Search this journal:     Advanced search
Original Research

Rut 4:18–22: ’n Venster na Israel se verlede?

Gerda de Villiers

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 34, No 2 (2013), 8 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v34i2.798

Submitted: 28 September 2012
Published:  04 September 2013


Ruth 4:18–22: A window to Israel’s past. The genealogy at the end of the Book of Ruth starts with Perez and ends with David, thereby covering Israel’s history since the time of the sojourn in Egypt to the Davidic monarchy. This article focuses on Ruth 4:18–22 and what its genealogy may reveal. After a brief review of different types of genealogies in the Hebrew Bible, the problematic dating of the Book of Ruth becomes secondary; however, a particular perspective will determine the rest of the interpretation of the genealogy. My point of view in this article is that the Book of Ruth dates back to the period of the Second Temple. I examine the following issues: the connection between Ruth 4:18–22 and 1 Chronicles 2:4–15, as David’s genealogy appears only in these two passages of the Hebrew Bible; the connection between the ten-member genealogy in the Book of Ruth and similar ten-member genealogies of Genesis; and whether Ruth 4:18–22 is a later addendum to the text or part of the original. The conclusion to these questions is that the genealogy of the Book of Ruth is similar to those in Genesis, and that it was part of the original book. The median of the genealogy of the Book of Ruth takes place in the desert with Nahshon as the representative of that era. Nahshon’s sister happens to be married to Aaron whose priesthood is elevated above the rest of the tribe of Levi, and to whose descendants eternal priesthood is promised. Phinehas, his grandson, appears to be extremely intolerant of mixed marriages – an attitude which is later sustained byhis descendant, Ezra, the scribe. The article also touches briefly upon the whole problem of mixed marriages and a sense of identity during the Second Temple period. The conclusion is that the author of the Book of Ruth was written by members of the scholarly circles of this period in opposition to exclusivist circles as to remind the community of the important role that women – especially foreign women – played in the formative history of the nation.

Full Text:  |  HTML  |  EPUB  |  XML  |  PDF (388KB)

Author affiliations

Gerda de Villiers, Department Old Testament, University of Pretoria, South Africa


The Book of Ruth; Genealogy


Total abstract views: 1701
Total article views: 4254


No related citations found

Comments on this article

Before posting your comment, please read our policy.
Post a Comment (Login required)

ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

Connect on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube

Subscribe to our newsletter

All articles published in this journal are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license, unless otherwise stated.

Website design & content: ©2018 AOSIS (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. No unauthorised duplication allowed.

AOSIS Publishing | Empowering Africa through access to knowledge
Postnet Suite #110, Private Bag X19, Durbanville, South Africa, 7551
Tel: 086 1000 381 
Tel: +27 21 975 2602 
Fax: 086 5004 974

publishing(AT) replace (AT) with @

Please read the privacy statement.