Some Bible commentators such as Bertrand Comparet contend that Ruth — the great-grandmother of King David — was not, in fact, an ethnic Moabite, but rather an Israelite. Ruth must have been an Israelite, they claim, because Moabites were not a pure Adamic people — and Jesus Christ, who is supposed to be a direct blood descendant of King David, would therefore be “mixed race” — which would be a violation of biblical law.
So we will examine Comparet’s assumptions and evidence in his sermon “Ruth Was An Israelite” to determine if his theory about Ruth’s ancestry is actually supported by a close reading of Scripture.
Without having a working familiarity of the layout of the lands in question, we would have no way of verifying whether or not what Comparet is alleging is actually true. To help the reader better understand the issues, we have provided maps and illustrations to help us verify whether or not Comparet’s assertions are supported by Scripture.
Comparet begins his essay by explaining why he believes Ruth cannot be an ethnic Moabite:
It is unfortunate that many preachers in their ignorance teach so many false doctrines. One such false doctrine is the statement that Jesus Christ was only a mongrel, not of pure Israelite blood. Then they say that one of His ancestors was Ruth, a Moabitess. From the use of this term they believe that she was racially, not just geographically, a Moabite. In this they are greatly mistaken.
Comparet makes two critical assumptions here that he expects us to agree with in order to accept his thesis. His first assumption is that Jesus Christ must necessarily be of “pure Israelite blood.” His second assumption is that the Moabites are a “race” of people somehow different from the “race” of the Israelites — and are therefore prohibited from inter-marrying with them.
While we would readily agree that Jesus Christ certainly was not of “mixed race,” does that necessarily mean we must agree with both of Comparet’s assumptions here?
First, does Jesus Christ, in fact, need to be of “pure Israelite blood”? The requirement that He needed to fill was to be an Israelite of the tribe of Judah and of the lineage of David. Proof of the Lord having filled this requirement is given in His genealogy in Matthew 1:6-16.
Also, naturally the Lord needed to be a pure Adamic man.
Consider how Moses himself had a Midianite and/or Cushite wife — depending your view of Moses’ marital situation — along with Numbers 31, where Israel took virgin Midianite girls for themselves. These and many other instances where Israelites have taken non-Israelite wives provide ample proof that Israelites do not need to be of “pure Israelite blood.” Quite simply, they need to have an Israelite father with both parents being of pure Adamic blood.
Is Comparet’s other assumption — that Moabites are of “another race” from the Israelites — true? In Scripture, there is no record of the Moabites being anything other than a pure Adamic people, except perhaps if one were to assume that Moabites had mixed with the Canaanites, which is not recorded in the Scripture. But even if they had mixed with the Canaanites — which is not stated — this wouldn’t necessarily be a problem either because the idea that the Canaanites are not pure Adamic people is not found in the Scripture either.
Some commentators will often quote verses about the Canaanites being a godless people -– necessitating their destruction — as “proof” that they are not pure Adamic people.
Among some circles, there is the assumption that the Canaanites mixed with Cain’s descendants – supposedly the Kenites of Genesis 15, which is also not found explicitly in the Scripture. A full account of these Kenites can easily be given, showing without a doubt that they are a people who were a benefit to Israel in the wilderness and cared for by Israel.
And prior to attacking the Amalekites in 1 Samuel 15:6 Saul preserves the Kenites as a reward for the kindness they showed Israel in the wilderness — surely, a strange act if indeed the Kenites are the “racial” enemies of Israel. And there is no other Kenite people whom Saul preserved mentioned in Scripture which could possibly be Cain’s descendants.
The assumption that Cain’s descendants are not Adamic men is also based on the idea that Cain himself was not an Adamic man – a physical descendant of Satan — which also cannot be proven.
Although it is not the purpose of this essay to cover those areas, it should suffice for now to have noted that it does not matter if a Moabite marries an Israelite on a genetic level. There are also the matters of the law on marrying Moabites, but they will be covered as well.
Moab himself was the son of Lot, who was the son of Haran — Abraham’s brother. Moab’s mother was Lot’s own daughter, making Moab the product of incest. Much conjecture has been given over Moab’s fate given that he was the product of incest. Some allege he was cursed, but ultimately the Scripture doesn’t ascribe any ill fate to Moab as a result of his incestuous origin. On the contrary, God still seems to care for Moab, protecting him from the Israelites in Deuteronomy 2:9,
Then the Lord said to me, ‘Do not attack Moab, nor provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to the sons of Lot as a possession.
Also, it is clear that incest was only fully disallowed with the law of Moses — with it being a little more commonplace beforehand. Even Abraham says of his wife in Genesis 20:12,
Besides, she actually is my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife;
Therefore, even Isaac — that father of Jacob-Israel — is the product of a man and his half-sister. Not only that, but God’s choice in Isaac was according to that “incestuous” marriage, knowing full well they were closely related.
Some might say that Moabites were not pure Adamites over Deuteronomy 23:3,
No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, may ever enter the assembly of the Lord.
However, the Scripture itself presents the reason for their exclusion in verse 4 — and that reason is most assuredly not “racial” or genetic:
…because they did not meet you with food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.
Furthermore, in light of Deuteronomy 23:2, it makes even less sense for Moabites to not be pure Adamites:
No one of illegitimate birth [mamzer/mixed blood] may enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, may enter the assembly of the Lord.
If mixed bloods are already forbidden from the congregation, why then bother to specifically forbid Moabites if they are mixed bloods? Consider that the reason for Moabites not being allowed was that they hired Balaam against Israel — and that mixed bloods are already accounted for in Deuteronomy 23:2.
As a quick side-note, mainstream Christianity has this idea that Deuteronomy 23:2 is referring to the marriage of Israelites and non-Israelites. If that is the case — and they were not allowed into the congregation — then why would there be laws banning mixed bloods from entering the congregation in the rest of Deuteronomy 23? Also, why would there be laws allowing the product of such marriages as well to the third generation?
Another mainstream idea is that Deuteronomy 23:2 refers to people born out of wedlock, but that also cannot be true given that Jephthah in Judges 11 was just such a man — although he was most certainly in the congregation and a judge of Israel. That story itself — along with the prophets — never make mention of those born out of wedlock needing to be welcomed back into the congregation of Israel.
Back to the topic at hand, some often quote Ezra 9:1-2 as “proof” of Moabites being mixed:
1 Now when these things had been completed, the officials approached me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, as to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2 For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race [seed] has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the officials and the leaders have taken the lead in this unfaithfulness.”
Let us take account of all the laws concerning the peoples which Ezra has mentioned. Ammonites and Moabites have already been covered in Deuteronomy 23:3. In Nehemiah 13:1-2 — more or less at the same time as Ezra — they are literally quoting Deuteronomy 23:3 when separating from Moabites:
On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud as the people listened; and there was found written in it that no Ammonite or Moabite was ever to enter the assembly of God, 2 because they did not meet the sons of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, our God turned the curse into a blessing.
