Truth Seeker


Ruth was a Moabitess; her mother-in-law was Naomi.  Ruth married Boaz, an ancestor to David and Jesus. 
 Genesis 19:36-37, Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. 37And the first-born bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. (ASV)
The Moabites descended from Lot.  However, due to the great enmity evidenced in evil works causing great harm to the Israelites, the following commandment issued from God:
Deuteronomy 23:3, An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of Jehovah; even to the tenth generation shall none belonging to them enter into the assembly of Jehovah for ever.
This was commanded somewhere around 310 years before Ruth entered the congregation of Israel by marrying Boaz and in a limited sense by first becoming daughter-in-law to Naomi.  Since this law forbids any Moabite from becoming a member of Israel, why then was Ruth permitted to enter the congregation? 

If this happened in direct disobedience to God's commandment, God would likely not have permitted Ruth to become an ancestress to Jesus!  The answer lies openly for us to find awaiting our scrutiny of historical events.
Numbers 31:12-18, And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and unto Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by the Jordan at Jericho.  13 . . . 15And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 16Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against Jehovah in the matter of Peor, and so the plague was among the congregation of Jehovah. 17Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. 18But all the women-children, that have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. (ASV)
Here the reason why Ruth was permitted into the Israelite congregation despite the ban is given.  Since Ruth had been legally married to an Israelite now deceased, she was free to marry another Israelite without incurring Jehovah's displeasure.  Her loyal keeping of a steady course and her oath of acceptance of Jehovah as her God earned her God's divine approval.  She obviously was a virgin when she married her first husband.

Chronology for fun:
Matthew 1:5-6, (ASV)
"and Salmon begat Boaz of Rahab;
and Boaz begat Obed of Ruth;
and Obed begat Jesse;
6and Jesse begat David the king.
Some believe that David's reign began in the year 1077BCE, when he was ca 30 years old.  This would give us approximately 1107BCE as the date when David was born.

The above genealogy leaves us with Jesse, Obed was from Ruth.  Extrapolating the approximate time of  the marriage of Ruth to Boaz based on ca. 30 years age for each person to produce offspring gives us 60 years.  Adding this to 1077 BCE  gives the approximate date of 1167 for when Boaz married Ruth.   This is nearly 350 years after the exodus took place and maybe in the range of 310 years after the Moabites committed their ghastly deed.

Boaz's old age (?) and Ruth being in her second marriage would not affect their offspring's behavior in regard to when such would marry and have children.  The 30 year estimate is to be taken as such; still, it holds true for most humans in regard to when they have their first child.  It might even be a bit too large.  Perhaps 25 might be more conservative.

You are welcome to play with the numbers yourself to calculate when you think these events took place.

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