[CF Devotionals] 2013-09-22 - The People of Moab

Ruth ~ Part 2

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There are some interesting problems presented by Ruth being a Moabitess. There is also a problem created by Naomi and her family living in Moab. Different commentators see this problem in different ways, depending on, among other things, how they perceive the famine of chapter One. Let's first look at Moab's history.

  1. The History

    The people of Moab are the descendants Moab, Lot's son.

    "Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the Earth. Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father."
    That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

    The next day the older daughter said to the younger, "Last night I lay with my father. Let's get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him, so we can preserve our family line through our father." So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

    So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today" (Genesis 19:30-38).

    From this incestuous relationship came the people of Moab. The NIV Dictionary describes the people as follows:

    "The nation or people descended from Moab. They settled first at Ar, just east of the southern part of the Dead Sea. The Lord commanded Moses not to vex them when Israel passed through their vicinity on their way to the Promised Land. However, their king Balak hired Balaam to come and curse Israel (Num 22-24). After God prevented him from cursing the Israelites, Balaam suggested other tactics. The Moabite girls entered the camp of Israel (Num 31:16) and seduced the men (25:1-9). As a result God sent a plague that killed 24,000 men. It was on Mt. Pisgah in the land of Moab that Moses died.

    Nearly a century after the conquest of Canaan, Israel was subject to Moab for 18 years (Judg 3:12-14). God raised up Ehud, who killed their king Eglon and so subdued Moab (3:30)." 1

To be continued.

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CFD | September 2013 | Geoff's Devotions | Geoff's Studies | Devotional Topics