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Act One (1:6-22)

The first act comprises two scenes, the first (longer) still in Moab and the second (shorter) in Bethlehem.

The first scene sets up the foreign girls to also leave Naomi. and climaxes with Ruth's stirring declaration in vv. 16-17, and Naomi's consequent silence.

The short second scene sums up Naomi's sad state and opens the theological question of Adonai's responsibility for this. Naomi at least lays claims that God alone is responsible.