The Scripture then has given an explicit qualifier for why the Moabites were excluded: It is because the law said so. And why did the law say so? Because Moab hired Balaam against Israel. Consider also Deuteronomy 23:6 which refers to the Moabites and the Ammonites:
You shall never seek their peace or their prosperity all your days.
Israel was specifically commanded not to seek the well-being of those nations — because they had hired Balaam against Israel.
Moab is again referred to in Nehemiah 13:23-26,
23 In those days I also saw that the Judahites had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. 24 As for their children, half spoke in the language of Ashdod, and none of them knew how to speak the language of Judah, but only the language of his own people. 25 So I quarreled with them and cursed them, and struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take any of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. 26 Did Solomon the king of Israel not sin regarding these things? Yet among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; yet the foreign women caused even him to sin.
Two important explicit qualifiers have been given in this passage with references to the foreign nations. Firstly, none of their children knew how to speak the language of the Judahites. No doubt — this represented a big problem for their spiritual revival. After all, how could a child enter the congregation of Israel if they were not even able to speak the language?
The second qualifier is the reference to Solomon and the foreign wives he took, where 1 Kings 11:1-2 says,
1 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations of which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you; they will certainly turn your heart away to follow their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.
The problem was that the foreign women turned Solomon’s heart away, just as the Lord had said to Israel. With such a plain and explicit qualifier given, there is no need to assume that these women were not pure Adamic women, especially given that the Scripture does not state it.
Back to the Egyptians in Ezra 9 – translated from Mitzraim (Strong’s H4714) – sons of Cush (Genesis 10:6) – who are covered in Deuteronomy 23:7-8:
7 “You shall not loathe an Edomite, for he is your brother; you shall not loathe an Egyptian, because you were a stranger in his land. 8 The sons of the third generation who are born to them may enter the assembly of the Lord.
We can see that Egyptians are actually allowed to enter the congregation — so long as it is the third generation. This shows that the offenders in Ezra 9 were possibly trying to bring in Egyptians who were not yet of the third generation. In light of what has been shown already, the third generation would certainly have learned the laws and customs in order to be allowed into the congregation.
Although that third-generation Egyptian would likely still not be referred to as an Israelite — even if welcome in the congregation generations later — unless they had some Israelite along their recent patrilineal descent. Tribes of Israel are designated along patrilineal descent after all — so then one cannot be an Israelite –- of the tribes of Israel -– unless one has an Israelite father.
Conversely, if some had an Israelite father but had a mother who is not a pure Adamite, they would fit the criteria of Deuteronomy 23:2. Those children would not be Israelites, and they would not even be considered as people — they are mamzers, or mixed bloods.
Ezra 9:1 also says they did “not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, as to their abominations.” This can refer to all nations who practice abominations, but in the context of the law, it is a specific reference to the peoples of Canaan. Leviticus 18:3-5 says,
3 You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes. 4 You are to perform My judgments and keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am the Lord your God. 5 So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, which, if a person follows them, then he will live by them; I am the Lord.
Here Leviticus even connects the practices of Egypt with the practices of Canaan — where Israel is being warned that their moral and religious life is going to undergo a dramatic change. When Israel had the covenants made with them, they were expected to keep God’s judgements and statues — and to cast off their old, abominable ways.
It’s interesting to note that even members of Abraham’s family — who certainly worshipped the God of Israel — were still also stuck in pagan ways as well. When Laban meets Isaac for the first time, he says to Isaac in Genesis 24:31,
Come in, blessed of the Lord [Yahweh]…
Although the name of Yahweh was only revealed at the burning bush, in writing this story Moses reveals to us that Laban knew the true God. Laban refers to him as “the God of your father” to Isaac in Genesis 31:29, while looking for his own household idols. It seems then that Abraham’s greater family knew Yahweh in spite of serving other gods as well.
During Israel’s captivity in Egypt, Israel themselves certainly knew the God of Abraham their forefather as well, but we have a clear example in Leviticus 18:3-5 that they simultaneously practiced abominations with the Egyptians. Exodus 1:17 says,
But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live.
Moses was also commanded to introduce Yahweh as the God of Israel’s fathers in Exodus 3:15,
God furthermore said to Moses, “This is what you shall say to the sons of Israel: ‘The Lord [Yahweh], the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is the name for all generations to use to call upon Me.
Although He revealed the name with which He wanted to be referred to by them, He specifically connects that name with the God whom they already knew – the God of their fathers — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Part of the very purpose of the law of Moses was to cut off the old ways and to keep Israel in the ways of Yahweh only. They needed to cast off the old ways of Egypt, and they needed to not take on the ways — the abominations — of the Canaanites.
Leviticus 18:24-30 connects yet more specifically with Ezra 9:1,
24 ‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these things the nations which I am driving out from you have become defiled. 25 For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments, and you shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the stranger who resides among you 27 (for the people of the land who were there before you did all these abominations, and the land has become defiled), 28 so that the land will not vomit you out should you defile it, as it has vomited out the nation which was there before you. 29 For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. 30 So you are to keep your commitment to Me not to practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so that you do not defile yourselves with them; I am the Lord your God.’”
This passage is a specific reference to the Canaanites because it is the Canaanites who were to be driven out before Israel. As we will see later, Israel was to drive out part the Amorites as well east of the Jordan. But the main driving out was going to happen west of the Jordan, which was the land of Canaan.
Again, we have confirmation of the specific reason why the Canaanites needed to be driven out — they committed abominations, and Israel was at risk of being influenced by those abominable acts. Remember however, that similar abominations were being committed in Egypt from which the Israelites came.
And the word for abominations in Leviticus 18:29 (Strong’s H8441) is even the same word which is used in Ezra 9:1, “the peoples of the lands, as to their abominations”. Ezekiel 23:19 even makes mention of the fact that Israel’s time in Egypt had somehow seared them, that they were unable to let go of their experiences there:
Yet she multiplied her obscene practices, remembering the days of her youth, when she prostituted herself in the land of Egypt.
It isn’t explicitly stated in Scripture, but it is interesting to note that it is entirely possible that the plagues of Egypt were a systematic defeat and breaking down of the Egyptian gods in the minds of the Israelites.
As a quick side note, this is not to say that part of the abominable acts did not include the producing of mamzers with a non-Adamic kind. We can see that certain of the Canaanites around the city of Hebron had mixed with the Rephaim (giants) to produce the “sons of Anak” (Numbers 13:22), who were a mixed hybrid of Adamites and Rephaim (Deuteronomy 2:11, 1 Chronicles 20:8). In the time of Joshua, they specifically destroyed these abominations until only a few were left in the land of the Philistines (Joshua 11:22), which is where Goliath and the rest of the Anakim come from (1 Chronicles 20).
