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Genesis 38

38
Judah and Tamar
1It came to pass at that time that Judah departed from his brothers, and #2 Kin. 4:8visited a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah. 2And Judah #Gen. 34:2saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was #1 Chr. 2:3Shua, and he married her and went in to her. 3So she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name #Gen. 46:12; Num. 26:19Er. 4She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name #Gen. 46:12; Num. 26:19Onan. 5And she conceived yet again and bore a son, and called his name #Num. 26:20Shelah. He was at Chezib when she bore him.
6Then Judah #Gen. 21:21took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was #Ruth 4:12Tamar. 7But #Gen. 46:12; Num. 26:19Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, #1 Chr. 2:3and the Lord killed him. 8And Judah said to Onan, “Go in to #Deut. 25:5, 6; Matt. 22:24your brother’s wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your brother.” 9But Onan knew that the heir would not be #Deut. 25:6his; and it came to pass, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he emitted on the ground, lest he should give an heir to his brother. 10And the thing which he did displeased the Lord; therefore He killed #Gen. 46:12; Num. 26:19him also.
11Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, #Ruth 1:12, 13“Remain a widow in your father’s house till my son Shelah is grown.” For he said, “Lest he also die like his brothers.” And Tamar went and dwelt #Lev. 22:13in her father’s house.
12Now in the process of time the daughter of Shua, Judah’s wife, died; and Judah #2 Sam. 13:39was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13And it was told Tamar, saying, “Look, your father-in-law is going up #Josh. 15:10, 57; Judg. 14:1to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14So she took off her widow’s garments, covered herself with a veil and wrapped herself, and #Prov. 7:12sat in an open place which was on the way to Timnah; for she saw #Gen. 38:11, 26that Shelah was grown, and she was not given to him as a wife. 15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, because she had covered her face. 16Then he turned to her by the way, and said, “Please let me come in to you”; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.
So she said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”
17And he said, #Judg. 15:1; Ezek. 16:33“I will send a young goat from the flock.”
So she said, #Gen. 38:20“Will you give me a pledge till you send it?
18Then he said, “What pledge shall I give you?”
So she said, #Gen. 38:25; 41:42“Your signet and cord, and your staff that is in your hand.” Then he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19So she arose and went away, and #Gen. 38:14laid aside her veil and put on the garments of her widowhood.
20And Judah sent the young goat 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 harlot who was openly by the roadside?”
And they said, “There was no harlot in this place.
22So he returned to Judah and said, “I cannot find her. Also, the men of the place said there was no harlot in this place.
23Then Judah said, “Let her take them for herself, lest we be shamed; for I sent this young goat and you have not found her.”
24And it came to pass, about three months after, that Judah was told, saying, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has #Judg. 19:2played the harlot; furthermore she is with child by harlotry.”
So Judah said, “Bring her out #Lev. 20:14; 21:9; Deut. 22:21and let her be burned!”
25When she was brought out, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man to whom these belong, I am with child.” And she said, #Gen. 37:32; 38:18“Please determine whose these are—the signet and cord, and staff.”
26So Judah #Gen. 37:33acknowledged them and said, #1 Sam. 24:17“She has been more righteous than I, because #Gen. 38:14I did not give her to Shelah my son.” And he #Job 34:31, 32never knew her again.
27Now it came to pass, at the time for giving birth, that behold, twins were in her womb. 28And so it was, when she was giving birth, that the one put out his hand; and the midwife took a scarlet thread and bound it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 29Then it happened, as he drew back his hand, that his brother came out unexpectedly; and she said, “How did you break through? This breach be upon you!” Therefore his name was called #Gen. 46:12; Num. 26:20; Ruth 4:12; 1 Chr. 2:4; Matt. 1:3Perez. 30Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand. And his name was called #Gen. 46:12; 1 Chr. 2:4; Matt. 1:3Zerah.
38
Judah and Tamar
1At that time Judah left his brothers and settled near an Adullamite#Jos 15:35; 1Sm 22:1 named Hirah. 2There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite named Shua; he took her as a wife and slept with her. 3She conceived and gave birth to a son, and he named him Er.#Gn 46:12; Nm 26:19 4She conceived again, gave birth to a son, and named him Onan. 5She gave birth to another son and named him Shelah. It was at Chezib that#38:5 LXX reads She was at Chezib when#38:5 Or He was at Chezib when she gave birth to him.
6Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7Now Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the Lord’s sight, and the Lord put him to death.#1Ch 2:3 8Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife. Perform your duty as her brother-in-law#Dt 25:5–10 and produce offspring for your brother.”#Mt 22:24 9But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he released his semen on the ground so that he would not produce offspring for his brother. 10What he did was evil in the Lord’s sight, so he put him to death also.
11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Remain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up.”#Ru 1:12–13 For he thought, “He might die too, like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s house.
12After a long time#38:12 Lit And there were many days, and Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had finished mourning, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went up to Timnah#Jos 15:10,57 to his sheepshearers. 13Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14So she took off her widow’s clothes, veiled her face,#Gn 24:65 covered herself, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the way to Timnah. For she saw that, though Shelah had grown up, she had not been given to him as a wife. 15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face.
16He went over to her and said, “Come, let me sleep with you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.#Lv 18:15
She said, “What will you give me for sleeping with me?”
17“I will send you a young goat from my flock,” he replied.
But she said, “Only if you leave something with me until you send it.”
18“What should I give you?” he asked.
She answered, “Your signet ring, your cord, and the staff in your hand.” So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him. 19She got up and left, then removed her veil and put her widow’s clothes back on.
20When Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite in order to get back the items he had left with the woman, he could not find her. 21He asked the men of the place, “Where is the cult prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?”
“There has been no cult prostitute here,” they answered.
22So the Adullamite returned to Judah, saying, “I couldn’t find her, and besides, the men of the place said, ‘There has been no cult prostitute here.’”
23Judah replied, “Let her keep the items for herself; otherwise we will become a laughingstock. After all, I did send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”
24About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law, Tamar, has been acting like a prostitute, and now she is pregnant.”
“Bring her out,” Judah said, “and let her be burned to death!” #Lv 20:14
25As she was being brought out, she sent her father-in-law this message: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these items belong.” And she added, “Examine them. Whose signet ring, cord, and staff are these?”
26Judah recognized them and said, “She is more in the right#38:26 Or more righteous than I,#1Sm 24:17 since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her intimately again.
27When the time came for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 28As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand, and the midwife took it and tied a scarlet thread around it, announcing, “This one came out first.” 29But then he pulled his hand back, out came his brother, and she said, “What a breakout you have made for yourself!” So he was named Perez.#38:29 = Breaking Out#Gn 46:12; Nm 26:20; 1Ch 2:4; Mt 1:3 30Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread tied to his hand, came out, and was named Zerah.#38:30 = Brightness of Sunrise; perhaps related to the scarlet thread