The Tamar and Ruth Narratives Considered Intertextually

The account in Genesis Ch. 38 of the events leading up to and including the birth of Perez to Tamar and Judah has many intertextual connections with the events leading up to and including the birth of Obed to Ruth and Boaz described in the book of Ruth. Both these events are referred to in the “annotations” (additional comments) in Matthew’s genealogical table (Matthew Ch. 1). The two respective annotations are chiastically placed, and so we are encouraged to see what links there might be between the two narratives, and to reflect on possible ways in which they contribute to the overall “message” of Matthew’s genealogical table which culminates, as we know, in the birth of Jesus Christ.

I believe that there are many links between the two narratives, and that they both point forwards to the inclusion of faithful Gentiles into the people of God in the Gospel – an event which, as Paul explains in Romans Chs. 10 and 11, (as well as in Galatians), is accompanied by a division within the nation of Israel between those who have faith in Jesus Christ and those who reject Him, and therefore God’s purposes in the Church age.

There are very many intertextual links between the Tamar and Ruth narratives, and I feel that I have missed many of them! The following article is in word document format and is really just a first attempt to describe these links, as well as to describe their possible significance and all help and corrections will be gratefully received!

To access the article, please click on the link below.


Categories: Matthew's Genealogy of Christ

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1 reply


  1. The Family of Abraham: Part 28—Judah and Tamar – Adversaria Videos and Podcasts

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