Suffice to say however, that the physical differences of these giant/Adamite hybrid mamzers were obvious enough that their size — and even other features like extra fingers and toes (1 Chronicles 20:6) — were always recorded.
Sometimes we don’t give our ancestors enough credit, thinking that they weren’t able to tell the difference between an Adamite and a non-Adamite mamzer biped. Here we have record of their perception of non-whites and mamzers. Incidentally, our ancestors destroyed those mamzers even more thoroughly than they did the Canaanites.
In fact, they were being hunted down and destroyed from as early as Genesis 14. The “unfortunate” Rephaim — who happened to be in the same location as early post-flood Adamites — don’t even exist today.
We can see then that Ezra 9 is not simply about Israel becoming genetically mixed, but rather their national and moral revival was at risk over the pagan practices and mixed languages of the peoples whom they were bringing in as wives and children.
Those who are wont to quote Ezra 9:2 — where it says that Israelites were mixing their “holy seed” — as an alleged clear reference to Israel’s genetics need to consider, however, Malachi 2:15,
But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And why the one? He was seeking a godly offspring [seed]. Be careful then about your spirit, and see that none of you deals treacherously against the wife of your youth.
There is no doubt that the word for “seed” refers to physical descendants — however, Malachi 2:15 shows that the “seed” is not inherently holy. Their “seed” is their physical descent as Israelites by patrilineal descent, but they must also show themselves to be godly and holy in their actions! Israelites remaining a holy people was being put at risk by mixing with peoples who committed abominable actions.
The righteous and reformed Israelites – the holy seed – were intermingling with the unrighteous and pagan people of the land.
In many ways the coming out of Babylon and surrounding lands to become a new and reformed Israel was the same as Israel coming out of Egypt. They needed to let go of the old ways — which in the case of Ezra’s time had been forgotten.
To reduce this revival simply to “race-mixing” — and to presume that even pure Adamic people would not put that revival at risk — does much damage to the narrative and spiritual lessons being portrayed.
To hammer home this point, consider Numbers 31:13-18,
13 And Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the congregation went out to meet them outside the camp. 14 But Moses was angry with the officers of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, who had come from service in the war. 15 And Moses said to them, “Have you spared all the women? 16 Behold, they caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to be unfaithful to the Lord in the matter of Peor, so that the plague took place among the congregation of the Lord! 17 Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man intimately. 18 However, all the girls who have not known a man intimately, keep alive for yourselves.
Here Moses seemed to have intended for Israel to kill all of the Midianites, given that they were a stumbling block to Israel in the heresy of Peor. Yet he allowed the little girls to live, and for the Israelites to take them for themselves — because the little girls, unlike the corrupted adults, were not a threat to Israel’s spiritual life.
Clearly, there need not be genetic problems with peoples — such as being mamzers — in order to justify their extermination in God’s eyes. What a sobering thought.
This is a critically important lesson — while becoming genetically mixed is a subset of the law and its moral lessons, it is not the whole of the law. If one is law-abiding, one will naturally not mix their seed with non-whites – thereby destroying it — and they will also not practice all manner of other abominable deeds, thereby making their seed unholy and godless.
This is even a New Testament teaching as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:11,
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is a sexually immoral person, or a greedy person, or an idolater, or is verbally abusive, or habitually drunk, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a person.
Then in 1 Corinthians 15:33-34,
33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Sober up morally and stop sinning, for some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
He says again in 2 Corinthians 6:14,
Do not be mismatched with unbelievers; for what do righteousness and lawlessness share together, or what does light have in common with darkness?
Even the Lord Jesus gives this lesson in Matthew 18:15-17,
15 “Now if your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that on the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be confirmed. 17 And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, he is to be to you as a nation and a tax collector.
We must always balance this teaching with another teaching in Luke 6:27-36,
27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who are abusive to you. 29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 Treat people the same way you want them to treat you. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil people. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
In interpersonal matters, it is not for us to resist those who sin against us, but we are to sanctify them with forgiveness, not holding any record of wrong. Of course, this is meant within reason, as if someone tries to murder us, or if someone tries to molest us, or if someone is causing others to sin, we must certainly resist them — in a holy manner befitting a Christian.
The teaching of Matthew 18:15-17 then is with reference to our kindred who sin against God in such a manner that it is to their benefit — and the benefit of the community — that they have their sin made known to them. Remember when Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10,
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
The Lord says in Matthew 18 that if they do not turn from their sin, they are to be as a nation and a tax collector, which is to say that they are cast out from our Christian fellowship. This ties in with what Paul has said — because sinners — even Israelite sinners — in our midst will corrupt us.
In this context, Paul teaches on the perpetual keeping of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 12:14-20, Deuteronomy 16:3-4) in our lives in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, where the context is someone who is to be cast out of the community because of their sin,
6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let’s celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
By the same token, the Israelites of the times of Ezra — and all the way back to Moses — were to keep these sinners and undesirable elements away, lest they themselves be corrupted. It was only the Israelites of the return and revival who had received the law and who knew to be a holy seed.
It was the foreign nations that were trying to bring in those who did not know the ways of the law — and would have caused Israel to fall into sin once again.
Israel’s revival was on the brink of failure due to the abominations committed by these foreigner nations, as Ezra laments in Ezra 9:13-14,
13 And after everything that has come upon us for our evil deeds and our great guilt, since You our God have spared us by inflicting less than our wrongdoing deserves, and have given us such an escaped remnant as this, 14 shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who commit these abominations? Would You not be angry with us to the point of destruction, until there would be no remnant nor any who would escape?
Unfortunately, with a hyper-focus searching for “race” in these passages, many gloss over — or entirely lose out on — these sobering spiritual lessons. Again, though, mixing with non-Whites is just one aspect in which we may become corrupted by mixing with the wrong people, grievous as it may be.
We have addressed Comparet’s opening statement at length, but it is necessary to do so in order to show that the premise which he puts forth is not even necessary — because the Lord Jesus was a pure Adamic man, who was an Israelite by patrilineal descent through his earthly father Joseph.
Any separation from Moabites was over their past actions — and also that such foreign nations would lead Israel to sin, as the Scripture repeatedly shows. At the same time, the Scripture does not ever mention any genetic problems with Moab, as it does with the sons of Anak, for example.
With all of that in mind, we encourage our readers to consult accompanying maps and Scripture necessary to follow along with the rest of our critique of Comparet’s essay, verifying everything presented here.
From here we will quote Comparet’s next paragraph:
The territory of the Moabites was originally east and northeast of the Dead Sea, extending from the Arnon River on the south to the River Jabbok on the north. And from the Dead Sea and the Jordan River on the west, across the plains and foothills into the mountains to the east. From the name of the people who lived there, it was called Moab — and it kept that name for many centuries after all the Moabites were gone from it.
