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Bereshis 38

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1And it came to pass at that time, that Yehudah went down from his achim, and turned in to an ish Adulami shmo Chirah. 2And Yehudah saw there a bat ish Kena'ani shmo Shua; and he took her, and went in unto her. 3She conceived, and bore ben; and he called shmo Er. 4And she conceived again, and bore ben; and she called shmo Onan. 5And she yet again conceived, and bore ben; and called shmo Shelah; at Keziv, when she bore him. 6And Yehudah took a wife for Er his bechor, whose shem was Tamar. 7And Er, bechor Yehudah, was rah in the eyes of Hashem; and Hashem slaughtered him. 8And Yehudah said unto Onan, Go in unto eshet achicha, and enter into levirate marriage with her, and raise up zera to achicha. 9And Onan knew that the zera should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto eshet achiv, that he spilled it on the ground, lest he should give zera to achiv. 10And the thing which he did was rah in the eyes of Hashem; therefore He slaughtered him also. 11Then said Yehudah to Tamar his kallah, Remain an almanah at thy bais avi, till Shelah beni is grown; for he said, Lest he die also, as his achim did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her bais avi. 12And in process of time the bat Shua, eshet Yehudah, died; and Yehudah was consoled, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnah, he and his re'a Chirah the Adulami. 13And it was told Tamar, saying, Hinei, thy kham (father-in-law) goeth up to Timnah to shear his tzon. 14And she put off her widow's garments from her, and covered her with a tze'if (veil), and disguised herself, and sat at the crossroads which is on the derech to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him as isha. 15When Yehudah saw her, he thought her to be a zonah; because she had covered her face. 16And he turned unto her by the derech, and said, Come now, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his kallah [daughter-in-law]). And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? 17And he said, I will send thee a gedi izzim (kid of the goats). And she said, Wilt thou give me an ervon (pledge), till thou send it? 18And he said, What ervon shall I give thee? And she said, Thy chotam (signet), and thy [signet neck] cord, and thy staff that is in thine yad. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him. 19And she arose, and went away, and took off her tze'if from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. 20And Yehudah sent the gedi izzim by the yad of his friend the Adulami, to get back his ervon from the yad haisha; but he found her not. 21Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the kedesha (cult prostitute) that was on the crossroads by the derech? And they said, There was no kedesha in this place. 22And he returned to Yehudah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said that there was no kedesha in this place. 23And Yehudah said, Let her take for herself, lest we become buz (laughingstock); hinei, I sent this gedi, and thou hast not found her. 24And it came to pass about shlosh chadashim (three months) later, that it was told Yehudah saying, Tamar thy kallah hath played the zonah; and also, hinei, she is with child by zenunim (whoredom). And Yehudah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burned. 25When she was brought forth, she sent to her kham (father-in-law), saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child; and she said, Discern, now, whose are these, the chotam (signet), and the [signet neck] cord, and the staff. 26And Yehudah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more tzadekah than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah beni. And he knew her again no more. 27And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, hinei te'omim (twin boys) were in her beten. 28And it came to pass, when she travailed in labor, that the one put out his yad; and the midwife took and bound upon his yad a scarlet thread, saying, This came out rishonah (first). 29And it came to pass, as he drew back his yad, that, hinei, his brother came out; and she said, How hast paratzta (thou broken out)? This paretz (breach, breaking) be upon thee; therefore shmo was called Peretz [Breaking out]. 30And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his yad; and shmo was called Zerach.
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1-5About that time, Judah separated from his brothers and hooked up with a man in Adullam named Hirah. While there, Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite named Shua. He married her, they went to bed, she became pregnant and had a son named Er. She got pregnant again and had a son named Onan. She had still another son; she named this one Shelah. They were living at Kezib when she had him.
6-7Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn. Her name was Tamar. But Judah’s firstborn, Er, grievously offended God and God took his life.
8-10So Judah told Onan, “Go and sleep with your brother’s widow; it’s the duty of a brother-in-law to keep your brother’s line alive.” But Onan knew that the child wouldn’t be his, so whenever he slept with his brother’s widow he spilled his semen on the ground so he wouldn’t produce a child for his brother. God was much offended by what he did and also took his life.
11So Judah stepped in and told his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow at home with your father until my son Shelah grows up.” He was worried that Shelah would also end up dead, just like his brothers. So Tamar went to live with her father.
12Time passed. Judah’s wife, Shua’s daughter, died. When the time of mourning was over, Judah with his friend Hirah of Adullam went to Timnah for the sheep shearing.
13-14Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law has gone to Timnah to shear his sheep.” She took off her widow’s clothes, put on a veil to disguise herself, and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the road to Timnah. She realized by now that even though Shelah was grown up, she wasn’t going to be married to him.
15Judah saw her and assumed she was a prostitute since she had veiled her face. He left the road and went over to her. He said, “Let me sleep with you.” He had no idea that she was his daughter-in-law.
16She said, “What will you pay me?”
17“I’ll send you,” he said, “a kid goat from the flock.”
She said, “Not unless you give me a pledge until you send it.”
18“So what would you want in the way of a pledge?”
She said, “Your personal seal-and-cord and the staff you carry.”
He handed them over to her and slept with her. And she got pregnant.
19She then left and went home. She removed her veil and put her widow’s clothes back on.
20-21Judah sent the kid goat by his friend from Adullam to recover the pledge from the woman. But he couldn’t find her. He asked the men of that place, “Where’s the prostitute that used to sit by the road here near Enaim?”
They said, “There’s never been a prostitute here.”
22He went back to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. The men there said there never has been a prostitute there.”
23Judah said, “Let her have it then. If we keep looking, everyone will be poking fun at us. I kept my part of the bargain—I sent the kid goat but you couldn’t find her.”
24Three months or so later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law has been playing the whore—and now she’s a pregnant whore.”
Judah yelled, “Get her out here. Burn her up!”
25As they brought her out, she sent a message to her father-in-law, “I’m pregnant by the man who owns these things. Identify them, please. Who’s the owner of the seal-and-cord and the staff?”
26Judah saw they were his. He said, “She’s in the right; I’m in the wrong—I wouldn’t let her marry my son Shelah.” He never slept with her again.
27-30When her time came to give birth, it turned out that there were twins in her womb. As she was giving birth, one put his hand out; the midwife tied a red thread on his hand, saying, “This one came first.” But then he pulled it back and his brother came out. She said, “Oh! A breakout!” So she named him Perez (Breakout). Then his brother came out with the red thread on his hand. They named him Zerah (Bright).