The Tapestry Of Mashiach and Ruth

By Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

 


Why do we read the book of Ruth on Shavuot? This question has been asked by nearly every major commentator of Megillat Ruth, the Book of Ruth. I am going give one, of the many, answers.

 

On Shavuot we accepted both the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. Because of this acceptance, we read Megillat Ruth, on Shavuot, which tells us about Ruth the Moabitess who is kosher only because of the Oral Torah. With this book we remind ourselves of the vitality of the Oral Torah because without the Oral Torah we do not have the kingship of David or of Mashiach.

 

In this study I would like to show how crucial the Oral Torah is for the Messianic genealogy.

 

In Bereshit 18:1-2, we see Avraham recuperating from his brit milah when HaShem and three men come to visit him.

 

Bereshit 17:26 – 18:2 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. 27  And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him. 1 And HaShem appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2  And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground …

 

The Zohar teaches us that these “men” were really angels:

 

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 101b At first he took them for men, but afterwards he became aware that they were holy angels who had been sent on a mission to him.

 

The Midrash[1] and Talmud[2] tell us about these three angels had separate missions and names:

 

Midrash Rabbah - Genesis L:2 THEN THE TWO ANGELS CAME, etc. But He is at one with Himself, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth (Job XXIII, 13). It was taught: One angel does not perform two missions, nor do two angels together perform one mission, yet you read that two [angels came to Sodom]? The fact is, however, that Michael announced his tidings [to Abraham] and departed: Gabriel was sent to overturn Sodom, and Rafael to rescue Lot; hence, THEN THE TWO ANGELS CAME, etc.

 

1.     One angel came to prophesy [Yitzhak's birth] to Avraham and Sarah and to rescue Lot (Michael).

2.     One to heal Avraham and later, on a new mission, to rescue Lot (Raphael).

3.     One who destroyed Sodom (Gavriel).

 

It is appropriate that the destruction of Sodom and Gemara is carried out by Gavriel. However, one could easily ask: Why is he here with Avraham and Sarah? His mission had nothing to do with Avraham and Sarah. Why would he not be in Sodom instead? Sodom is the place where he has a mission.

 

To answer this question requires us to examine a small question that this group asked of Avraham:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 18:9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

 

Baba Metzia 87a And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, She is in the tent: this is to inform us that she was modest.[3] Rab Judah said in Rab's name: The Ministering Angels knew that our mother Sarah was in the tent, but why [bring out the fact that she was] in her tent? In order to make her beloved to her husband.[4] R. Jose son of R. Hanina said: In order to send her the wine-cup of Benediction.[5]

 

Midrash Rabbah - Numbers III:13 Another instance: And they said unto him (אליו): Where is Sarah?[6] There are points over the aleph, yod, and vaw of ‘אליו’, to indicate that they knew where she was, yet made inquiries about her.[7]

 

In Bereshit (Genesis) 18:9, we see Avraham answering: ‘Behold in the tent’. Thus we see that Sarah remained indoors attending to the duties of her household, even though there were visitors whom Abraham was entertaining in the open under the tree.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 18:1-5 And HaShem appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2  And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, 3  And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4  Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: 5  And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.

 

Why did HaShem and the three angels want to know Sarah’s whereabouts? To put it another way: Why are three strange men asking about a woman they had never met and with whom they had no mission or message?

 

We have two questions before us:

  1. Why is Gavriel in Mamre, with Avraham, and not Sodom?
  2. Why are the three angels asking Avraham to tell them Sarah’s location?

 

These two questions are related to each other. We know that Gavriel was sent to overturn Sodom. His presence in Mamre means that his mission will be affected by what goes on in Mamre. In fact, his mission is absolutely dependent on Avraham’s answer as to Sarah’s whereabouts. We know that this is an extremely important question because the Torah records this question as the first words we hear from these “men”.

 

Avraham is the greatest man of his generation. He is the Gadol HaDor. He is the judge of his generation. If HaShem needs to have a judge render a decision on earth, then Avraham is the man.

