Jesse (Lk 3:32-3:32)

“The son of Jesse,

The son of Obed,

The son of Boaz,

The son of Sala,

The son of Nahshon.”


τοῦ Ἰεσσαὶ τοῦ Ἰωβὴδ τοῦ Βοὸς τοῦ Σαλὰ τοῦ Ναασσὼν


This is pretty much the same as Matthew, chapter 1:5-6, as the genealogies almost match here.  Luke said that David was the son of Jesse (τοῦ Ἰεσσαὶ), the son of Obed (τοῦ Ἰωβὴδ), the son of Boaz (τοῦ Βοὸς), the son of Sala (τοῦ Σαλὰ), and the son of Nahshon (τοῦ Ναασσὼν).  The genealogy at the end of Ruth, chapter 4:18-22, goes from Judah to David.  Nahshon was a famous warrior prince of Judah, especially in Numbers, chapter 7:12.  Nahshon was the father of Salma or Salmon (Σαλμών), the direct male ancestor of King David, and all of the kings of the Kingdom of Judah.  Sala or Salmon was the father of Boaz with Rahab his wife.  Boaz was the father of Obed with Ruth his wife.  Obed was the father of Jesse.  Jesse had 7 sons with King David the youngest son.  Ruth was a Moabite non-Jewish widow.  She traveled to Israel with her Jewish mother-in-law Naomi.  There she then married Boaz in a beautiful love story in the biblical book of Ruth.

From Ruth to David (Mt 1:5-1:6)

“Salmon was

The father of Boaz

By Rahab.

Boaz was

The father of Obed

By Ruth.

Obed was

The father of Jesse.

Jesse was

The father of King David.”


Σαλμὼν δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Βόες ἐκ τῆς Ῥαχάβ, Βόες δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωβὴδ ἐκ τῆς Ῥούθ, Ἰωβὴδ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰεσσαί, Ἰεσσαὶ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Δαυεὶδ τὸν βασιλέα.


The genealogy at the end of Ruth, chapter 4, goes from Judah to David.  Salmon (Σαλμὼν) or Salma became the father of Boaz (Βόες) with Rahab (Ῥαχάβ) the mother.  Boaz became the father of Obed (Ἰωβὴδ) with Ruth (Ῥούθ) the mother.  Obed became the father of Jesse (Ἰεσσαί).  The Greek text used the term ‘begat’ (ἐγέννησεν) to represent the relationships between these 5 men.  However, it seems perfectly acceptable to simply call them the father instead of saying “fathered them.”  It is interesting to note that the mention of the mothers in a genealogy was rare.  Already, there had been a mention of Tamar, the daughter-in-law of Judah.  Ruth was a Moabite non-Jewish widow, with her Jewish mother-in-law Naomi who married Boaz in a beautiful love story in Ruth.  However, there was no mention of Boaz’ mother Rahab in that story.  Probably it was not the same Rahab mentioned in Joshua, chapters 2 and 6.  Jesse then had had 7 sons and 2 daughters.  The youngest son was David who became king (Δαυεὶδ τὸν βασιλέα).

The front of the Temple (2 Chr 3:15-3:17)

In front of the house King Solomon made two pillars thirty-five cubits high, with a capital of five cubits on the top of each. He made encircling chains and put them on the tops of the pillars. He made one hundred pomegranates. Then he put them on the chains. He set up the pillars in front of the temple, one on the right and the other on the left. The one on the right he called Jachin. The one on the left he called Boaz.”

This description of the 2 pillars is based on 1 Kings, chapter 7. There was no mention that they were bronze pillars as in Kings.  These pillars here are twice as tall as in 1 Kings. Each one is 35 cubits high instead of 18 cubits high. Instead of a 27 foot pillar it is a 54 foot pillar. There is no mention of its circumference as in 1 Kings. These pillars had 5 cubit (7 ½ feet) tops or capitals on each one just like in 1 Kings. There was ornate checker work with lattice work. Their ornamentation included over 200 pomegranates and various flowers. These 2 pillars were at the vestibule to the temple. The one on the south or right side here was called Jachin, while the one on the north or left side here was called Boaz. They symbolized the fact that God had established himself with power.