Already Comparet has made a very big mistake, which even compromises the content of his whole essay.
What Comparet has described is only the Moabite territory which was specifically conquered by the Amorites, but it is not the entire of the territory of the Moabites. The Amorites conquered part of the Moabite territory, but they did not conquer the whole of Moabite territory. There remained a land which belonged to Moab specifically which was outside of the territory described by Comparet above — and it remained in their possession — unconquered — until the time of David.
We will be referring to Deuteronomy 2 from here and encourage any reader to have the chapter handy (perhaps a full reading of Deuteronomy 2 will be useful before proceeding).
Deuteronomy 2 is very much a summary of the movements of Israel, especially relating to their final movement towards the land of Canaan. It seems that they were circling mount Seir (v1) — the territory of Edom (v5) — which is south of the Dead Sea. Then they turned north from there (v3) which naturally would bring them in close proximity with the Edomites, given that they were already close to mount Seir.
After passing beyond the Edomites, they were to pass through the wilderness of Moab (v8), but they were specifically commanded not to attack the Moabites who had received Ar as a possession (v9). Then Israel is commanded to cross over Ar, which is the border of Moab (v18). After crossing the border of Ar, Israel comes into close proximity with the Ammonites (v19), given that the Ammonites and Moabs were neighbors. However, Israel did not enter the land of the Ammonites or the Moabites, but stayed alongside them.
As a side note, it is interesting here to read how the peoples of the land drove out the Rephaim (giants — non-whites), rather than mixing with them in Deuteronomy 2.
From there, Israel is once again commanded to cross the valley of Arnon, which is echoing verse 18 (v24). We can see that the valley of Arnon and Ar are closely linked, but are not quite exactly the same thing, as Numbers 21:14-15 says,
14 For that reason it is said in the Book of the Wars of the Lord, “Waheb in Suphah, And the wadis of the Arnon, 15 And the slope of the wadis That extends to the site of Ar, And leans to the border of Moab.”
By this we can assume that the Arnon valley slopes upward in a southerly direction, which culminates on the northern side of Ar, which is the border of Moab. In Deuteronomy 2, once Israel had passed through the valley of Arnon, they were commanded to make war with the Amorites (v24).
Picture for a moment the journey which Israel has just undergone — and where they are now in relation to the nations around them. They have gone around the land of Moab — being commanded not to make war with them — and to go past the Ammonites, into a land inhabited by Amorites.
Keep that in mind when reading Comparet’s next paragraph:
When the Israelites entered the Promised Land, after their 40 years of wandering during the exodus, the land of Moab was the first territory they conquered. God had commanded them to totally exterminate the former occupants of the lands they were to settle, and in Moab they did so.
In Deuteronomy 2 we have just read that Israel was commanded not to make war with Moab, and yet Comparet has stated that Moab was the very land they conquered. He goes on to quote Numbers 21,
At that time, about 1450 B.C. Sihon, king of the Amorites, had conquered and occupied the kingdom of Moab and was its ruler when the Israelites came in. In Numbers 21, verses 25 and 29 we read, ‘For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon. Woe unto thee Moab! Thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters into captivity unto Sihon, king of the Amorites.’
Comparet has simply mis-comprehended the phrase, “even unto Arnon.” The passage is saying that the Amorites conquered the land of Moab up until the Arnon, which — as has been confirmed already by Deuteronomy 2 and Numbers 21:14-15 — was the border of Moab at that time. It was the border of Moab because the Amorites had pushed them until that point, but no further. The NASB renders Numbers 21:26 as follows,
For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken all his land out of his hand, as far as the Arnon.
Essentially it is saying the same thing as the KJV which Comparet seems to be quoting. Consider Numbers 21:13 — referring to Deuteronomy 2:24 — which confirms this again:
From there they journeyed and camped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that comes out of the border of the Amorites; for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.
How could Israel have passed around the Moabites — and how could there be a border between the Moabites and the Amorites — if the Amorites had taken all of the land of Moab?
From here it would be good to also review these specific movements in the context of Numbers 33. It is important to do so because Numbers 33 intersects with Numbers 21 as well.
Numbers 33 covers all of Israel’s movements from Egypt — all the way until the time that Israel was about to cross over the Jordan in the land of Canaan. Naturally then, Deuteronomy 2 and Numbers 21 will each form a subset of the Numbers 33 movements, allowing us to triangulate those movements. We would suggest following along with the passages.
Starting in Numbers 33, it refers to Aaron handing over the priesthood to Eleazar (v38), which is also Numbers 20:28. Then Israel has contact with the Canaanite King of Arad (v40), which is Numbers 21:1. Then they camp at Oboth (v43), which is Numbers 21:10. Then they camp at the border between Moab and the Amorites (v44), which is Numbers 21:11 and Deuteronomy 2:18. From there, verse 45 says,
They journeyed from Iyim and camped at Dibon-gad.
Given that this is following the events of Deuteronomy 2:18 — as we’ve already covered — verse 45 seems to be where Israel is moving into the land of the Amorites which they had taken from the Moabites. This is covered in Numbers 21:21-26, of which it gives the proverb in Numbers 21:27-30,
27 For that reason those who use proverbs say, “Come to Heshbon! Let it be built! So let the city of Sihon be established. 28 For a fire spread from Heshbon, A flame from the town of Sihon; It devoured Ar of Moab, The dominant heights of the Arnon. 29 Woe to you, Moab! You are destroyed, people of Chemosh! He has given his sons as fugitives, And his daughters into captivity, To an Amorite king, Sihon. 30 But we have shot them down with arrows, Heshbon is destroyed as far as Dibon, Then we have laid waste as far as Nophah, Which reaches to Medeba.”
The proverb here is referring to Moab’s defeat against the Amorites (v27-29) and the subsequent defeat of the Amorites by the Israelites (v30). In Numbers 32, after Israel had defeated the Midianites over the heresy of Peor — which happened after the capturing of the Amorite lands in Numbers 21 — they are taking stock of their spoils in verses 1-4:
1 Now the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad had a very large number of livestock. So when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, that it was indeed a place suitable for livestock, 2 the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben came and spoke to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and to the leaders of the congregation, saying, 3 “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon, 4 the land which the Lord conquered before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.”
We can see then that Dibon — which was on the edges of what they conquered from the Amorites (Numbers 21:30) — was a part of the spoils. Therefore, in Numbers 32 they are referring to the land which they had conquered from the Amorites.
Going back to Numbers 33:45, it seems that they even camped at Dibon as they were moving into the land of the Amorites — as Dibon must have been at the extremity of the land. Dibon must have almost been on the border between the Moabites and the Amorites — just north of Ar.