 

So, HaShem and His messengers ask their halachic question: Where is Sarah?

 

We have HaShem and three of HaShem’s mightiest angels who are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to hear the answer to a most important halachic question. Does Avraham understand that he is rendering an halachic, legal, decision that will affect humanity for a the rest of time?

 

Because Avraham was close to HaShem we can be sure that Avraham realizes the import of this question.

 

So, what was Avraham’s answer to this most profound question?

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 18:9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

 

Avraham tells HaShem and these mighty angels that, “Sarah is the tent”!

 

This simple answer will affect humanity for the rest of time. What does it mean? Why is this question, and its answer, so important that it is the first priority for HaShem and His three mighty angels, on their visit to Avraham?

 

It is important to note that Avraham is going to plead with HaShem to save the people of Sodom and to save Lot in Bereshit (Genesis) 18:23-33. Avraham was genuinely concerned for Lot and the people of the cities associated with Sodom.

 

Did Lot deserve to be saved? The text tells us that he was saved only because "G-d remembered Avraham and He sent Lot out of the upheaval when He overturned the cities in which Lot lived." (Ber. 19:29) The merit of Avraham saved Lot. Lot's salvation was an act of mercy, not justice. Furthermore, for Lot to be saved required a much greater degree of divine intervention. If not for Lot, G-d would have simply sent Gavriel to destroy the city.

 

Avraham’s pleading managed to only save Lot and His family.

 

To answer the questions we have raised, we will need jump forward a bit in time to see what happens after Gavriel destroys Sodom.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 19:30-37 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31  And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: 32  Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 33  And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 34  And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 35  And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 36  Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. 37  And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. 38  And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

 

Sodom has been destroyed and Lot fathers two sons by his daughters. This seminal event leads to another event that will begin to help us understand the angel’s question to Avraham.

 

When Israel came forth out of Egypt, they passed through the land of the Moabites. Now, keep in mind that the Moabites and the Israelites are cousins through Lot. Further, Avraham invested himself in pleading Lot’s case before HaShem. Because of Avraham, Lot was saved.

 

In spite of Avraham’s efforts for Lot and his family, Lot’s descendents, the Moabites, do not greet the Israelites with food and water when they needed it.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:3-4 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of HaShem; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of HaShem for ever: 4  Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.

 

Because the Moabites were ungrateful and inhospitable, HaShem tells us that a Moabite cannot enter the congregation of Israel. This means that no Moabite can marry a Jew. This poses a big problem!

 

The problem is that Ruth is a Moabite and she is an integral part of the Messianic line. If she is disqualified from marrying a Jew, then her son, Oved, cannot be Jewish. His son, Yishai, can not be a Jew. His son, David, cannot be a Jew and therefore cannot be King in Israel. His descendent, Mashiach, is not Jewish and cannot be King. He cannot be Mashiach! This is a big problem!

 

The book of Ruth was written to help address this problem. Never the less, without the oral law this is a problem which can not be resolved.

 

The Talmud records some of the issues that arose in the days of King Saul because of this pasuk in Devarim 23-3-4.

 

