2013-09-22 - The People of
Ruth ~ Part 2
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
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"
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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