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Verse 5

Matthew 1:5 . Salmon begat Booz of Rachab Viz., after their settlement in Canaan. It is not exact said that this woman was Rahab of Jericho, commonly called the harlot, but it is highly probable she was; for that Rahab was contemporary with Salmon, and a remarkable person, and there was no other of that name, especially of that age, of whom the compiler of the table could possibly suppose his reader to have any knowledge. It is true she was of one of those idolatrous nations with which the Israelites were forbidden to marry. But as the reason of that prohibition was only lest they should be tempted to idolatry, it could have no force in the case of Rahab, who, before her marriage with Salmon, undoubtedly acknowledged the God of Israel for the true God, and became a proselyte of righteousness. And Booz begat Obed of Ruth Although the son of a Moabite by an Israelitish woman was forbidden to enter into the congregation of the Lord; that is, at least was rendered incapable of being a prince in Israel, and perhaps even of being naturalized by circumcision; yet it evidently appears from this celebrated instance, Ruth being a Moabitess, that this precept was not understood as excluding the descendants of an Israelite by a Moabitish woman from any hereditary honours and privileges, otherwise the kinsman of Booz would not have wanted a much better reason than any he assigned, (Ruth 4:6,) for refusing to marry Ruth, when she became a widow. And Obed begat Jesse Inasmuch as there were at least 300 years between Salmon and David, and only three persons are here named as intervening to fill up that space of time, viz., Booz, Obed, and Jesse, they must each of them have been about 100 years old at the birth of his son, here named, which is not to be wondered at, considering the age in which they lived. Moses, a little before their time, had lived 120 years, when his natural strength was not abated. And Caleb, at 85, was strong and fit for war. Add to this, that they were persons of eminent piety, and therefore, probably, God vouchsafed to each of them a longer life than ordinary, and continued their strength to a late period thereof.

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