Ruth 4:22
And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
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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.Salmon begat Boaz - Matthew has preserved the additional interesting information that the mother of Boaz was Rahab Joshua 2; 6. It is possible that the circumstance that the mother of Boaz was a Canaanite may have made him less indisposed to marry Ruth the Moabitess. As regards the whole genealogy in Ruth 4:18-22, it should be remarked that it occurs four times in Scripture, namely, here, 1 Chronicles 2:10-12; Matthew 1:3-6; and Luke 3:32-33, and is of course of singular importance as being the genealogy of our Lord. One or two difficulties in it still remain unsolved.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. How can this be a true genealogy, seeing by this means four persons take up three hundred and eighty years, which were between Salmon and David, and consequently every one of them must beget a son when he was very old?

Answ. 1. It is not certain that each of these was the immediate parent of him whom he is said to beget; for sometimes grandfathers are said in Scripture to beget their grandchildren, to wit, by the intervention of their immediate sons; whereof instances have been given. And sometimes in genealogies whole generations are omitted, as may appear by Ezra 7:2, compared with 1 Chronicles 6:3 and by Matthew 1:8, which might be done here for divers reasons now unknown.

2. There are many examples even in profane writers, both ancient and modern, of persons that have not only lived one hundred and twenty and one hundred and thirty years and upwards, but have been vigorous and have begotten children at above one hundred years old; and of women that have conceived and born children at the age of fifty, sixty, yea, seventy years. And therefore if it were so in these more ancient times, when men were longer lived, and under the law, when long life was expressly promised to the obedient, and in persons of strong constitutions and sober conversations, such as some of these are known to have been, and the others may justly be presumed to be such, it is not strange, nor in the least incredible.

And Obed begat Jesse,.... The Bethlehemite, the father of David:

and Jesse begat David; the Targum adds, the king of Israel; and so the Syriac and Arabic versions add, the king; from whence it is by some concluded that this book was written by Samuel, not only after the birth of David, but after he had been anointed king by him: here being but four generations mentioned, from the coming of the Israelites into Canaan, to the birth of David, which was three hundred and sixty years, each of the four persons, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, and Jesse, must beget a son when one hundred years old and upwards; and which is not at all incredible, as appears by instances in later times, and therefore not at all improbable, that in those ancient times men of sobriety and good constitutions should have children at such an age.

And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
22. and Jesse begat David] The present genealogy was therefore designed to supply what 1 Sam. omitted, and to trace David’s descent from Perez.

Note on the genealogy in Ruth 4:18-22. The following points are to be noticed: (1) The genealogy consists of ten members, of which the first five, from Perez to Nahshon, cover the period from the entry of the Hebrew tribes into Egypt (Perez, Genesis 46:12) to the time of Moses (Nahshon, Numbers 1:7); while the last five belong to the period of the settlement in Canaan. It is obvious that the generations are not sufficient to cover this extent of time; the grandfather of Boaz cannot have been a contemporary of Moses. The genealogy, therefore, does not attempt to give a complete historical series; many links are omitted; it is artificially constructed out of traditional materials. (2) The object of the list is to connect David with the princely line of Judah. In spite of his Moabite great-grandmother, he could be shewn to come of the best Judaean stock. How this was done is explained by Wellhausen (De Gentibus et Familiis Judaeis, pp. 13–19) as follows: the ancestors of David were known as far as Boaz, but there memory failed; accordingly, as Beth-lehem was the native town of Jesse, it was natural to introduce Salma, ‘the father of Beth-lehem’ (1 Chronicles 2:51; 1 Chronicles 2:54); then David must be connected with the leading family of Judah which flourished in the time of Moses, and, through the marriage of Aaron, united itself with the priestly dignity (Exodus 6:23). This accounts for Nahshon and Amminadab; these again are traced to Ram, son or grandson of Hezron, whose very name (Ram = ‘the high one’) suggests the founder of a princely line. (3) The date at which the genealogy was drawn up Wellhausen further shews to be post-exilic. For Salma is described in 1 Chronicles 2:51 as a son of Caleb, and the Calebites in ancient times belonged to the S. of Judah (Jdg 1:20); it was not until after the exile, when they found the Edomites in possession of their original seats, that they moved northwards to Beth-lehem and its neighbourhood; so that it was not until after the exile that Salma could be called ‘the father of Beth-lehem.’ David, however, is never connected with the Calebite district in the S. of Judah, but with the older part of Israel settled in Northern Judah, near the border of Benjamin. (4) The genealogy cannot have been framed by the author of Ruth, because he recognizes Obed as legally the son of Mahlon (Ruth 4:5; Ruth 4:10); if he had drawn up the line himself he would have traced it through Mahlon and Elimelech. We may conclude, therefore, that the genealogy ‘forms no integral part of the Book, and may well have been added long after the Book itself was written in an age that was devoted to the study of pedigrees’ (Driver, Introd.8, pp. 455 f.). (5) The relation between this genealogy and the fuller one in 1 Chronicles 2:10-17 cannot be determined with certainly; for, as sWellhausen has shewn (l.c.), 1 Chronicles 2:10-24 is a secondary element, and the same source from which the Chronicler derived 1 Chronicles 2:18-24 may have contained Ruth 4:10-17, and it is quite possible that Ruth 4:18-22 was also derived from it (Nowack). It is simplest to conclude, with Robertson Smith and Cheyne in Encycl. Bibl., that a later writer borrowed the genealogy from 1 Chronicles 2:25 it stands.

Ruth 4:22"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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