From there in verses 48 and 49 — after defeating the Amorites — we can see where they moved into the plains of Moab, which is Numbers 22:1. Numbers 22-31 follows the story of the heresy of Peor, which involved the Moabites and the Midianites — culminating in Numbers 31, which was the defeat of the Midianites – not the Moabites.
At that point Israel is in the final place of rest before crossing the Jordan from east to west — to enter into the land of Canaan, which is evident in Numbers 33:50 and onward.
It should be noted that the “plains of Moab” are, in fact, in the land of the Amorites which Israel took, as it is next to the Jordan. The valley of Arnon – Moab’s northern border — was south of the Jordan along the Dead Sea. Therefore, we have this location called the “plains of Moab” which is not in Moab’s territory. Deuteronomy 34:6 says of that place,
And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor…
Deuteronomy 3:29 casually omits the reference to Moab when referring to the same place,
So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.
Yet Deuteronomy 4:46 refers to the same place — again omitting Moab — but confirming that it is indeed in the land of the Amorites:
…across the Jordan, in the valley opposite Beth-peor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites who lived in Heshbon, whom Moses and the sons of Israel defeated when they came out of Egypt.
It should then be noted that this location is only ever referred to as such in the context of Israel’s time there — just before moving across the Jordan to enter the land of Canaan. It seems that it was referred to as the “plains of Moab” only at that time and in that context.
That time and context is when Israel had undergone the heresy of Peor — and Moses had given them final commands and the commands on inheritance (Numbers 36:13, Deuteronomy 1:5, Deuteronomy 29:1, Deuteronomy 34:5). It is the same place where Moses was finally laid to rest.
Even when referring to the event retrospectively, Joshua only ever refers to that area as the “plains of Moab” in the context of Moses giving his final commands (Joshua 13:32). The event in that area seems to have a spiritual significance — that it is only ever referred to as such in that context.
After that, it is never referred to as such again, and as we will see very shortly, was not even referred to as such when describing the land which Israel had received from the Amorites. In other words, when referring to geography, the Israelites don’t seem to bother to mention that spiritual title.
Regarding what the land is actually called in Israelite histories, there is something very important about Numbers 32:1-4 which was quoted above — it is recorded that the land which Israel took from the Amorites — which is the land the Amorites took from the Moabites — is called “the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead” (Numbers 32:1).
That land specifically — contrary to what Comparet said — is not called the land of Moab. This conquered land is the very same which was given to Reuben, Gad and Manasseh as it says in Numbers 32:33,
So Moses gave to them, to the sons of Gad, the sons of Reuben, and to the half-tribe of Joseph’s son Manasseh, the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og, the king of Bashan, the land with its cities with their territories, the cities of the surrounding land.
Going back to Deuteronomy 2, Comparet continues,
The Israelites conquered the land of Moab, killing all the people they found there in, as God had commanded them to do. We read in Deuteronomy 2, verses 32 to 34, ‘Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz. And the Lord, our God, delivered him before us: we smote him and his sons and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men and the women and the little ones of every city: we left none to remain.’
Here again, Comparet has incorrectly called that land the “land of Moab”. Deuteronomy 3:12-17 recounts those lands — and gives a more detailed account of what the names of those lands were:
12 “So we took possession of this land at that time. From Aroer, which is by the Valley of Arnon, and half the hill country of Gilead and its cities I gave to the Reubenites and to the Gadites. 13 The rest of Gilead and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh, all the region of Argob. (As to all Bashan, it is called the land of Rephaim. 14 Jair the son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, that is, Bashan, and named it after his own name: Havvoth-jair, as it is to this day.) 15 To Machir I gave Gilead. 16 To the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave from Gilead even as far as the Valley of Arnon, the middle of the valley as a border, and as far as the river Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon; 17 the Arabah also, with the Jordan as a border, from Chinnereth even as far as the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah on the east.
It should be very obvious then that these lands are not ever referred to as the “land of Moab.” For example, a word study on “Gilead” will show that a large area east of the Jordan which Israel conquered from the Amorites was mostly referred to as such. Similar words studies would prove the same thing for names such as “Bashan” and “land of Rephaim.” We will spare that detail, but do encourage our readers to do that study for themselves.
Suffice to say that these are the names of those lands geographically. Reading carefully above, the land which Israel took from Sihon — which is the land Sihon took from Moab (Numbers 21:26) — is called Gilead all throughout Scripture, not the land of Moab.
Note how this description necessarily includes the area we know as the plains of Moab, which was a small portion east of the Jordan opposite Jericho. That area is included in the description of Deuteronomy 3:12-17. Yet in its geographical account — paying no attention to the events of Numbers 21-32 — the title is omitted entirely.
From here on, we will comment on the next part of Comparet’s essay in a more interlinear fashion. Comparet proceeds,
From here, the Israelites advanced northward into the land of Ammon…
As we have already shown, Israel never actually entered the land of Ammon. Just to confirm again, see Deuteronomy 2:37,
Only you did not go near the land of the sons of Ammon, all along the river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, and wherever the Lord our God had commanded us to avoid.
Back to Comparet,
Numbers 21, verses 30 to 35 describes it: ‘And they turned and went up by way of Bashan: and Og, the king of Bashan, went out against them, he and all his people, to the battle at Edrai. And the Lord said unto Moses, ‘Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon, king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.’ So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left alive: and they possessed his land.’ This entire area of the Jordan river was settled by the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh, after all the original inhabitants, the Moabites and Ammonites, had been either killed or driven out.
Again, Israel never went to war with the Ammonites — and never entered their land. We wonder at this point whether this isn’t possibly an accidental mistake on Comparet’s part. Did he perhaps mean to say, “Moabites and Amorites” instead? Comparet continues,
In Deuteronomy 3, verse 12 to16 Moses tells us, ‘And this land which we possessed at that time, from Aroer which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites. And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh. And unto the Reubenites and unto the Gadites I gave from Gilead even unto the river Arnon half the valley, and the border even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon.”
In a somewhat bizarre twist, Comparet proceeds to quote Deuteronomy 3:12-16 as if it supports his case. Instead, as we have shown, it is clearly showing that these lands are not referred to as the “land of Moab”, but instead have other names which are used through the Old Testament.
Comparet has called this entire area the “land of Moab” contrary to what the author of Deuteronomy has called it — and in spite of the fact that the author never calls it the “land of Moab”. Comparet continues,
All of this was accomplished about the year 1450 B.C.; from that time on this was purely Israelite territory.
On the contrary, the Ammonites actually took the land at one point — as it says in Judges 10:8-9 — even referring to it as the “land of the Amorites.” The conflict was so intense that the Ammonites even began to cross the Jordan to attack the tribes west of the Jordan:
8 And they afflicted and oppressed the sons of Israel that year; for eighteen years they oppressed all the sons of Israel who were beyond the Jordan, in Gilead in the land of the Amorites. 9 And the sons of Ammon crossed the Jordan to fight also against Judah, Benjamin, and the house of Ephraim, so that Israel was in great difficulty.
