The Book of Ruth
The Book of Ruth Loyalty Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter:Verse)
[Naomi] kissed [Ruth and Orpah], and they wept aloud. They said to her, "No, we will return with you to your people." (NRSV 1:9-10)
[Naomi] kissed [Ruth and Orpah]; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people. (KJV 1:9-10)
Naomi clearly loves her daughters-in-law, but she just can't bring herself to take the women with her to Bethlehem. Lucky for her, both Ruth and Orpah are prepared to stick by her side… for a while at least. Here Naomi's setting her daughters-in-law up for a great loyalty showdown. Of course, we know who'll win.
Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. So she said, "See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law." (NRSV 1:14-15)
Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. (KJV 1:14-15)
The story sets up the two sisters-in-law as foils. Though both initially want to follow Naomi, Orpah finally gives in and heads back home with a Fredo kiss. In reality, neither woman had any obligation to follow her mother-in-law. Ruth does it out of pure love and loyalty and, well, clinginess.
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. Where 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!" When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her. (NRSV 1:16-18)
Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her. (KJV 1:16-18)
This is probably the most popular quote from the whole book. Ruth's words to Naomi are more than a pledge of loyalty—they're pure poetry. Maybe that's why this verse is pretty popular at weddings (just ignore the fact that it's two in-laws talking to each other and you're good).