Ruth 4:17

Ruth 4:17

And the women her neighbours gave it a name
Josephus says F17 Naomi gave it, by the advice of her neighbours; very probably on the eighth day when he was circumcised, and the neighbours were invited on that occasion, at which time it seems it was usual to give names to children, see ( Luke 1:59 ) . The Romans gave names to females on the eighth day, to the males on the ninth; hence the goddess Nundina had her name F18; the Greeks generally on the tenth, sometimes on the seventh {s}: it was commonly the province of the father to give the name, and sometimes his neighbours and nearest friends were called, and in their presence the name was given, and by any of them he should choose in his stead F20:

saying, there is a son born to Naomi;
to her family, and even to herself, being born of her who had been wife to her eldest son; and this was to her as instead of him, and was as he to her; so Aben Ezra compares this with ( Exodus 2:10 ) and moreover, this child was born, as the neighbours presaged, for the great comfort and advantage of Naomi, to be her supporter and nourisher in her old age, ( Ruth 4:15 )

and they called his name Obed;
which signifies "serving", as Josephus


FOOTNOTES:

F21 rightly observes, though he does not always give the true sense of Hebrew words: this name was given, not in remembrance of the service his mother was obliged to, before marriage with Boaz; but rather on the account of the service that he would be of to Naomi, as they hoped and believed; though the reason of it, as given by the Targum, is not to be overlooked, which interprets it,

``who served the Lord of the world with a perfect heart;''

and so they might have some respect to his being hereafter a servant of the Lord:

he is the father of Jesse, and the father of David:
so Jesse is called the Bethlehemite, ( 1 Samuel 16:1 ) , being of the city of Bethlehem, of which city Boaz was when his son Obed was born, who was the father of Jesse; of whom was David king of Israel, and from whom sprung the Messiah, for whose sake this book was written, that his genealogy might clearly appear; and of which use it is made by the Evangelists Matthew; and Luke.


F17 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 9. sect. 4.)
F18 Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 2. c. 25.
F19 Harpocration & Suidas in voce (ebdomeuomhnou) , Scholiast. in Aristoph. Aves, p. 565. & Euripid. & Aristot. in ib.
F20 Vid. Sperling. de Baptism. Ethnic. c. 14. & 15.
F21 Ibid.

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