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Genesis 38

38
Genesis 38
1¶ And it came to pass at that time that Judah went down from his brethren and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
2And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah, and he took her and went in unto her.
3And she conceived and gave birth to a son, and he called his name Er.
4And she conceived again and gave birth to a son, and she called his name Onan.
5And she yet again conceived and gave birth to a son and called his name Shelah. And he was at Chezib, when she gave birth to him.
6And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
7And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord and the Lord slew him.
8Then Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife and marry her and raise up seed to thy brother.
9And Onan knew that the seed would not be his, and it came to pass when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he corrupted it on the ground, to not give seed to his brother.
10And the thing which he did displeased the Lord, and he slew him also.
11Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house until Shelah, my son, is grown; for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.
12¶ And many days passed and Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shuah, died; and Judah was comforted and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah, the Adullamite.
13And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold, thy father-in-law goes up to Timnath to shear his sheep.
14And she took off her widow’s garments and covered herself with a veil and wrapped herself and sat by the gate to the waters by the way to Timnath, for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.
15When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot because she had covered her face.
16And he turned unto her by the way and said, Come now, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee (for he knew not that she was his daughter-in-law). And she said, What wilt thou give me that thou may come in unto me?
17And he said, I will send thee from the sheep a kid from the goats. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge until thou send it?
18Then he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet and thy mantel and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave them to her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.
19And she arose and went away and took off her veil and put on the garments of her widowhood.
20And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend, the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand; but he did not find her.
21Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the cult prostitute of the waters by the way side? And they said, There was no cult prostitute in this place.
22And he returned to Judah and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said that there was no cult prostitute in this place.
23And Judah said, Let her take the things for herself lest we be shamed; behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.
24¶ And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar, thy daughter-in-law, has played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth and let her be burnt.
25When she was brought forth, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, By the man whose these are, am I with child; and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet and mantel and staff.
26Then Judah acknowledged them, and said, She has been more righteous than I because I did not give her to Shelah, my son. And he knew her again no more.
27And it came to pass in the time of her travail that, behold, twins were in her womb.
28And it came to pass when she travailed, that the one put out his hand, and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.
29And it came to pass as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out; and she said, Why hast thou brought this breach upon thee? Therefore his name was called Pharez.
30And afterward his brother that had the scarlet thread upon his hand came out, and his name was called Zarah.
38
Judah and Tamar
1At that time, Judah left his brothers. He went down to stay with a man named Hirah from the town of Adullam. 2There Judah met the daughter of a man from Canaan. His name was Shua. Judah married her and slept with her. 3She became pregnant and had a son. They named him Er. 4She became pregnant again and had another son. She named him Onan. 5She had still another son. She named him Shelah. He was born at Kezib.
6Judah got a wife for his oldest son Er. Her name was Tamar. 7But Judah’s oldest son Er was evil in the Lord’s eyes. So the Lord put him to death.
8Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife. After all, you are her brother-in-law. So carry out your duty to her. Provide children for your brother.” 9But Onan knew that the children wouldn’t belong to him. So every time he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground. He did it so he wouldn’t provide children for his brother. 10What he did was evil in the Lord’s eyes. So the Lord put him to death also.
11Then Judah spoke to his daughter-in-law Tamar. He said, “Live as a widow in your father’s home. Wait there until my son Shelah grows up.” Judah was thinking, “Shelah might die too, just like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s home.
12After a long time Judah’s wife died. She was the daughter of Shua. When Judah got over his sadness, he went up to Timnah. His friend Hirah from Adullam went with him. Men were clipping the wool from Judah’s sheep at Timnah.
13Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to clip the wool from his sheep.” 14So she took off her widow’s clothes. She covered her face with a veil so people wouldn’t know who she was. Then she sat down at the entrance to Enaim. Enaim is on the road to Timnah. Tamar knew that Shelah had grown up. But she hadn’t been given to him as his wife.
15Judah saw her. He thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face with a veil. 16He didn’t realize that she was his daughter-in-law. He went over to her by the side of the road. He said, “Come. Let me sleep with you.”
“What will you give me to sleep with you?” she asked.
17“I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” he said.
“Will you give me something that belongs to you?” she asked. “I’ll keep it until you send the goat.”
18He said, “What should I give you?”
“Give me your official seal and the string that it hangs from,” she answered. “And give me your walking stick.” So he gave them to her. Then he slept with her. And she became pregnant by him. 19After she left, she took off her veil. She put on her widow’s clothes again.
20Judah sent his friend Hirah with the young goat he had promised. He wanted to get back what he had given to the woman. But his friend Hirah couldn’t find her. 21He asked the men who lived at Enaim, “Where’s the temple prostitute? She used to sit beside the road here.”
“There hasn’t been any temple prostitute here,” they said.
22So Hirah went back to Judah. He said, “I couldn’t find her. Besides, the men who lived there didn’t know anything about her. They said, ‘There hasn’t been any temple prostitute here.’ ”
23Then Judah said, “Let her keep what she has. I don’t want people making fun of us. After all, I did send her this young goat. We can’t help it if you couldn’t find her.”
24About three months later people brought word to Judah. They said, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of being a prostitute. Now she’s pregnant.”
Judah said, “Bring her out! Have her burned to death!”
25As Tamar was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. She said, “I am pregnant by the man who owns these.” She continued, “Do you recognize this seal and string and walking stick? Do you know who they belong to?”
26Judah recognized them. He said, “She’s a better person than I am. I should have given her to my son Shelah, but I didn’t.” Judah never slept with Tamar again.
27The time came for Tamar to have her baby. There were twin boys inside her. 28As the babies were being born, one of them stuck out his hand. So the woman helping Tamar took a bright red thread. The woman tied it on the baby’s wrist. She said, “This one came out first.” 29But he pulled his hand back, and his brother came out first instead. She said, “Just look at how you have forced your way out!” So he was called Perez. 30Then his brother, who had the red thread on his wrist, came out. So he was named Zerah.