Yevamoth 76b Whence are these laws inferred? — R. Johanan replied: Scripture stated, And when Sail saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said into Abner, the captain of the host: ‘Abner, whose son is this youth’? And Abner said: ‘As thy soul liveth, O King, I cannot tell’.[8] But did he[9] not know him? Surely it is written, And he loved him greatly; and he became his armour bearer![10] — He rather made the inquiry concerning his father. But did he not know his father? Surely it is written, And the man was an old man in the days of Saul, stricken in years among them;[11] and Rab or, it might be said, R. Abba, stated that this referred to the father of David, Jesse. who came in with an army and went out with an army![12] — It is this that Saul meant: Whether he descended from Perez,[13] or from Zerah.[14] If he descended from Perez he would be king, for a king breaks for himself a way and no one can hinder him. If, however, he is descended from Zerah he would only be an important man. What is the reason why he gave instructions that enquiry be made concerning him? — Because it is written, And Saul clad David with his apparel. being of the same size as his, and about Saul it is written, From his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people. Doeg the Edomite then said to him,[15] ‘Instead of enquiring whether he is fit to be king or not, enquire rather whether he is permitted to enter the assembly or not’! ‘What is the reason’?[16] ‘Because he is descended from Ruth the Moabitess’. Said Abner to him,[17] ‘We learned: An Ammonite, but not an Ammonitess; A Moabite, but not a Moabitess![18] But in that case[19] a bastard[20] would’ imply: But not a female bastard?’ — ‘It is written mamzer [Which implies] anyone objectionable’. ‘Does then[21] Egyptian exclude the Egyptian woman’? — ‘Here it is different, since the reason for the Scriptural text is explicitly stated: Because they met you not with bread and with water; it is customary for a man to meet [wayfarers]; It is not, however, customary for a woman to meet [them]’.[22]

 

‘The men should have met the men and the women the women!’

 

He[23] remained silent, Thereupon. the King said.’[24] ‘Inquire thou whose son the stripling is’.[25] Elsewhere he calls him youth; and here[26] he calls him, stripling! — It is this that he implied, ‘You have overlooked an halachah,’ go and enquire at the college!’ On enquiry, he was told: An Ammonite,[27] but not an Ammonitess; A Moabite,[28] but not a Moabitess.

 

Yevamoth 69a For a Master said: An Ammonite,[29] but not an Ammonitess; a Moabite,[30] but not a Moabitess.[31]

 

Yevamoth 77a As, however, Doeg submitted to them all those objections[32] and they eventually remained silent, he desired to make a public announcement against him.[33] Presently [an incident occurred]: Now Amasa was the son of a man, whose name was Ithna the Israelite, that went in to Abigal the daughter of Nahash,[34] but elsewhere it is written, Jether the Ishmaelite! This teaches, Raba explained, that he girded on his sword like an Ishmaelite and exclaimed, ‘Whosoever will not obey the following halachah will be stabbed with the sword; I have this tradition from the Beth din of Samuel the Ramathite: An Ammonite but not an Ammonitess; A Moabite, but not a Moabitess’! Could he, however, be trusted? Surely R. Abba stated in the name of Rab: Whenever a learned man gives directions[35] on a point of law, and such a point comes up [for a practical decision], he is obeyed if his statement was made before the event; but if it was not so made he is not obeyed! Here the case was different, since Samuel and his Beth din were still living.

 

The difficulty,[36] however, still remains! — The following interpretation was given: All glorious is the king's daughter within.[37] In the West[38] it was explained. others quote it in the name of R. Isaac: Scripture said, And they said unto him: ‘Where is Sarah thy wife?’ etc.[39]

 

From here we see that Doeg did his utmost to disqualify David from being king by proving that David was not Jewish! Amasa defended David’s Jewishness by indicating that Shmuel (Samual) the prophet had declared, prophetically, that Devearim 23:3-4 applied to the men and not to the women. This meant that Ruth, as a Moabitess, was NOT excluded from the congregation of Israel and that her descendents were kosher Jews. This is only recorded in the oral law (Talmud). It is not in the Torah. This teaches us that King David and Mashiach are legitimate only because of the oral law.

 

The Talmud provides the logic for why Moabite woman are kosher and Moabite men are un-kosher. The Talmud tells us that the Moabite women are kosher because they do not go out of the home to provide hospitality. It is not their job. It was the responsibility of the Moabite men to provide hospitality to the Jews. But, how did our Sages determine that women stay at home and do not provide hospitality outside the home?

 

The answer to this question takes us back to the question that the angels asked Avraham: Where is Sarah? Their Halachic question was: Do women provide hospitality outside or inside the home?

 

Avraham provided a legal ruling when he said that Sarah was in the tent. His ruling was that women are responsible for hospitality inside the home and NOT outside!

