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Matthew 1:5b meaning

Matthew continues the genealogy and includes mention of a third Gentile woman.

Matthew continues the genealogy and includes mention of a third Gentile woman.

 

The parallel account of this genealogical record is found in Luke 3:32.

The third gentile woman that Matthew mentions is Ruth. Ruth was the wife of Boaz. She lived near the end of the period of the Judges. Her story is told in the Book of Ruth. Ruth was a Moabite. Even though the Moabites worshiped false gods, with cultic practices that included sexual immorality and human sacrifice, it is worth noting that the Bible never says anything negative of Ruth. Her virtue, faithfulness, and story of redemption was deemed worthy by God of dedicating an entire book of the Bible to memorialize her.

Ruth married the son of Naomi, a Hebrew whose family was sojourning in Moab. After her father-in-law, brother-in-law, and husband died, Ruth remained faithful to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and worshiped the true God. The two returned to Bethlehem, and even though she was a foreigner, Ruth's virtue caught the attention of Boaz, a prominent and righteous man who was also related to Naomi, and in line to be a kinsman-redeemer. Boaz and Ruth were soon married. Ruth, the Moabite, gave birth to Obed, the grandfather of the shepherd David who would become king of Israel.

Biblical Text

5b Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse.

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Matthew 1:5a meaning

Matthew continues the genealogy of Jesus and includes another Gentile woman.

Matthew continues the genealogy of Jesus and includes another Gentile woman.

 

The parallel account of this genealogical record is found in Luke 3:32.

Rahab is the second woman included by Matthew. Her story is told in Joshua 2, 6:22-25. Rahab was a Canaanite prostitute in the city of Jericho when God led Joshua and the Israelites into the Promised Land. All of Jericho trembled behind their high walls after the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into Canaan.

Rahab showed tremendous faith and courage when she hid the Israelite spies. While her entire city prepared for war against Israel in fearful defiance of the true God, Rahab remarkably chose to trust in His power and goodness. For her faith, God not only spared her and her family, but also included this Canaanite in the ancestry of the Messiah. Rahab is also commended for her faith in Hebrews 11. The inclusion of Tamar and Rahab might be Matthew's way of demonstrating that not only is Jesus the Messiah of Israel, but for all peoples (Genesis 12:3). Jesus' death and resurrection covers the sins of all peoples (John 3:16). Matthew's genealogy includes pagan Canaanites, which might foreshadow that His death and resurrection is to save and bless all nations.

Matthew skips Salmon's son, Bethlehem, (1 Chronicles 2:51, 2:54) and likely others as well. Salmon and Rahab lived during the time of the Conquest, as told in the book of Joshua. Boaz lived in the era when Israel was ruled by Judges, as described in the book of Ruth. Boaz is the great grandfather of King David, and he was two generations prior to Saul's reign as Israel's first king. Acts 13:20 tells us the period of the judges was 450 years. During this period, Matthew lists only four generations (Salmon, Boaz, Obed, and Jesse). We know Matthew skipped Salmon's son, Bethlehem, bringing the total number generations from Salmon to Jesse to five. Given the time period there were likely other generations unmentioned as well.

Biblical Text

5 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab,

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