Was David and Ephrathite or a Judahite?

Question:  In 1 Samuel 17:12 David is said to be an Ephrathite. I thought he was a Judahite?  Is that mixed lineage? or are those two lineages connected in some way I don’t understand?  David is the first king in the line of Judah, right?  the beginning of the fulfillment of Genesis 49?

Answer:  Doing a word search of Ephrath I found that it was an alternate name for Bethelehem (Gen 35:19) but also distinguished in some way from Bethlehem (Ruth 1:2; 4:11).  It is often the case that a town or area is named for a person of honor.  Perhaps there was an Ephrath who founded Bethelehem, or part of the town was considered populated by his lineage.  It became a title for people like David’s anscestor Naomi and thus attached to him.  The name seems to have been attached to Bethlehem before Judah was born (Genesis 35:19) or else it is a name that came to be associated with Bethlehem afterwards that was being read back into the text in Genesis to identify it for current readers.  If the latter is true, then it could have been a descendent of Judah for which it was named.  If not, then it is unclear what it designates as far as literal genealogy, for it is apparent that David was descended from Judah.

Randall Johnson

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