[b-hebrew] Boaz and Rahab

Oun Kwon kwonbbl at gmail.com
Wed Oct 29 01:26:38 EDT 2008

Thanks for your elucidation. I have put my comment/question after each

On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 3:06 AM, Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il> wrote:
> Hello Oun Kwon,
> That's what you get for trusting web pages. In general, biblical genealogies
> are a tricky buisiness, since they have a tendacy to "skip" or to
> "telescope" generations. Also, a series of young marriages in one lineage
> and a series of late marriages in another can mean that people of the same
> "generation" are sometimes years apart. There are lots of, say, uncles and
> nephews that are the same age. So there's really no problem with the line of
> Judah having 6 geneartions to the Exodus and the line of Levi taking 4
> generations to cover the same period. And since Nahshon was a young adult at
> the time of the Exodus, his grandson (assuming that the list did not skip a
> generation) Boaz could well have been a young adult 40 years later, at the
> time of the conquest. And there is no indication as to Rahab's age at the
> time. She could have been anything from 15 to 50 (although more likely
> somewhere in the middle).

OJK: It clarifies well.

> Num. 1:16 does not say anything about Ammuhud or Elishama. Elishama son of
> Ammihud is listed as the "prince" of the tribe of Ephraim in verse 10, but
> this does not mention how many generations he was removed from Ephraim son
> of Joseph. The assumption there seems to be that Elishama was a contemporary
> of Joshua, who of course was a younger contemporary of Moses. But there is
> no way to know if Elishma was the same age as Joshua, or older, or younger.
> The Ammihud - Elishama - Nun - Joshua sequence is from 1 Chr. 7:26-27,
> but  the connection between this line (which goes back 5 generations before
> Ammihud) to Ephraim is "disturbed" by additional material. A lot has been
> written about this, including by myself (in JBL 123, 2004). Read the
> commentaries on 1 Chronicles by Sara Japhet or (more recently) by Gary
> Knoppers (in the Anchor Bible series).

OJK: I have overlooked it. I was looking for the one I knew there is
but gave up digging up in haste.
At lining up up these two families,  1Chr puts 5 more named
generations btw Ephraim and Ammihud.
I don't have these references. I'll simply accepted as it is in 1Chr.

> A question worth asking, of course, is whether Mat. 1, in including Rahab in
> the lineage of Jesus, is meant to be a historical reference, or whether it
> is more ideologically motivated. In any case, one may wonder where the
> author of Matthew got the tradition from.

OJK: My philosophy on the biblical text. Accept as it is written. If
it contradicts other part of the Bible, look for the source of
apparent discrepancy. If it is deviation from 'historical' data, again
trust the Bible first.

> Later Jewish rabbinic sources
> claim that Rahab actually married Joshua.

OJK: It seems highly improbable. I feel lot of Rabbinic
interpretation/traditions seem riding on a flight of fancy,
(forerunner of Kabalist?).

>  I'm not saying that one is more
> "historical" than the other, just that we should be careful when trying to
> "harmonize" traditions that appear in different sources that are hundreds of
> years apart.

OJK: My conclusion is then re-inforced by your clarification. Rahab of
Mt 1:5, mother of Boaz, become a new mother-in-law of Ruth upon her
marriage to Boaz. Confirmed is the traditional understanding of
accepting the text of Mt as it is.

I wonder what was the basis of conjectures discrediting the biblical
text claiming that there was about 200 years gap btw Rahab and Boaz
and another one in Jamieson's commentary saying that there was four
centuries btw Rahab and David. (Sorry for my truncated quote from him
to make the phrase 'between them' unclear. Actually e-Sword version of
Jamieson has a typo, calling Rahab as great-grand-mother of David. It
should be great-great-grand-mother as it correctly says so in the
print book text.)

> Yigal Levin

Thanks for letting me learn. I'm happy as I get the biblical text
cleared up from confusing noise.

Oun Kwon.

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