The book of RuthThe great-grandmother of David More ends with these four short verses giving the genealogyGenealogy involves the study and tracing of families through the generations - in short, family history. One genealogy in Genesis traces the nations descended from Noah. In the New Testament Matthew traces the ancestry of Jesus back to Abraham, while Jesus' genealogy in Luke goes... More of King DavidSecond king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More.
Often readers are tempted to skip over genealogies because they seem fairly boring and routine. But quite often important information about the identity of the final person in the genealogy is contained in the list of names. In this case, three names are very important. The first name is Perez, who was the eldest son of Tamar by JudahJudah was the name of Jacob's fourth son and one of the 12 tribes. More. Tamar’s story, told in Genesis 38, bears many similarities to the book of Ruth. Tamar, like Ruth, is a foreign woman looked on with suspicion. Tamar also risks her reputation and even her life to fight for the right to have a child and thus continue the line of her dead husband.
The second important name is BoazHusband of Ruth and great-grandfather of David. More, the central male character in the book. He, like Judah in Genesis 38:26, recognizes Ruth as a worthy woman (Ruth 2:11-12; 3:10-11). These two names, Perez and Boaz, tie this genealogy to the earlier account of Tamar and Judah, another story of righteousA righteous person is one who is ethical and faithful to God's covenant. Righteousness in the Old Testament is an attitude of God; in the New Testament it is a gift of God through grace. In the New Testament righteousness is a relationship with God... More persistence that led to the birth of a child and a continuation of Judah’s line.
The third and most important name in the genealogy is that of David, the future king. David is the king promised by God. The people come to believe not only in the importance of David himself, but also in the importance of David’s line leading ultimately to a messiahThe Messiah was the one who, it was believed, would come to free the people of Israel from bondage and exile. In Jewish thought the Messiah is the anticipated one who will come, as prophesied by Isaiah. In Christian thought Jesus of Nazareth is identified... More, an “anointed one.” The genealogy points back to the beginning of the book, to the time of Judges in which there was not a king to stem the rise of unbridled selfishness. It then points forward to the birth of the Messiah. A version of this same genealogy, which mentions as well both Tamar and Ruth, is included in the broader genealogy that is found at the beginning of the Gospel of MatthewA tax collector who became one of Jesus' 12 disciples More (1:1-17).