 

Because of this ruling, Gavriel determined that Lot must be delivered from Sodom because from him would descend Ruth the Moabitess. Thus we understand that Gavriel did not proceed directly to Sodom because he needed to know whether Lot should be saved when he destroyed Sodom. He could only learn this when Avraham made his ruling.

 

In addition, Shmuel the prophet would rule that Ruth was able to enter the congregation of Israel because of Avraham’s ruling. Because Avraham said that Sarah was “in the tent”, Ruth the Moabitess was able to enter the congregation and become a progenitor of the Messianic line.

 

Shmuel, the Prophet, was the one who anointed David as the King over Israel, at the command of HaShem. He was also the one who wrote the Megilla of Ruth, which shows the genealogy of David.

 

Sarah Coded in Megillat Ruth

 

Of the 85 psukim in Megilat Ruth, all but 8 begin with the letter vav - ו.[40] That's 90.5% of its psukim begin with a vav. The eight pasukim, that do not start with a vav - ו are:

 

  1. Ruth 1:9 begins with a yod – י. HaShem grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

 

  1. Ruth 1:12 begins with a shin - ש. Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;

 

  1. Ruth 1:13 begins with a hay - ה. Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of HaShem is gone out against me.

 

  1. Ruth 1:17 begins with a beit - ב. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: HaShem do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

 

  1. Ruth 1:21 begins with an alef - א. I went out full, and HaShem hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing HaShem hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

 

  1. Ruth 2:9 begins with an ayin - ע. Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

 

  1. Ruth 2:12 begins with a yod - י. HaShem recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of HaShem God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

 

  1. Ruth 3:13 begins with a lamed - ל. Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman’s part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as HaShem liveth: lie down until the morning.

 

If we rearrange these eight letters they spell:  באהל ישעי (yshi ba’ohel),[41] which means:

 

“my salvation comes from (is in) the tents

(of Sarah).”[42]

 

or

 

“my salvation is in the tents (of Torah)”.

 

Therefore, it’s no coincidence that the letters of pesukim in Ruth that don’t begin with a vav that obviously teach us something spell out ישעי באהל - my salvation is in the tent. This is because the rationalization used by the angel to save Lot was based on Avraham’s halachic answer that said that Sarah was in the tent.[43]

 

Now lets take our eight pasukim and rearrange them in the order of the letters of ישעי באהל:

 

  1. Ruth 1:9 begins with a yod – י. HaShem grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

 

Targum: “May the Lord reward you fully for the kindness which you have shown to me, and by virtue of that reward may each of you find rest in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.

 

יִתֵּן יְהוָה לָכֶם וּמְצֶאןָ מְנוּחָה אִשָּׁה בֵּית אִישָׁ הּוַתִּשַּׁק לָהֶן וַתִּשֶּׂאנָה קולָן וַתִּבְכֶּינָה׃

 

  1. Ruth 1:12 begins with a shin - ש. Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;

 

Targum: “Return, my daughters, from following me. Go unto your people, for I am too old to be married. Should I say: ‘Now, if I were a young woman, having hope, verily! should I be married this very night and should I bear sons,’

 

שׁבְנָה בְנתַי לֵכְןָ כִּי זָקַנְתִּי מִהְיות לְאִישׁ כִּי אָמַרְתִּי יֶשׁ־לִי תִקְוָה גַּם הָיִיתִי הַלַּ֙יְלָה֙ לְאִישׁ וְגַם יָלַדְתִּי בָנִים׃

 

  1. Ruth 2:9 begins with an ayin - ע. Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

 

Targum: “Mark the field that they will reap, and follow them. Have I not charged the servants not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink the water which the servants have drawn.”

