And Obed begat Jesse - "Who," says the Targum, "also is called Nachash, נחש because neither iniquity nor corruption was found in him, that he should be delivered into the hands of the angel of death, that he might take away his soul from him. And he lived many days until the counsel was remembered before the Lord, that the serpent gave to Eve the wife of Adam, that she should eat of the tree; by eating of the fruit of which they became wise, to distinguish between good and evil: and by that counsel all the inhabitants of the earth became guilty of death; and by this iniquity Jesse the Just died." Here is no mean or indistinct reference to the doctrine of original sin: and it shows us, at least, what the very ancient rabbins thought on the subject. I should observe that these additions are taken from the London Polyglot; they are not found in that of Antwerp; but they are the same that appear in the Targum of the great Bible printed by Bomberg, at Venice, in 1547-49.
And Jesse begat David - To this no comment is added by the Targumist, as the history of this king is found in the following book.
The ten persons whose genealogy is recorded in the five last verses, may be found, with a trifling change of name, in the genealogical list in Matthew 1:3-6, as forming important links in the line of the Messiah. To introduce this appears to have been the principal object of the writer, as introductory to the following books, where the history of David, the regal progenitor and type of the Messiah, is so particularly detailed.
For the account of the birth of Pharez and his brother Zarah, the reader is requested to refer to Genesis 38:12-30, and to the notes there; and for several particulars in the genealogy itself, to the notes on Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38, where the wisdom, goodness, and providence of God, in the preservation of this line, are particularly noticed.
Masoretic Notes on Ruth
Number of verses in Ruth is 85.
Middle verse is Rth 2:21.
We have already seen that Archbishop Usher places the event mentioned here in A.M. 2686, about one hundred years after the conquest of Canaan.