Back to Comparet,
This was even more so than the land west of the River Jordan, because in the old lands of Moab and Ammon, none of the original inhabitants were left alive.
We are continually perplexed by Comparet’s claims that Moabites and Ammonites were exterminated — even though Israel was explicitly commanded not to make war with them. He continues,
Today, Anglo Saxon Americans who live in California are called Californians, but bearing this name and living in a former Mexican territory doesn’t make them Mexicans racially. Likewise, pure Israelites living in the old land of Moab were often called Moabites from the place where they lived, just as those who lived in Galilee were called Galileans.
We hope in this example that the flaw in this logic is evident. In some Christian circles, whenever it is an inconvenience to their belief or doctrines that someone was of a certain tribe or people, they often resort to claiming that it was a geographical designation and not a genetic designation.
In other words, they claim “Ruth the Moabite” must have been geographical because it is too inconvenient to believe that she was an actual daughter of Moab. This logic is applied thoughtlessly and needlessly, without considering what the geographies of the area were actually called, as we have shown.
As in this case, we can see that the lands which Israel conquered from the Amorites had very specific names, none of which were the “land of Moab” — unless referring to a small portion of land with Israel’s time in Numbers 21-32 — especially considering that Israel passed around Moab instead of conquering them.
When reading the Scripture, we should not apply geographical designations to people’s names willy-nilly for the sake of an agenda. We owe it to our own consciences to seek every matter out in a diligent and honest manner. Most importantly, that honesty must be toward ourselves within our own minds, creating a pure conscience towards the Scripture.
Next, Comparet moves on to Judges 11,
Three hundred years later, about 1143 B.C., we find evidence that the Israelite occupation of the lands of Moab and Ammon, was still unbroken.
Again, it is perplexing how Comparet keeps referring to the lands of Moab and Ammon. Was it an accidental mistake, or did he simply have a misconception in his mind? It seems rather obvious that Israel did not conquer the land of Ammon — as we have covered — yet Comparet keeps making the same mistake:
Judges 11, verses 12 to 26 says, “And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon saying, what hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land? And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, ‘Because Israel took away my land when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore, restore again those land peaceably.’
Comparet said earlier, “from this time on this was purely Israelite territory,” yet he has quoted the very part of Scripture which proves that the land became Ammonite territory. Judges 10-11 is about how Israel had to retake that land.
As we can see, the children of Ammon are making a false claim to that land which Israel conquered from the Amorites — as we have covered — and also as Jephthah will explain to them. Comparet:
And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon, and said unto him, Thus saith Jephthat: when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh; then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not harken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent. Then they went along through the wilderness and compassed the land of Edom and the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab. And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon, king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place. But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel. And the Lord, God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan. While Israel dwelt in Hershbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years, why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?” So the Israelites had held unbroken possession of the land of Moab and Ammon that entire 300 year period.
Jephthah has given a summary of how Israel came into possession of that land — and of course it has nothing to do with the children of Ammon. Then Jephthah concludes his address in Judges 11:27-28,
27 “So I have not sinned against you, but you are doing me wrong by making war against me. May the Lord, the Judge, judge today between the sons of Israel and the sons of Ammon.” 28 But the king of the sons of Ammon disregarded the message which Jephthah sent him.
Naturally Jephthah was confident in his story — and the king of Ammon ignored it because Jephthah was absolutely correct. However, this story has nothing to do with the land which the Moabites still possessed, south of the Arnon. In Comparet’s quote above is the following,
Then they went along through the wilderness and compassed the land of Edom and the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab.
Jephthah is saying that Israel did not come within the border of Moab during that time, even though they were in the Amorite lands on the northern side of the Arnon. This passage is literally proof that the land which Israel conquered was a land other than the land of Moab, although Comparet seems not to have noticed that.
Finally, we get to the part which addresses the book of Ruth. We would suggest a quick read of the book (it is only four quick chapters) or follow along where necessary. Comparet says the following,
Right in the middle of this period about 1322 B.C., or 130 years after the Israelites of the tribes of Reuben and Gad had occupied the land of Moab, Elimelech a man of Judah, with his wife Naomi and his two sons were driven by famine out of Judah. And Ruth 1, verse 1 says that he “went to sojourn in the country of Moab.” Note the accuracy of that expression, not among the people of Moab, but in the country of Moab, which was occupied by Israelites exclusively. Elimelech’s sons married women of this country, one of them being Ruth, who became an ancestor of David — and through David, an ancestor of Jesus Christ. She could not have been of any race or nation but Israel because no others lived there.
This supposed distinction Comparet is making between “among the people” and “in the country of” seems rather arbitrary — especially given Comparet’s gross misunderstanding of the context of what the “land of Moab” actually means. We can say categorically — in the historical context — that the “land of Moab” refers to the actual country of the Moabites where the Moabites lived, south of the Arnon.
The Moabites still had a sizeable land left. The northern border was the valley of Arnon, which we have already covered. The southern border was likely somewhere around Oboth or the Zered (Numbers 21:10-12, Numbers 33:43, Deuteronomy 2:13). It’s hard to work out precisely, as the Scripture never explicitly states where the border is. There may have actually been some land in between Edom and Moab then which didn’t belong to either at that stage.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact location of Oboth and the Zered as well. Having said that, looking at the geography today, there are very good candidates for these places. The Zered was a brook — and so it’s likely that it was perpendicular to the Dead Sea on the south-eastern side. The Arnon is also a brook coming out of the Dead sea in similar fashion, except on the eastern side. We can conclude more or less that the territory of Moab from north to south was at least half of the length of the Dead Sea from north the south.
Therefore, when the Book of Ruth refers to the “land of Moab,” there is no reason to assume that this is anything other than the territory Moab possessed. And when it says in Ruth 1:4, that “they took for themselves Moabite women,” there is no reason to assume these women are anything other than literal descendants of Moab.
Furthermore, consider also a few choice lines in the book which confirm that they were in the land of Moab — and not in the land of Israel where Israelites lived. Ruth 1:6 says,
Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the land of Moab, because she had heard in the land of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them food.
Now according to Comparet, the land of Moab is the area inhabited by the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh. If the Lord had visited His people by giving them food — and if the land of Moab was supposedly Israelite territory — then doesn’t it stand to reason that the Israelite people — Reuben, Gad and Manasseh — in the “land of Moab” would also have been given food?
Why would they have to return from the “land of Moab” if the Lord’s people are already in the “land of Moab”? It makes no sense.
But they had to return to the Israelite territory — because the Lord had not visited the people of Moab in the same way. They were not His people — and so He did not visit them. Therefore, they had to leave the territory of Moab — and the people of Moab — in order to go back to their own land and their own people.