 

עֵינַיִךְ בַּשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר־יִקְצרוּן וְהָלַכְתְּ אַחֲרֵיהֶן הֲלוא צִוִּיתִי אֶת־הַנְּעָרִים לְבִלְתִּי נָגְעֵךְ וְצָמִת וְהָלַכְתְּ אֶל־הַכֵּלִים וְשָׁתִית מֵאֲשֶׁר יִשְׁאֲבוּן הַנְּעָרִים׃

 

  1. Ruth 2:12 begins with a yod - י. HaShem recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of HaShem God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

 

Targum: “May the Lord reward you well in this world for your good work, and may you receive full recompense from the Lord, the God of Israel, in the world to come, because you have come to be a proselyte and to seek shelter under the shadow of His Glorious Presence. Through that merit you will be saved from the punishment of Gehinom, so that your portion will be with Sarah and Rebecca and Rachel and Leah.”

 

יְשַׁלֵּם יְהוָה פָּעֳלֵךְ וּתְהִי מַשְׂכֻּרְתּךְ שְׁלֵמָה מֵעִם יְהוָה אֱלהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר־בָּאת לַחֲסות תַּחַת־כְּנָפָֽיו׃

 

  1. Ruth 1:17 begins with a beit - ב. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: HaShem do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

 

Targum: Said Naomi: “We have four methods of capital punishment for the guilty -- stoning, burning with fire, death by the sword, and hanging upon the gallows.” Said Ruth: “To whatever death you are subject I shall be subject.” Said Naomi: “We have two[44] cemeteries.” Said Ruth: “There shall I be buried. And do not continue to speak any further. May the Lord do thus unto me and more if [even] death will separate me from you.”

 

בַּאֲשֶׁר תָּמוּתִי אָמוּת וְשָׁם אֶקָּבֵר כּה יַעֲשֶׂה יְהוָה לִי וְכה יסִיף כִּי הַמָּוֶת יַפְרִיד בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵךְ׃

 

  1. Ruth 1:21 begins with an alef - א. I went out full, and HaShem hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing HaShem hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

 

Targum: “I went away full, with my husband and sons, but the Lord has brought me back destitute of them. Why, then, should you call me Naomi, seeing that my guilt has been testified to before the Lord, and the Almighty has brought evil upon me?”

 

 אֲנִי מְלֵאָה הָלַכְתִּי וְרֵיקָם הֱשִׁיבַנִי יְהוָה לָמָּה תִקְרֶאנָה לִי נָעֳמִי וַיהוָה עָנָה בִי וְשַׁדַּי הֵרַע לִי׃

 

  1. Ruth 1:13 begins with a hay - ה. Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of HaShem is gone out against me.

 

Targum: “Would you wait for them until they grew up, like a woman who waits for a small brother-in-law to marry her? Because of them would you sit tied down, not marrying? Pray, my daughters, do not grieve me, for I am more embittered than you, because a stroke from the Lord has come forth against me.”

 

הֲלָהֵן ׀ תְּשַׂבֵּרְנָה עַד אֲשֶׁר יִגְדָּלוּ הֲלָהֵן תֵּעָגֵנָה לְבִלְתִּי הֱיות לְאִישׁ אַל בְּנתַי כִּי־מַר־לִי מְאד מִכֶּם כִּי־יָצְאָה בִי יַד־יְהוָה׃

 

  1. Ruth 3:13 begins with a lamed - ל. Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman’s part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as HaShem liveth: lie down until the morning.

 

Targum: “Lodge here, and in the morning, if the man qualified to redeem you according to the Torah redeems you, very well, let him redeem you. But if he is unwilling to redeem you, then I will redeem you. I swear by an oath before God, that I will do just as I have spoken to you. Sleep now until the morning.”

 

לִינִי ׀ הַלַּיְלָה וְהָיָה בַבּקֶר אִם־יִגְאָלֵךְ טוב יִגְאָל וְאִם־לא יַחְפּץ לְגָאֳלֵךְ וּגְאַלְתִּיךְ אָנכִי חַי־יְהוָה שִׁכְבִי עַד־הַבּֽקֶר׃

 

Thus every Hebrew verse in Ruth begins with a vav (“and”), save eight of the verses. Imagine starting almost every sentence with the word ‘and’. The conjunction, ‘and’, means that each verse, save eight, are intrinsically connected to each other as though we are proceeding on a path step-by-step.

