And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.
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 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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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.
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