Ancestors of King David (1Chr 2:10-2:17)

“Ram became the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, prince of the sons of Judah. Nahshon became the father of Salma. Salma became the father of Boaz. Boaz became the father of Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse. Jesse became the father of Eliab his first-born, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the sixth, and David the seventh. Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. The sons of Zeruiah were Abishai, Joab, and Asahel, three. Abigail bore Amasa. The father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite.”

This is how we get from Judah to David with the same genealogy that was at the end of Ruth, chapter 4, which will be picked up by the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 1. Perhaps these documents are contemporary since the genealogy at the end of Ruth seems to be an addition to the story. All this is heading, to King David, who was from the tribe of Judah. (1) Judah had a son (2) Perez who in turn had a son (3) Hezron. His son (4) Ram had a son named (5) Amminadab, whose daughter Elisheba married Aaron, the brother of Moses in Exodus, chapter 6. However, Amminadab’s son (6) Nahshon was a famous warrior prince of Judah, especially in Numbers, chapter 7. His son (7) Salma, or as he is called in Ruth, Salmon, was the father of (8) Boaz who married Ruth. He then had a son called (9) Obed. Obed’s son was (10) Jesse. Jesse had 7 sons and 2 daughters, Eliab, Abinadab, Shimea, Nethanel, Raddai, Ozem, Zeruiah, and Abigail, with the 7th son being (11) David. This biblical author also lists 4 children of the 2 daughters Abishai, Joab, Asahel, and Amasa, since they played an important role in the reign of King David.

My Understanding of Ruth

What a wonderful love story! This lady named Ruth from Moab turns out to be the grandmother of King David. Thus, she is part of the lineage that leads to Jesus of Nazareth. The setting is the time of the judges when there is no king in Israel. Apparently there were hard times in Bethlehem. This book had been made into a film, The Story of Ruth, a couple of times. Other biblical stories like Noah and the Ten Commandments have become movies also.

Why is this book here in the Bible? In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Ruth is found among the writings (Ketuvim) in particular among the five scrolls or Five Megillot with the Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther. In the Christian Bibles it is found among the so-called histories, after the Book of Judges. This, of course, follows the place that it had in the Greek Septuagint and Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. So for many Christians, this is a semi-historical book. There had been some thought that it was written by the prophet Samuel, whose two books with his name come next in the Christian Bible. However, it is probably a post-exilic composition from the 6th to 4th century BCE.

Naomi with her husband and two sons moved to Moab. This is strange since it was not clear that Moab and Israel were on good terms. Her two sons married Moabite women, which would have been forbidden in Israel. However, the two of them along with Naomi’s husband died. Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. So Ruth, the Moabite wife of one of the sons, went with her. There is a beautiful little chant of Ruth about going wherever Naomi went as they came back to Israel.

Now we have two widows living in Bethlehem who are not rich. One was this foreigner Ruth.   She went out to glean the fields, picking up the scraps of grain that fall to the ground at harvest time. She was allowed to take them for herself. Everyone noticed Ruth. There she met Boaz, the man who owned the land. He was a man of God, very upright. He also was a relative of Naomi’s late husband. It is never clear what kind of cousin he was. Apparently there was another unnamed person, who was a closer relative.

Naomi decided to try and lure Boaz at the harvesting time. She sent Ruth, all dressed up with her finest garments to go the threshing floor when Boaz was asleep. They had a discussion of what was to happen. Boaz decided to solve the problem by going to the town elders and asking if the closest relative would exercise the law of levirate to take care of Ruth and Naomi. He said no, so that Boaz agreed that he would marry Ruth and take care of Naomi. The story ended happily when Boaz and Ruth were married. They had a child who would be the father of Perez, the father of David.

Thus this outside Moab woman would have a role in the royal lineage of Israel. In fact, Moses had married a non-Israelite. This moving story of a foreign woman taking on an important role in Israel was a continual reminder of the freedom of Yahweh to choose whomever he wants to be a leader.

Boaz (Ruth 2:1–2:1)

“Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.”

Now we meet the other important person in this story, Boaz, who is somehow related to Elimelech, but how is not exactly clear. He was also rich and prominent in the town of Bethlehem. However, there is no indication about his family.