 

Since vav is the letter of connection (used as the conjunction “and”), we can see that Megilat Ruth stands to connect something. Since this book illustrates the whole of creation from Adam to the second Adam (Mashiach), we can understand that this book connects all of history to the Mashiach. Further, the vav also connects the Megillat of Ruth to Avraham and Sarah.

 

The vav – ו, which is the number six (6), is a remez to the six orders of the Mishna. This alludes to the fact that Ruth was kosher only because of the oral law.

 

When rearranged (the first letter of each of the eight verses that do not start with a vav) the letters spell “My salvation is in the tent” - ישעי באהל. This is another allusion to the fact that women are in the tent and do not bring food and water to strangers. Further, the entire Messianic line of kings depend on the women being in the tent in order for them to bring salvation through the Messianic line.

 

The Oral Torah in the Psalms

 

The ArtScroll on Tehillim[45] for Psalm 119:161-12 has the following, very interesting, commentary:

 

Tehillim (psalms) 119:161-162 SHIN Princes pursued me without cause, but my heart feared Your utterance (דבור). I rejoiced over Your word (אמרה), like one who finds abundant spoils.

 

In this series of verses, David sings of the false princes who pursued me without cause (v. 161), and of how he abhors falsehood (v. 163), because the truth of Torah is his only joy.]

 

161. Princes pursued me without cause.

David said, ‘Powerful princes and generals, like Saul and Absalom, pursued and threatened me, yet they instilled no fear in my heart. The only thing I feared was the possibility that I might transgress Your word or that my enemies might force me to disobey You.’

 

Another explanation: ‘When Prince Absalom pursued me, I was not afraid of his physical prowess nor of his forces, because I knew that his cause was unjust. My only real fear was the fact that I sinned and You gave Your word to punish me, through the Prophet, who warned (II Samuel 12:11, 12): So says HASHEM: “Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house ... for you sinned secretly, but I will do this in the presence of all Israel”’(Radak).

 

But my heart feared Your utterance.

Vilna Gaon comments that this verse refers to the wicked nobles and ministers [like Doeg and Achitophel] who constantly sought to discredit David by casting aspersions on his ancestress, Ruth the Moabite. They always cited the verse (Deut. 23:4) An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of HASHEM even to the tenth generation.

 

David's enemies took note of Torah Shebictav, the Written Law, concerning Moabites, but they disregarded Torah Shebaal Peh, the Oral Law, which teaches that the prohibition applies only to the male Ammonite and Moabite, and not to the female Ammonitess and Moabitess. Vilna Gaon proves that the term דבור refers to a statement written in Scripture, whereas אמרה adverts to a tradition of the Oral Law.

 

Thus David[46] exclaimed in this verse and the next: The princes pursued me [charging that I was unfit to enter the congregation of Israel] without cause, But my heart feared Your utterance [i.e., the Written Law, which appeared to disqualify me].

 

David was scared from the words of the Written Torah, yet from the Oral Torah he rejoiced because the Oral Torah saved David’s life, proved his Jewishness, and allowed him to be king in Israel.

 

* * *

 

 

The tapestry of Megilat Ruth has another aspect that is hidden in a genealogy. It almost seems as though a genealogy is designed to make the unitiated’s eyes glaze over as the quickly skim past all the names. Yet, it is within the genealogies that we find some very profound ideas and connections.

 

The genealogy that I would like to examine is found in:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 11:27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. 28  And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. 29  And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

 

In this genealogy we have a very interesting background to Megilat Ruth. If one were to map out who’s who, one would find that Terach is the patriarch of both the paternal and maternal lines for the messianic genealogy.

 

It is mind-boggling to see that Terach was the progenitor of Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaaqob, and the twelve tribes; while at the same time he was also the progenitor of the matriarchal line including Sarah, Rivka, Leah, Rachel, Bilha, Zilpa, Ruth, and Naamah. All these righteous men and women were descended from Terach!

