Nahshon Ben Aminadav is the forefather of king David and the first person responsible for the Messianic bloodline in Jewish thought.
The story goes that when the Israelites were leaving Egypt, they came to the Red Sea and were pursued by Pharaoh's army.
"And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were sore afraid; and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD"
And God answered them with a pillar of smoke.
"And the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud removed from before them, and stood behind them and it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel"
And so, the people of Israel, stuck between a rock and a watery grave looked to Moses (although not that nicely). And God answered, "Lift up thy rod!"
But the Talmud teaches that the sea didn't split right when Moses raised his staff. It took a leap of faith.
Someone had to be first.
So Moses raises his staff and says, "In." And while the alternative also looks a lot like death, you don't know how to swim?!
But picture this: one (crazy) guy just comes running while everyone else doesn't want to get his feet wet and jumps right in... and I hope he landed on his feet because it was like a miracle or the tides or
'cause the sea split in two.
Now because of this the Talmud teaches that Nahshon gets to be the forefather of king David and in turn the forefather of the messiah.
"Now these are the generations of Pharez:
Pharez begat Hezron,
and Hezron begat Aram,
and Aram begat Aminadav,
and Aminadav begat Nahshon,
and Nahshon begat Shelab,
and Shelah begat Boaz,
and Boaz begat Obed,
and Obed begat Jesse,
and Jesse begat King David."
- Ruth 4:18-4:22
Not bad for a guy who didn't even get his feet wet.