Matthew 1:3

And Judah begat Perez and Zerah of Tamar; and Perez begat Hezron and Hezron begat Ram;
Read Chapter 1

Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Observe that Matthew does not name both without a meaning; for though the object of his writing only required the mention of Phares, yet in the twins amystery is signified; namely, the double life of the nations, one by the Law, the other by Faith. But how did Ruth who was an alien marry a man that was a Jew? and wherefore in Christ's genealogy did His Evangelist so much as mention a union, which in the eye of the law was bastard? Thus the Saviour’s birth of a parentage not admitted by the law appears to us monstrous, until we attend to that declaration of the Apostle, “The Law was not given for the righteous, but forthe unrighteous.” For this woman who was an alien, aMoabitess, a nation with whom the Mosaic Law forbad all intermarriage, and shut them totally out of the Church, how did she enter into the Church, unless that she were holy and unstained in her life above the Law? Therefore she was exempt from this restriction of the Law, and deserved to be numbered in the Lord's lineage,...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
City of God,15, 15: Neither was Judah himself first-born, nor of these two sons was either his first-born; he had already had three before them. So that he keeps in that line of descent, by which he shall arrive at David, and from him whither he purposed.
< 1 min2/11

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
And Judah begat Pharez and Zara of Thamar. (See what I have said on Tamar, Genesis 38:29.) Observe that in the genealogy of Christ, with the exception of His Blessed Mother, only four females are made mention of, three of them harlots—Thamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba—and the fourth a Gentile, Ruth the Moabitess. Rahab, too, was a Gentile, being an inhabitant of Jericho. If the reason of all this be asked, SS. Jerome, Chrysostom, Ambrose answer, that it was so because Christ would signify that "He who came for the abolishing and putting away of sins wished to be born of sinners." This reason is true, but allegorical. The literal and simple reason Isaiah , that these women were united to their husbands, not in the ordinary way, but after a new and extraordinary manner; and so they became types of the Church of Christ, which, when the Jews were rejected, was gathered out of the Gentiles by a new vocation, and after a new manner. Tamar, because Shelah was denied her in marriage, or rather bec...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
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 ...


AD 420
It should be noted, that none of the holy women are taken into the Saviour's genealogy, but rather such as Scripture has condemned, that He who came for sinners being born of sinners might so put away the sins of all; thus Ruth theMoabitess follows among the rest. Nor, again, would it shame the Church to be gathered from among sinners, when the Lord Himself was born of sinners; and, lastly, that the benefits of redemption might have their beginning with His own forefathers: and that none might imagine that a stain in their blood was any hindrance to virtue, nor again any pride themselves insolently on nobility of birth. Ruth the Moabitess fulfils the prophecy of Isaiah, “Send forth, O Lord, the Lamb that shall rule over the earth, out of the rock of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion.”

John Chrysostom

AD 407
What doest thou, O man, putting us in remembrance of a history that contains an unlawful intercourse? But why is this said? Since, if we were recounting the race of a mere man, one might naturally have been silent touching these things; but if of God Incarnate, so far from being silent, one ought to make a glory of them, showing forth His tender care, and His power. Yea, it was for this cause He came, not to escape our disgraces, but to bear them away. Therefore as He is the more admired, in that He not only died, but was even crucified (though the thing be opprobrious, yet the more opprobrious the more does it show Him full of love to man), so likewise may we speak touching His birth; it is not only because He took flesh upon Him, and became man, that we justly stand amazed at Him, but because He vouchsafed to have also such kinsfolk, being in no respect ashamed of our evils. And this He was proclaiming from the very beginnings of His birth, that He is ashamed of none of those things ...
18 mins6/11

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Besides this, it shows that all are equally liable to sin; for here is Thamar accusing Judah of incest, and David begat Solomon with a woman with whom he had committed adultery. But if the Law was not fulfilled by these great ones, neither could it be by their less great posterity, and so all have sinned, and the presence of Christ is become necessary. By Zarah is denoted the people of the Jews, which first appeared in the light of faith, coming out of the dark womb of the world, and was therefore marked with the scarlet thread of the circumciser, for all supposed that they were tobe God’s people; but the Law was set before their face as it had been a wall or hedge. Thus the Jews were hindered by the Law, but in the times of Christ's coming the hedge of the Law was broken down that was between Jews and Gentiles, as the Apostle speaks, “Breaking down the middle wall of partition;” and thus it fell out that the Gentiles, who were signified by Phares, as soonas the Law was broken through ...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
Or following another interpretation, according to the abundance of grace, and the width of love. He is Aram the chosen
< 1 min8/11

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
It is asked, why this epithet King is thus given by the holy Evangelist to David alone? Because he was the first king in the tribe of Judah. Christ Himself is Phares ‘the divider,’ as it is written, “Thou shalt divide the sheep from the goats;”
< 1 min9/11

Severus of Antioch

AD 538
It is for this reason [to show Christ’s true humanity] that in this genealogy the Evangelist mentioned in his list even those who had shocking carnal relations that were inappropriate and outside the law. For Matthew wrote with due deliberation, “And Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar” and even more plainly “And David became the father of Solomon by Uriah’s wife.” These were women with whom they became united by fornication and adultery. By this means the genealogy revealed that it is our very sinful nature that Christ himself came to heal. It is that very nature which had fallen, revolted and plunged into inordinate desires. When our nature fled [from God], he took hold of it. When it dashed out and ran away in revolt, he stopped it, held onto it, enabled it to return and blocked its downward spiral. This is what the words of the apostle say in this regard: “For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to ...
2 mins10/11

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah, the wife of his son Er (Gen. 38:6-30). When Er died childless, Judah married her to another of his sons, Onan. But when he, too, was cut down from among the living on account of his wickedness, Judah did not marry her to any other of his sons. But she desired to have a child of the seed of Abraham, and so she put off the garments of a widow, dressed as a harlot, came together with her father-in-law, and from him conceived twin boys. As she was giving birth to them, the first child reached its hand out from her womb, as if it would be born first, and at once the mid-wife marked the extended hand of the child with a scarlet thread so as to distinguish the firstborn. But the child drew its hand back into the womb and the other one was born first, followed by the one who had reached out its hand. So the one who was born first was named "Pharez" which means "interruption," for it had interrupted the natural order; and the child which withdrew its ha...
2 mins11/11

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

App Store LogoPlay Store Logo