得还是捨不得离去。 拿娥美对她说:“路得,你嫂嫂已经回她本族和她的神。那裏去了。你也跟她回去吧!” 可是路得说:“请不要叫我离开你。让我跟你一起去吧!你到哪裏,我也到那裏;你住哪裏,我也住那裏;你的民族就是我的民族;你的上帝就是我的上帝。 你死在哪裏,我也死在那裏,葬在那裏。除了死,除了死,任何事都不能使我们分离!要是我背誓,愿上主重重地惩罚我!” 拿娥美见路得坚决要跟自己走,也就不再劝阻她了。 於是俩人继续她们的旅程,来到伯利恒。她们到的时候,全城的人都很兴奋。妇女们惊叫说:“她真的是拿娥美吗?” 拿娥美说:“不要叫我拿娥美,叫我玛拉吧!因为全能的上帝使我命苦。 我出去的时候富足,回来的时候上主却使我空无一物。上主责罚我;全能者使我受苦。为甚麽还要叫我拿娥美呢?” 这就是拿娥美和她的摩押媳妇路得从摩押回来的经过。她们到达伯利恒,正是开始收割大麦的时候。

拿娥美有一个亲族,名叫波阿斯,既有钱又有地位,是她丈夫以利米勒的亲族。 有一天,路得对拿娥美说:“让我到田裏去捡人家掉落的麦穗,我一定会遇到一个肯善待我的人。” 拿娥美说:“你去吧,女儿。” 於是路得到田裏去,跟在收割工人背後捡掉下的麦穗。正巧路得捡麦穗的这块田是波阿斯的。不久,波阿斯从伯利恒来;他向收割工人问安说:“上主与你们同在!” 他们回答:“上主赐福给你!” 波阿斯问领班:“那是谁家的女孩子?” 他回答:“她就是跟拿娥美从摩押回来的那个外国女子。 她要求我让她跟在工人後头捡麦穗。她一大早就开始工作,现在刚停下来,在凉棚下休息。” 波阿斯就去对路得说:“听我说,小姑娘,你不用到别人田裏去捡麦穗,就留在这裏跟女工一起。看男工到哪裏收割,你就跟女工捡取。我已经吩咐我的男工不可欺负你。你渴了,就到水罐那裏喝他们打来的水。” 路得向波阿斯下拜,伏在地上,说:“你为甚麽待我这麽好?这麽关心我这一个外国人?” 波阿斯说:“你丈夫死後,你对婆婆的种种孝行,我都听见了。我知道你怎样离开了父母和自己的乡土,怎样来住在这一个陌生的民族中。 愿上主照你所做的报答你。愿以色列的上帝─你所投靠的上主厚厚地赏赐你!”



讨论问题:

1.      在希伯来文里,“路得”的意思是友谊。路得怎样在行为上体现了她的“友善”?

2.      作为一个好朋友需要有什么样的行为?

3.      描写一下你的最好的朋友

4.      你觉得拿娥美是一个什么样的女子?

5.      你觉得路得是个怎样的家庭成员?你是否愿意家里的成员都像她那样?

6.      你对家里的那一位成员最敬爱?为什么?


In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him. The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there.

Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband.

Then Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah.

But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back to your mothers’ homes. And may the Lord reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me. May the Lord bless you with the security of another marriage.” Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept.

“No,” they said. “We want to go with you to your people.”

But Naomi replied, “Why should you go on with me? Can I still give birth to other sons who could grow up to be your husbands? No, my daughters, return to your parents’ homes, for I am too old to marry again. And even if it were possible, and I were to get married tonight and bear sons, then what?  Would you wait for them to grow up and refuse to marry someone else? No, of course not, my daughters! Things are far more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord himself has raised his fist against me.”

And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi. “Look,” Naomi said to her, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.”

But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. 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 punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.

So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked.

“Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the Lord has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?”

So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Now there was a wealthy and influential man in Bethlehem named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech.

One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.”

Naomi replied, “All right, my daughter, go ahead.” So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech.

While she was there, Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters. “The Lord be with you!” he said.

“The Lord bless you!” the harvesters replied.

Then Boaz asked his foreman, “Who is that young woman over there? Who does she belong to?”

And the foreman replied, “She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes’ rest in the shelter.”

Boaz went over and said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field. See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them. I have warned the young men not to treat you roughly. And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well.”

Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. “What have I done to deserve such kindness?” she asked. “I am only a foreigner.”

“Yes, I know,” Boaz replied. “But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.”


Discussion Questions:
1.  In Hebrew, the name Ruth means friendship.  What qualities did Ruth have that demonstrated qualities of a good friend?
2. What other qualities are necessary to be a good friend?
3. Describe your best friend.
4. What kind of woman do you think Naomi was?
5. What kind of a family member was Ruth?  Would you like her to be in your family?
6. Who do you appreciate in your family?  Why?
Comments