Continuing on with the next part, why would the birthing record found in the book of Ruth start with Perez? I believe it had to do with the ancient custom of יבם (Yabam). If you look up the word in Strong's concordance (H2992), it will say that the word is of doubtful origin. However, in my research, the few words sharing this root all convey the action of exaltation; whether literally (such as Behemoth), or figuratively (a raising up from a lower state).
It is the figurative meaning that is intended here, as Deu 25:5 indicates:
If brothers dwell together, and one of them die, and have no son, the wife of the dead shall not be married outside to a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in to her, and take her to him as wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother (ייבם) to her.
This custom was a provision made for a woman where, if her husband died, either the husbands brother, or nearest kinsman, would take her to be his wife, care for her, and raise up children in the name of the father, thus continuing the family name, which was very important to do, for no one wanted his lineage ended. This, rather than being a 'duty to perform', was actually an 'exalting' of the bereaved woman.
Ruth is an entire book devoted to just such a custom. However, there are 2 examples of this practice taking place found in the book of Genesis:
1. Lots daughters, who laid with their father to continue the family line. This was a warped performance of Yabam, because...
a. The father ended up being the one performing this act. (While warped, this fact is important to know)
b. They were virgins, never having known a man. (Keep this in mind, for this is an important piece of the puzzle as well)
2. Tamar, who lost a husband named Er when God put him to death, then properly had yabam performed for her by Ers brother Onan, who refused to provide the seed to continue the family line of Judah and was struck down by God as well. Judah had a 3rd son, yet kept him from Tamar because he was afraid he would lose him as well. Tamar then deceives Judah her father in law into thinking she is a prostitute and he lays with her and unknowingly ends up performing yabam with her. Tamar knew how important it was to continue the family line, which Judah admits when he finds out what happened.
In both instances, it is a father who is performing yabam, one in which virgins are involved, and both acts being done outside the bounds of what was considered normal yabam.
When we get to Ruth, we see a third example of yabam, where a man named Boaz performs yabam for her, which would normally mean that the line of her first husband, Chilion (Rth 1:2), was being preserved.
Yet, I ended my last post with the question of why it was that Perez was chosen to start the list of the lineage line. (Rth 4:18)
Perez was the child born to Tamar, continuing the line of Judah back in Genesis 38. We now have a link between these 2 actions of yabam being performed. The first event also can be linked, because the first child born to Lot from his daughters was named Mo'ab (From Father). He became the father of the Moabites, and this was where Ruth was descended from. I think this is a good spot to end this post. I will pick it up in the next one.