Wednesday, July 11, 2012 4:56 AM

Four Women

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 4:56 AM
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 4:56 AM

One of the great narratives of the Bible is the telling of the story of four women in the genealogical line of Jesus.

It is interesting that in the genealogy of Jesus that begins the New Testament (Matt. 1:1–17) there are references to four women whom you would not normally expect to find there: Tamar, whose story is told in Genesis 38 and who is the reason for looking at the women in this study; Rahab, the prostitute of Jericho, who hid the spies at the time of the Israelite conquest; Ruth, the Moabitess, who has a book of the Old Testament named after her; and Bathsheba, who is not mentioned in the genealogy by name but is identified simply as the one who “had been Uriah’s wife” [1]

In each of these three cases (Ruth being an exception) there is notorious sin. But these are nevertheless the very persons who are taken into the genealogy of the sinless Lord Jesus Christ. Why? It is, as Martin Luther said, so that “no one should be presumptuous about his own righteousness or wisdom, and no one should despair on account of his sins.”[2]

There should be no presumption on the right and no despair on the left. One must stay on the royal road. The sinner should not abandon his confidence in mercy. A righteous man should not be proud. For ‘the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him and in those who hope in his mercy’ (Ps. 147:11).”[3]


[1] Boice, J. M. (1998). Genesis: An expositional commentary (899–900). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] Boice, J. M. (1998). Genesis: An expositional commentary (901). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Boice, J. M. (1998). Genesis: An expositional commentary (901). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

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