Rahab To David

Q. I have always been puzzled by the genealogical time span between Rahab and her husband Salmon through to the birth of David. Scripture lists Salmon – Boaz – Obed – Jesse – and then David. Calculations by many historians, including Ussher have the time span of these generations approximating 385 years.

The men in this genealogy would all have had to have been quite old or perhaps a couple of generations were omitted in the Scripture. How do you see this?

A. The generations from Perez to David are listed in Ruth 4, Matt. 1 and Luke 3. Each one is identical to the others. A principal rule of Law in Israel was that a thing would be established on the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses. (Deut. 19:15) These three listings meet that requirement.

I’ve read several arguments against accepting these three lists literally, and they all rely on the reasoning of man, just as yours has. So here are the alternatives as I see them. 1) God had these three writers, acting under His inspiration, make identical false assertions. 2) The writers were not always inspired, and Matthew and Luke just repeated an earlier mistake. 3) Man doesn’t know all the facts and has jumped to the erroneous conclusion that the Bible must be wrong in this case.

I decided long ago that if I was going to jump to a conclusion in interpreting the Bible, I would err on the side of taking God at His Word. Therefore, I’m going with alternative 3.

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