And Judah begat Perez and Zerah of Tamar; and Perez begat Hezron and Hezron begat Ram;
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Passing over the other sons of Jacob, the Evangelist follows the family of Judah, saying, “But Judah begat Phares and Zara of Thamar.”.
This Salmon in the promised land begat Booz of this Rahab. Booz begat Obeth of Ruth.
Jesse, the father of David, has two names, being more frequently called Isai. But the Prophet says, “There shall come a rod from the stem of Jesse;” therefore to show that this prophecy was fulfilled in Mary and Christ, the Evangelist puts Jesse.
Christ Himself espouses Rahab, i.e. the Gentile Church; for Rahab , and denotes the Church which in purity of heart sees God, and hastens to the prize of the heavenly call.
Let us now see what virtues they be which these fathers edify in us; for faith, hope, and charity are the foundation of all virtues; those that follow are like additions over and above them. Judah is interpreted ‘confession,’ of which there are two kinds, confession of faith, and of sin. If then, after we be endowed with the three forementioned virtues, we sin, confession not of faith only but of sin is needful for us. Hares is interpreted, ‘division,’ Zamar‘the east,’ and Thamar, ‘bitterness.’ , ‘that perceiveth,’ for he who studies divine Scripture becomes perceiving, that is, he discerns by the taste of reason, good from bad, sweet from bitter. Next is Booz, that is, ‘brave,’ for who is well taught in Scripture becomes brave to endure all adversity.
Then follows Obeth, i.e. ‘servitude,’ for which none is fit but he who is strong; and this servitude is begotten of Ruth, that is ‘haste,’ for it behovesa slave to be quick, not slow.
Or Jesse may be interpreted, ‘incense.’ For if weserve God in love and fear, there will be a devotion in the heart, which in the heat and desire of the heart offers the sweetest incense to God. But when one is become a fit servant, and a sacrifice of incense to God, it follows that he becomes David (ie. ‘of a strong hand’), who fought mightily against his enemies, and made the Idumeans tributary. In like manner ought he to subdue carnal men to God by teaching and example.