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Genesis 38

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.
38
1At that time Juda went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Odollamite, named Hiras.
2And he saw there the daughter of a man of Chanaan, called Sue: and taking her to wife, he went in unto her.
3And she conceived, and bore a son, and called his name Her.
4And conceiving again, she bore a son, and called him Onan.
5She bore also a third: whom she called Sela. After whose birth, she ceased to bear any more.
6And Juda took a wife for Her his firstborn, whose name was Thamar.
7And Her, the firstborn of Juda, was wicked in the sight of the Lord: and was slain by him.
8Juda, therefore add to Onan his son: Go in to thy brother's wife and marry her, that thou mayst raise seed to thy brother.
9He knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother's wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother's name.
10And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.
11Wherefore Juda said to Thamar his daughter-in-law: Remain a widow in thy father's house, till Sela my son grow up. For he was afraid lest he also might die, as his brethren did. She went her way and dwelt in her father's house.
12And after many days were past, the daughter of Sue the wife of Juda died: and when he had taken comfort after his mourning he went up to Thamnas, to the shearers of his sheep, he and Hiras the Odollamite the shepherd of his flock.
13And it was told Thamar that her father-in-law was come up to Thamnas to shear his sheep.
14And she put off the garments of her widowhood, and took a veil, and changing her dress sat in the cross way, that leadeth to Thamnas; because Sela was grown up, and she had not been married to him.
15When Juda saw her, he thought she was a harlot: for she had covered her face, lest she should be known.
16And going to her, he said: Suffer me to lie with thee; for he knew her not to be his daughter-in-law. And she answered: What wilt thou give me to enjoy my company?
17He said: I will send thee a kid out of the flock. And when she said again: I will suffer what thou wilt, if thou give a pledge, till thou send what thou promisest.
18Juda said: What wilt thou have for a pledge? She answered: Thy ring and bracelet, and the staff which thou holdest in thy hand. The woman therefore at one copulation conceived.
19And she arose and went her way: and putting off the apparel which she had taken, put on the garments of her widowhood.
20And Juda sent a kid by his shepherd, the Odollamite, that he might receive the pledge again, which he had given to the woman: but he, not finding her,
21Asked the men of that place: Where is the woman that sat in the cross way? And when they all made answer: There was no harlot in this place,
22He returned to Juda, and said to him: I have not found her; moreover the men of that place said to me, that there never sat a harlot there.
23Juda said: Let her take it to herself; surely she cannot charge us with a lie. I sent the kid which I promised: and thou didst not find her.
24And, behold, after three months they told Juda, saying: Thamar thy daughter-in-law hath played the harlot, and she appeareth to have a big belly. And Juda said: Bring her out that she may be burnt.
25But when she was led to execution, she sent to her father-in-law, saying: By the man, to whom these things belong, I am with child. See whose ring, and bracelet, and staff this is.
26But he acknowledging the gifts, said: She is juster than I; because I did not give her to Sela; my son. However, he knew her no more.
27And when she was ready to be brought to bed, there appeared twins in her womb: and in the very delivery of the infants, one put forth a hand, whereon the midwife tied a scarlet thread, saying:
28This shall come forth the first.
29But he drawing back his hand, the other came forth. And the woman said: Why is the partition divided for thee? And therefore called his name Phares.
30Afterwards his brother came out, on whose hand was the scarlet thread: and she called him Zara.