Boaz’s servant says of Ruth in Ruth 2:6,
And the servant in charge of the reapers replied, “She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the land of Moab.”
If it was not obvious enough that Ruth was a Moabite by virtue of having come from the land of Moab, they even specify that she is a “Moabite woman”.
Consider Ruth’s words to Boaz in Ruth 2:10,
Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”
We should note that this word for foreigner (Strong’s H5237), is the same word used in Nehemiah 13:26,
Did Solomon the king of Israel not sin regarding these things? (Yet among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; yet the foreign women caused even him to sin.
Why would Ruth say this of herself if she was an Israelite? Boaz replies in Ruth 2:11,
All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know.
Boaz has confirmed this understanding that Ruth is a foreigner because she came to a people that she did not previously know — the people of Israel. It is certain then that she was indeed a Moabite.
From here, Comparet goes on to quote Deuteronomy 23:3,
Indeed it could not have been otherwise, because from the beginning God very strongly condemned the Moaabites and the Ammonites. In Deuteronomy 23:3 He commanded, “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord forever.” In the tenth generation there could be less than one part in a thousand of Moabite blood. Yet forever, a person with even one part in a thousand of Moabite blood could not enter into the congregation, and God was always consistent in this as He is in all other matters.
It is obvious, as has been shown, that Ruth was a Moabite who lived in the land of the Moabites. However, how can that be reconciled with Deuteronomy 23 — which prohibits Moabites from entering Israelite congregations?
We have already considered the implications of Deuteronomy 23:3 and why the law was given. Conveniently, Comparet has left out the specific reason which Deuteronomy 23 gives in verse 4 — which really ought to clear up that this has nothing to do with Moabites genetically:
…because they did not meet you with food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.
With the exposition on Moab in relation to Deuteronomy 23:3, Ezra 9:1 and Nehemiah 13:23 in the first portion of this essay, consider the words of Ruth to her mother-in-law in Ruth 1:16-17,
16 But Ruth said, “Do not plead with me to leave you or to turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you sleep, I will sleep. Your people [shall be – NASB] my people, and your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord do so to me, and worse, if anything but death separates me from you.”
Note how the NASB translation has added “shall be” into the text. Some might claim that Ruth is actually saying that her people are already Naomi’s people — and that the “shall be” is skewing the reading in a different direction.
However, removing the “shall be” doesn’t actually change the meaning of the text. Either way, in the context of what Ruth is saying, she is clearly stating that she will become a part of Naomi’s people. When she says, “your people my people,” it is the third part of a string of four sayings: Where you go, I go, where you sleep, I sleep, your people, my people, your God, my God.
Never mind that one verse earlier, Ruth 1:15 says,
Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”
Noami has stated that Orpah – also a Moabite – has gone back to her own people and her own gods. This shows that Ruth’s and Orpah’s people and gods are other than Naomi’s people and God. Then it is sure that when Ruth says, “your people, my people, your God, my God,” she is referring to herself leaving her own people and becoming a part of Naomi’s people, regardless of whether the “shall be” was added or not.
Some have attempted to claim that the word for “gods” in Ruth 1:15 may refer to judges, but the writer of the book of Ruth has already used the plain Hebrew word for “judges” in Ruth 1:1, which is a word other than the word for “gods”.
Just by reading the Book of Ruth itself, it is surely obvious that Ruth is indeed a Moabite. There is a lot even within the book itself which needs to be ignored in order to continue to deny it.
But why then would Deuteronomy 23:3 not stand against her?
The answer is actually rather simple: Ruth completely gave up her identity as a Moabite, adopting the identity and the one true God of Israel. Boaz even says to Ruth in Ruth 2:12,
May the Lord reward your work, and may your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.
Deuteronomy 23:7 says of the Israelite attitude towards Moabites,
You shall never seek their peace or their prosperity all your days.
There was nothing in the actions of Ruth or Naomi which sought the benefit of Moab. Rather, Ruth sought the benefit of Naomi at the cost of her own livelihood. She gave up returning to her mother’s house and taking a new husband in order to travel with an old woman — seemingly unable to look after herself — and take care of her.
She left everything in order to glean wheat during the harvest time for herself and her mother-in-law, without any prospects. What about when the harvest came to an end? What would they do?
By her actions and faith, Ruth made herself a benefit to the people of Israel — she did not live in the errors of her own people. She was not a threat to the spiritual life of Israel but seemed only to be a benefit to them.
After murdering Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites, David wrote the following,
18 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You do not take pleasure in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, God, You will not despise.
Through his own broken and contrite heart, David was spared from being condemned by the law of death. Should we be surprised that through a broken and contrite heart, Ruth did stave off the law of condemnation toward her people? By condemning Ruth — a pure white, Adamite woman — would we also seek to condemn David according to our own estimation of the law?
However, the likes of Comparet would not condemn David, of course, because David being spared from the law is not inconvenient to Comparet’s own view and agenda.
There is even prophetic precedent for this happening. Just as a refresher, see Deuteronomy 23:1,3,
1 No one who is emasculated or has his male organ cut off may enter the assembly of the Lord… 3 No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, may ever enter the assembly of the Lord.
Now see Isaiah 56:1-8,
1 This is what the Lord says: “Guard justice and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come And My righteousness to be revealed. 2 Blessed is a man who does this, And a son of man who takes hold of it; Who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
3 Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will certainly separate me from His people.” Nor let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.”
This is a direct reference to Deuteronomy 23 verse 1 and 3 — and it is specifically exonerating the eunuchs and all foreigners under certain conditions:
4 For this is what the Lord says: “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold firmly to My covenant, 5 To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, And a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be eliminated.
Eunuchs — who previously were not even allowed to enter the congregation of Israel — are now promised a name better than sons and daughters! This is an easy thing for us to accept, but only because it doesn’t disagree with our own agendas.
The Lord even seems to commend eunuchs who become such for the sake of the kingdom in Matthew 19:12, which is contrary to the law of Deuteronomy 23:1. It was a eunuch who came to worship in faith in Acts 8:27 – in spite of the law condemning him — whose very faith was rewarded by the hearing of the gospel of the Lord Jesus! Isaiah 56:
6 “Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, To attend to His service and to love the name of the Lord, To be His servants, every one who keeps the Sabbath so as not to profane it, And holds firmly to My covenant; 7 Even those I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”
Those pure Adamic foreigners who join themselves to the Lord — to serve and love Him — are promised to be brought to His holy mountain. Isn’t this what happened with Ruth herself?
The Lord’s house is prophesied to be a house of prayer for all Adamic peoples:
8 The Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, “I will yet gather others to them, to those already gathered.”
