Ruth 4:20
And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,
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(20) Nahshon was the prince of the children of Judah in the wilderness. (See Numbers 1:7, &c).

Salmon—Heb., Salmah, though called Salmon in the next verse. In 1Chronicles 2:11 he is called Salma. Salmon may very probably have been one of the two spies sent to Jericho, who having been sheltered by Rahab, had repaid her kindness by marrying her.

It has been observed above that the smallness of the number of the generations hardly suits the long period of years here implied, and on the whole we are disposed to believe that some links of the chain have been dropped, and if so, then doubtless in the period before Boaz. Thus we may suppose that we have here the distinguished names, others of less note being passed over. Unless this is done we are forced to increase largely the average length of a generation, and suppose that most of these generations were children of their fathers’ old age. We know from 1Kings 6:1 that from the Exodus to the fourth year of Solomon was 480 years. If we deduct from this forty years for the wanderings in the desert, then, seeing that David died at the age of seventy, we have for the period from the entrance into Canaan to the birth of David, 480-40-70-4 = 366 years. But if Rahab bears Boaz to Salmon only a few years after the beginning of this period, we have to cover nearly 366 years with three generations, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, which entails upon us the conclusion that each of the above three begat the specified son at the age of over a hundred, and that Salmon was also well advanced in years at his marriage. This, however, seems hardly credible, and the theory that one or two generations have dropt from the list is, at any rate, reasonable.

4:13-22 Ruth bore a son, through whom thousands and myriads were born to God; and in being the lineal ancestor of Christ, she was instrumental in the happiness of all that shall be saved by him; even of us Gentiles, as well as those of Jewish descent. She was a witness for God to the Gentile world, that he had not utterly forsaken them, but that in due time they should become one with his chosen people, and partake of his salvation. Prayer to God attended the marriage, and praise to him attended the birth of the child. What a pity it is that pious language should not be more used among Christians, or that it should be let fall into formality! Here is the descent of David from Ruth. And the period came when Bethlehem-Judah displayed greater wonders than those in the history of Ruth, when the outcast babe of another forlorn female of the same race appeared, controlling the counsels of the Roman master of the world, and drawing princes and wise men from the east, with treasures of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh to his feet. His name shall endure for ever, and all nations shall call Him blessed. In that Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.It is probable that there was a family book for the house of Pharez, in which their genealogies were preserved, and important bits of history were recorded; and that the Book of Ruth was compiled from it. (See the note at Genesis 2:4) 18-22. these are the generations of Pharez—that is, his descendants. This appendix shows that the special object contemplated by the inspired author of this little book was to preserve the memory of an interesting domestic episode, and to trace the genealogy of David. There was an interval of three hundred eighty years between Salmon and David. It is evident that whole generations are omitted; the leading personages only are named, and grandfathers are said, in Scripture language, to beget their grandchildren, without specifying the intermediate links. No text from Poole on this verse.

And Amminadab begat Nahshon,.... The prince of the tribe of Judah, as the Targum adds; and so he was when the Israelites were come out of Egypt, and were in the wilderness at the time of the dedication of the altar, Numbers 7:12 called Nahsson, Matthew 1:4, and Nahshon begat Salmon; or, as in the Hebrew text, Salmah, and in 1 Chronicles 2:11, Salma; and yet in the verse following Salmon, as we read it. And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,
20. Nahshon] i.e. serpent, a name belonging to the early period. This Nahshon son of Amminadab was a prince of Judah (Numbers 1:7; Numbers 2:3; Numbers 10:14) and a contemporary of Moses and Aaron (Exodus 6:23), according to P; here he is made the grandfather of Boaz, obviously by omitting a good many links.

Salmon] From Salmah (1 Chronicles 2:11 Salma’) or Salmon (St Matthew 1:4 f., St Luke 3:32) to Boaz is a long step, if the former is the same as ‘Salma the father of Beth-lehem’ 1 Chronicles 2:51. In St Matthew 1:5 Salmon’s wife was Rahab, obviously an anachronism.

Ruth 4:20"These are the generations of Perez," i.e., the families descended from Perez in their genealogical order (toledoth: see at Genesis 2:4). The genealogy only goes back as far as Perez, because he was the founder of the family of Judah which was named after him (Numbers 26:20), and to which Elimelech and Boaz belonged. Perez, a son of Judah by Tamar (Genesis 38:29), begat Hezrom, who is mentioned in Genesis 46:12 among the sons of Judah who emigrated with Jacob into Egypt, although (as we have shown in our comm. on the passage) he was really born in Egypt. Of this son Ram (called Aram in the Sept. Cod. Al., and from that in Matthew 1:3) nothing further is known, as he is only mentioned again in 1 Chronicles 2:9. His son Amminidab was the father-in-law of Aaron, who had married his daughter (Exodus 6:23), and the father of Nahesson (Nahshon), the tribe-prince of the house of Judah in the time of Moses (Numbers 1:7; Numbers 2:3; Numbers 7:12). According to this there are only four or five generations to the 430 years spent by the Israelites in Egypt, if we include both Perez and Nahesson; evidently not enough for so long a time, so that some of the intermediate links must have been left out even here. But the omission of unimportant members becomes still more apparent in the statement which follows, viz., that Nahshon begat Salmah, and Salmah Boaz, in which only two generations are given for a space of more than 250 years, which intervened between the death of Moses and the time of Gideon. Salmah (שׂלמה or שׂלמא, 1 Chronicles 2:11) is called Salmon in Ruth 4:21; a double form of the name, which is to be explained form the fact that Salmah grew out of Salmon through the elision of the n, and that the terminations an and on are used promiscuously, as we may see from the form שׁריה in Job 41:18 when compared with שׁרין in 1 Kings 22:34, and שׁריון in 1 Samuel 17:5, 1 Samuel 17:38 (see Ewald, 163-4). According to the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1:5, Salmon married Rahab; consequently he was a son, or at any rate a grandson, of Nahshon, and therefore all the members between Salmon and Boaz have been passed over. Again, the generations from Boaz to David (Ruth 4:21, Ruth 4:22) may possibly be complete, although in all probability one generation has been passed over even here between Obed and Jesse. It is also worthy of notice that the whole chain from Perez to David consists of ten links, five of which (from Perez to Nahshon) belong to the 430 years of the sojourn in Egypt, and five (from Salmon to David) to the 476 years between the exodus from Egypt and the death of David. This symmetrical division is apparently as intentional as the limitation of the whole genealogy to ten members, for the purpose of stamping upon it through the number ten as the seal of completeness the character of a perfect, concluded, and symmetrical whole.

The genealogy closes with David, an evident proof that the book was intended to give a family picture form the life of the pious ancestors of this great and godly king of Israel. But for us the history which points to David acquires a still higher signification, from the fact that all the members of the genealogy of David whose names occur here are also found in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. "The passage is given by Matthew word for word in the genealogy of Christ, that we may see that this history looks not so much to David as to Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed by all as the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race, and that we may learn with what wonderful compassion the Lord raises up the lowly and despised to the greatest glory and majesty" (Brentius).

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