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Genesis 38

38
Judah and Tamar
1And it came about at that time, that Judah #Lit went downdeparted from his brothers and #Lit turned aside tovisited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her as a wife and had relations with her. 3And she conceived and gave birth to a son, and he named him Er. 4Then she conceived again and gave birth to a son, and she named him Onan. 5She gave birth to yet another son and named him Shelah; and it was at Chezib #Lit whenthat she gave birth to him.
6Now Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord took his life. 8Then Judah said to Onan, “Have relations with your brother’s wife and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up a #Lit seedchild for your brother.” 9Now Onan knew that the #Lit seedchild would not be his; so when he had relations with his brother’s wife, he #Lit spilled on the groundwasted his seed on the ground so that he would not give #Lit seeda child to his brother. 10But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord; so He took his life also. 11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Remain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up”; for he #Lit saidthought, “I am afraid that he too may die like his brothers.” So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
12Now #Lit the days became many andafter a considerable time Shua’s daughter, the wife of Judah, died; and when #Lit Judah was comforted, hethe time of mourning was ended, Judah went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13And Tamar was told, “Behold, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14So she #Lit removed from herselfremoved her widow’s garments and covered herself with a #Or shawlveil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gateway of #In Josh 15:34, EnamEnaim, which is on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah had grown up, and she had not been given to him as a wife. 15When Judah saw her, he assumed she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16So he turned aside to her by the road, and said, “#Or Come, nowHere now, let me have relations with you”; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, “What will you give me, that you may have relations with me?” 17He said, therefore, “I will send you a #Lit kid of goatsyoung goat from the flock.” She then said, “Will you give a pledge until you send it?18He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” And she said, “Your seal and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and had relations with her, and she conceived by him. 19Then she got up and departed, and #Lit removed from herselfremoved her #Or shawlveil and put on her widow’s garments.
20When Judah sent the #Lit kid of goats by the hand ofyoung goat by his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman’s hand, he did not find her. 21He asked the people of her place, saying, “Where is the temple prostitute who was by the road at Enaim?” But they said, “There has been no temple prostitute here.” 22So he returned to Judah, and said, “I did not find her; and furthermore, the people of the place said, ‘There has been no temple prostitute here.’ ” 23Then Judah said, “Let her #Lit take for herselfkeep them, otherwise we will become a laughingstock. #Lit BeholdAfter all, I sent this young goat, but you did not find her.”
24Now it was about three months later that Judah was #Lit informed, sayinginformed, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has prostituted herself, and behold, she is also pregnant by prostitution.” Then Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned!” 25It was while she was being brought out that she sent word to her father-in-law, saying, “I am pregnant by the man to whom these things belong.” She also said, “Please examine and see, whose signet ring and cords and staff are these?” 26And Judah recognized them, and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not #Lit know her yet againhave relations with her again.
27It came about at the time she was giving birth, that behold, there were twins in her womb. 28Moreover, it took place while she was giving birth, that one baby put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 29But it came about as he drew back his hand that behold, his brother came out. Then she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” So he was named #I.e., a breachPerez. 30Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand; and he was named #I.e., a dawning or brightnessZerah.
38
Judah and Tamar
1About that time, Judah left his brothers and went to stay with a man named Hirah in the town of Adullam. 2There Judah met a Canaanite girl, the daughter of a man named Shua, and married her. Judah had sexual relations with her, 3and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, whom Judah named Er. 4Later she gave birth to another son and named him Onan. 5Still later she had another son and named him Shelah. She was at Kezib when this third son was born.
6Judah chose a girl named Tamar to be the wife of his first son Er. 7But Er, Judah’s oldest son, did what the Lord said was evil, so the Lord killed him. 8Then Judah said to Er’s brother Onan, “Go and have sexual relations with your dead brother’s wife. It is your duty to provide children for your brother in this way.”
9But Onan knew that the children would not belong to him, so when he was supposed to have sexual relations with Tamar he did not complete the sex act. This made it impossible for Tamar to become pregnant and for Er to have descendants. 10The Lord was displeased by this wicked thing Onan had done, so the Lord killed Onan also. 11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Go back to live in your father’s house, and don’t marry until my young son Shelah grows up.” Judah was afraid that Shelah also would die like his brothers. So Tamar returned to her father’s home.
12After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. After Judah had gotten over his sorrow, he went to Timnah to his men who were cutting the wool from his sheep. His friend Hirah from Adullam went with him. 13Tamar learned that Judah, her father-in-law, was going to Timnah to cut the wool from his sheep. 14So she took off the clothes that showed she was a widow and covered her face with a veil to hide who she was. Then she sat down by the gate of Enaim on the road to Timnah. She did this because Judah’s younger son Shelah had grown up, but Judah had not made plans for her to marry him.
15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, because she had covered her face with a veil. 16So Judah went to her and said, “Let me have sexual relations with you.” He did not know that she was Tamar, his daughter-in-law.
She asked, “What will you give me if I let you have sexual relations with me?”
17Judah answered, “I will send you a young goat from my flock.”
She answered, “First give me something to keep as a deposit until you send the goat.”
18Judah asked, “What do you want me to give you as a deposit?”
Tamar answered, “Give me your seal and its cord, and give me your walking stick.” So Judah gave these things to her. Then Judah and Tamar had sexual relations, and Tamar became pregnant. 19When Tamar went home, she took off the veil that covered her face and put on the clothes that showed she was a widow.
20Judah sent his friend Hirah with the young goat to find the woman and get back his seal and the walking stick he had given her, but Hirah could not find her. 21He asked some of the people at the town of Enaim, “Where is the prostitute who was here by the road?”
They answered, “There has never been a prostitute here.”
22So he went back to Judah and said, “I could not find the woman, and the people who lived there said, ‘There has never been a prostitute here.’ ”
23Judah said, “Let her keep the things. I don’t want people to laugh at us. I sent her the goat as I promised, but you could not find her.”
24About three months later someone told Judah, “Tamar, your daughter-in-law, is guilty of acting like a prostitute, and now she is pregnant.”
Then Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned to death.”
25When the people went to bring Tamar out, she sent a message to her father-in-law that said, “The man who owns these things has made me pregnant. Look at this seal and its cord and this walking stick, and tell me whose they are.”
26Judah recognized them and said, “She is more in the right than I. She did this because I did not give her to my son Shelah as I promised.” And Judah did not have sexual relations with her again.
27When the time came for Tamar to give birth, there were twins in her body. 28While she was giving birth, one baby put his hand out. The nurse tied a red string on his hand and said, “This baby came out first.” 29But he pulled his hand back in, so the other baby was born first. The nurse said, “So you are able to break out first,” and they named him Perez. 30After this, the baby with the red string on his hand was born, and they named him Zerah.