Ruth 4:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 4:22, NIV: Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.

Ruth 4:22, ESV: Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.

Ruth 4:22, KJV: And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

Ruth 4:22, NASB: and Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.

Ruth 4:22, NLT: Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David.

Ruth 4:22, CSB: Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.

What does Ruth 4:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Obed, the son of the Israelite nobleman Boaz and the Moabite widow Ruth, the heir of Naomi and her late husband Elimelech, will have a son named Jesse. Jesse will have eight sons and two daughters (1 Samuel 17:12; 1 Chronicles 2:12–16). His youngest son, David, will be king of all of Israel. This verse wraps up several loose ends.

The very first words in the book of Ruth are, "In the days when the judges ruled…" (Ruth 1:1). Judges 17:6 says, "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." Despite David's sins, he does bring peace and unity to Israel.

When Samuel, grieved by the sin of King Saul, goes to Bethlehem to anoint a new king, he most likely arrives in Elimelech's land (1 Samuel 16:1–13), land that was redeemed by Boaz for Obed. David the king fulfills several prophecies (Genesis 17:6, 16; 49:10; Numbers 24:17–19; 1 Samuel 2:10).

The genealogical line begins with Perez, the grandson of Jacob who is the grandson of Abraham. In the Abrahamic covenant, God gives Abraham an unconditional oath that the nations—meaning Gentiles—will be blessed through him (Genesis 12:1–3). In the Davidic covenant, God promises David that his heir will sit on the throne forever (2 Samuel 7:16). Jesus, the descendent of David, is the fulfillment of both promises.

The story of Ruth and the stories of the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants skip the most legalistic interpretations of the Mosaic covenant. While a legalistic interpretation of the Mosaic law would exclude Moabites from participation in Israel, the Israelites do not despise the Moabite Ruth. Her descendants do not have to wait ten generations to fully integrate into society and worship (Deuteronomy 23:2–6). This, in part, is because she so thoroughly forfeits her heritage to embrace the people and the God of Israel (Ruth 1:16–17). Also honoring the sprit of the Law more than its letter, which states a dead man's brother is responsible for providing an heir (Deuteronomy 25:5–6), Boaz, a farther relation, feels honored to take the role.

Ruth is the third of four chapters in another story. It began with Tamar, likely a Canaanite, who was the daughter-in-law of Judah. In desperation, she tricked him into fulfilling her right to have a son as well as continuing his family line (Genesis 38). The second chapter was Rahab, the Canaanite prostitute, who hid the Israelite spies and helped Joshua defeat Jericho (Joshua 2; 6). Ruth is a Moabite woman, the descendant of Lot's daughter's incestuous relationship with her father (Genesis 19:30–38) and the salacious women who tried to destroy the Israelite men on their way to the Promised Land (Numbers 25:1–9). The concluding chapter will be Bathsheba, the Hittite, whom David takes advantage of. She becomes the mother of Solomon the king (2 Samuel 11:1—12:25). All four begin life, most likely, as non-Israelites. All four entered Israelite society through dubious means. And, aside from Jesus' mother Mary, they are the only women listed in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:3–6).

The stories prove there is no loss God cannot redeem, no hardship He cannot see us through, and no sin He cannot forgive. He invites us into His plan to bless others and will, in turn, bless us.