Here it is clearly saying that when the dispersions of Israel are gathered, there are yet others who will be gathered. This is one of many places showing that the bringing in of the dispersions of Israel is not the only “bringing in” which needs to happen. This is confirmed again in Isaiah 49:5-6,
5 And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the Lord, And My God is My strength), 6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the protected ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
The Revelation confirms this, as after describing the remnant of Israel – the 144,000 – Revelation 7:9 says,
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all the tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;
16 They will no longer hunger nor thirst, nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any scorching heat; 17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
The Lord Himself says in Matthew 8:10-12,
10 Now when Jesus heard this, He was amazed and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12 but the sons of the kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
He also had a very interesting conversation with the people in His home area in Luke 4:25-30,
25 But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a severe famine came over all the land; 26 and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many with leprosy in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; 29 and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and brought Him to the crest of the hill on which their city had been built, so that they could throw Him down from the cliff. 30 But He passed through their midst and went on His way.
Keep in mind that Sidon was a Canaanite city (Genesis 10:15) — and that Naaman was from Syria, which is Asshur (Genesis 10:22). Some may say that these were Israelites in those lands, but that doesn’t explain why the Lord’s words caused them to want to kill Him immediately! They tacitly admit that the Lord is indeed referring to non-Israeltes from Sidon and Asshur. They were enraged by the Lord’s words because they perceived Him to be speaking against the law. The man was a literal child of Asshur and the woman was a literal child of Sidon — otherwise this event in Luke 4 simply doesn’t make any sense.
As a side-note, see how Isaiah 56 has a conspicuous absence of a reference to mamzers. In all of the prophets, only stark condemnation is lain against mamzers when it says in Zechariah 9:6,
And a people of mixed origins [mamzers – Strong’s H4464] will live in Ashdod, And I will eliminate the pride of the Philistines.
Ashdod is the very same place where the remnant of the Anakim – the Rephaim/Adamite hybrid mamzers – were left, as it says in Joshua 11:22,
There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod some remained.
Let us continue with Comparet’s closing paragraphs…
God was always consistent in this as He is in other matters. In Zephaniah 2, verse 9 we read, “Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, surely Moab shall be as Sodom and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah.” The whole 48th chapter of Jeremiah is a condemnation of the people of Moab. In prophesying the triumphant return of Jesus Christ, Isaiah tells us in chapter 25, verse 10, “For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under Him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.” Certainly God would not take from a people whom He condemns like Sodom, one to be an ancestor of Jesus Christ.
In the same way that a working knowledge of our people’s histories and the geography surrounding them is very beneficial, so also is a working knowledge of the prophets, and even all of the Scripture. When reading an essay, we cannot have writers calling Scriptures to mind which we did not know about, otherwise we allow them to dictate to us the context.
If any writing is breaking new ground in our knowledge, then Proverbs 18:17 applies:
The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.
Ironically, there are passages which refer to Israel being like Sodom and Gomorrah as well. Deuteronomy 32:32 says of Israel,
For their vine is from the vine of Sodom, And from the fields of Gomorrah; Their grapes are grapes of poison, Their clusters, bitter.
Isaiah 1:9-10 also says of Israel,
9 If the Lord of armies Had not left us a few survivors, We would be like Sodom, We would be like Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the Lord, You rulers of Sodom; Listen to the instruction of our God, You people of Gomorrah!
After quoting this passage in Romans 9:29, Paul says in verses 30-32,
30 What shall we say then? That nations, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, but the righteousness that is by faith; 31 however, Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though they could by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone…
Paul refers to pure white, Adamic nations of Genesis 10 pursuing the righteousness according to faith. Ruth also — by her faith — attained to a righteousness according to that faith. Just like we have precedent for others through their faith staving off other laws of condemnation against them – providing that it bear fruit of righteousness.
However, Israel should beware that they do not fail to arrive at the law by pursuing the righteousness of the law. Those who pursue the righteousness of faith attain to the righteousness of the law automatically in their actions. As Paul says in Romans 10:10-13,
10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Judahite and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The righteousness according to faith results in righteousness, and as John says in 1 John 3:7,
Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous
Again, didn’t Ruth practice righteousness? Did she not call on the name of the Lord and come under His care in faith? Should Israel not do the same in faith, resulting in righteousness and salvation?
Paul says in Romans 3:9,23-24,
9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Judahites and Greeks are all under sin… 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus…
The prophecies which Comparet quoted as condemnation towards Moab are not particularly special in that way. Ultimately, we are all as Sodom and Gomorra — even Israel. However, even in their ultimate destruction, the Adamic nations will be brought to Israel, to serve them and to be as children to them, as Isaiah 49:22-23 says,
22 This is what the Lord God says: “Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations And set up My flag to the peoples; And they will bring your sons in their arms, And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders. 23 Kings will be your guardians, And their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the ground And lick the dust from your feet; And you will know that I am the Lord; Those who hopefully wait for Me not be put to shame.
Isaiah 60:10-12 says,
10 “Foreigners will build up your walls, And their kings will serve you; For in My wrath I struck you, And in My favor I have had compassion on you. 11 Your gates will be open continually; They will not be closed day or night, So that people may bring you the wealth of the nations, With their kings led in procession. 12 For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, And the nations will be utterly ruined.
Referring to the holy city, the new Jerusalem, Revelation 21:24-27 quotes Isaiah saying,
24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 5:9 says,
Worthy are You to take the scroll and to break its seals; for You were slaughtered, and You purchased people for God with Your blood from every tribe, language, people, and nation.
Psalm 86:9 says,
All nations whom You have made will come and worship before You, Lord, And they will glorify Your name.
From there, Comparet says,
Never let anyone tell you that Jesus Christ was only a mongrel, with the blood of other races flowing in His veins. God was so insistent that even the least peasant among His people Israel must keep the bloodline pure, under penalty of being cut off from His people for violation of this law. And Jesus Christ said in Matthew 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill”.
We affirm that the Lord Jesus was a pure white, Adamic man — and that the pure white, Adamic, Moabite mother in His lineage does not change that.
When the Lord says that He came to fulfill the law and the prophets, we affirm this as well. Hopefully we have revealed what it is that actually means in practice — and that it is revealed through the righteousness of faith in our Lord Jesus.
We have the clearest proof that both as God the Father and as God the Son, He was consistently true to His own commandments. Ruth was an Israelite from the land of Moab, but not from the race of Moab.
In response, for our own conclusion, hopefully it is clear by now the tensions between nations in Scriptures is not often a matter of mixing with non-Adamic kinds. It is about the keeping of the Lord God’s ways, and holding Him as the one true God, serving no other God before Him, which is, after all, the very first of His commandments — and of primary importance to Him and us. We are to have no idols in our heart which could take us away from service to Him in spirit and in truth and in faith.
Not defiling ourselves with non-Adamites is just one of a list of sins unto death which we will strive to keep from — if only we will serve the Lord God with all our hearts.