King David is one of the most well-known figures from the Bible. Even non-Christians have heard the tale of David and Goliath. One thing people might not realize, however, is that David was descended from Moabites. If you didn’t know, Moabites were Lot’s descendants through his oldest daughter (Genesis 19:37).

In Deuteronomy 23, the Lord gave this command concerning Moabites.

No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation.

Deuteronomy 23:3-4 (NIV)

Since we know David was descended from Moabites, how does Deuteronomy 23:3-4 fit in? How could David have entered the Lord’s assembly? How could David have been made king?

According to Jewish law and tradition, the curse on Moabites in Deuteronomy 23:3-4 only impacts male Moabites. Therefore, this verse applies to Moabite men. In addition, according to Ruth 1:16, Ruth was a proselyte to the Jewish religion.

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

Ruth 1:16 (NIV)

Finally, God blessed Ruth and Boaz’s marriage in Ruth 4:13.

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.

Ruth 4:13 (NIV)

Thus, we can see that King David wasn’t precluded from entering the Lord’s assembly or becoming the king.