“The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from this young woman” (Ruth 4:11-12).
What a wonderful petition! But what a strange combination of stories! Or so we might think until we read Matthew chapter 1. Then it all becomes plain. At the town gate, the villagers rejoice at the twist of fate that brings a Moabite bride to Boaz, the most eligible bachelor in town. Yes, of course we wish this young lady to bear a male heir to this family. But why bring up Tamar? Ah, they said, don’t you see? Judah and his sons seemed to have little care for the Messianic line. But Tamar did! And so the line continued, and would until that night when another woman and her Son would “be famous in Bethlehem,” an answer they never could imagine.