 

If one were to map out who’s who, one would find that Haran is the patriarch of the matriarchal line and also of the special women in the messianic line, including Ruth.

 

It is mind-boggling to see that Haran was the progenitor of Sarah, Rivka, Leah, Rachel, Bilha, Zilpa, Ruth, and Naamah. All these righteous women were descended from Haran!

 

This suggests that the paternal and maternal ‘genes’ of Mashiach were passed down from Terach, Avraham’s father.

 

This also suggests that the maternal ‘genes’ of Mashiach were passed down from Haran. The following genealogical chart shows the patriarcal (square cornered rectangular boxes) and matriarchal lines (rounded corner rectangular boxes) of Mashiach:

 


 

 

 


 


* * *

 

This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address:  gkilli@aol.com

Web page:  http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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[1] Bereshit Rabbah 50:2

[2] Bava Metzia 86b

[3] And therefore kept herself secluded.

[4] By impressing him with her modesty.

[5] [The wine-cup over which the Grace after meals is recited and which is partaken by all the guests. V. Ber. 51a.]

[6] Bereshit (Genesis) 18:9

[7] For the sake of domestic harmony; Bava Metzia 87a; Gen. R. 48:15.

[8] I Sam. XVII, 55.

[9] Saul

[10] I Sam. XVI, 21.

[11] Ibid. XVII, 12

[12] He was chief over six hundred thousand men (Rashi).

[13] The son of Judah. (V. Gen. XXXVIII. 29. Ruth, IV. 18ff).

[14] V. Gen. ibid. 30.

[15] To Saul.

[16] That his eligibility to enter the congregation should be questioned.

[17] To Doeg.

[18] Supra 6a. The prohibition to enter into the congregation (v. ibid.). since the masculine gender was used in the text, applies to the males only.

[19] If the masculine gender excludes the women.

[20] Deut XXIII,3 – uses a masculine form - ממזר

[21] If the masculine gender excludes the women.

[22] The women were, therefore, excluded from the prohibition.

[23] Abner

[24] To Doeg. V. infra

[25] 1 Sam. XVII, 56.

[26] 1 Sam. XVII, 56.

[27] Deut. XXIII. 4

[28] Deut. XXIII. 4

[29] Shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord. Deut. 23:4

[30] Shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord. Deut. 23:4

[31] Infra 76b, Kid. 67b, Keth. 7b, Hul. 62b.

[32] Addressed to Abner supra.

[33] To brand David publicly as a descendant of a Moabitess, and unfit to enter the congregation of Israel in accordance with Deut. XXIII, 4.

[34] II Sam. XVII, 25

[35] Basing his ruling on traditional law which he claims to have received from his teachers.

[36] Raised by Doeg (supra 76b) to which no reply was forthcoming.

[37] Psalm 45:14. Respectable women remain at home and do not go into the open road even to meet members of their own sex. No blame, therefore, is attached to the Ammonite and Moabite women for not meeting the Israelites with bread and with water. Cf. Deut. 23:5.

[38] Palestine

[39] Gen 18:9, and he answered, ‘Behold in the tent’. Sarah remained indoors attending to the duties of her household, though there were visitors whom Abraham was entertaining in the open under the tree (ibid. 4).

[40] Shavuot, when we read megilat Ruth, falls on vav Sivan, the sixth of Sivan. The vav also alludes to the six orders of the Mishna, the Oral Torah.

[41] Beth Yaaqov

[42] Tehillim (Psalms) 118:15

[43] Chida in Simchat Haregel (beginning note 7).

[44] In the sources, mention is made of two separate cemetaries, one for the stoned and burned, the other for those who die by the sword and strangulation, M. San. 6:5.

[45] Tehillim / A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic sources, translation and commentary by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, in collaboration with Rabbi Nosson Scherman. Published by Mesorah Publications, Ltd.

[46] A king in Israel was a chief Rabbi.