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Genesis 38

38
Judah and Tamar
1About that time, Judah left his brothers and went to stay with a man named Hirah from the town of Adullam. 2Judah met a Canaanite girl there and married her. The girl’s father was named Shua. 3The Canaanite girl gave birth to a son and named him Er. 4Later, she gave birth to another son and named him Onan. 5Then she had another son named Shelah. Judah lived in Kezib when his third son was born.
6Judah chose a woman named Tamar to be the wife of his first son Er. 7But Er did many bad things. The Lord was not happy with him, so the Lord killed him. 8Then Judah said to Er’s brother Onan, “Go and sleep with your dead brother’s wife.#38:8 Go and sleep … wife In Israel if a man died without children, one of his brothers would take the widow. If a child was born, it would be considered the dead man’s child. Become like a husband to her. If children are born, they will belong to your brother Er.”
9Onan knew that the children from this union would not belong to him. He had sexual relations with Tamar, but he did not allow himself to stay inside her. 10This made the Lord angry. So he killed Onan also. 11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Go back to your father’s house. Stay there and don’t marry until my young son Shelah grows up.” Judah was afraid that Shelah would also be killed like his brothers. So Tamar went back to her father’s home.
12Later, Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. After Judah’s time of sadness, he went to Timnah with his friend Hirah from Adullam. Judah went to Timnah to have the wool cut from his sheep. 13Tamar learned that Judah, her father-in-law, was going to Timnah to cut the wool from his sheep. 14Tamar always wore clothes that showed that she was a widow. So she put on some different clothes and covered her face with a veil. Then she sat down near the road going to Enaim, a town near Timnah. Tamar knew that Judah’s younger son Shelah was now grown up, but Judah would not make plans for her to marry him.
15Judah traveled on that road and saw her, but he thought that she was a prostitute. (Her face was covered with a veil like a prostitute.) 16So he went to her and said, “Let me have sex with you.” (Judah did not know that she was Tamar, his daughter-in-law.)
She said, “How much will you give me?”
17Judah answered, “I will send you a young goat from my flock.”
She answered, “I agree to that. But first you must give me something to keep until you send me the goat.”
18Judah asked, “What do you want me to give you as proof that I will send you the goat?”
Tamar answered, “Give me your seal and its string#38:18 seal … string People wrote a contract, folded it, tied it with string, put wax or clay on the string, and pressed the seal onto it to seal it. This was like signing the agreement. Also in verse 25. and your walking stick.” Judah gave these things to her. Then Judah and Tamar had sexual relations, and she became pregnant. 19Then Tamar went home, took off her veil that covered her face, and again put on the special clothes that showed she was a widow.
20Later, Judah sent his friend Hirah to Enaim to give the prostitute the goat he promised. Judah also told Hirah to get the special seal and the walking stick from her, but Hirah could not find her. 21He asked some of the men at the town of Enaim, “Where is the prostitute who was here by the road?”
The men answered, “There has never been a prostitute here.”
22So Judah’s friend went back to Judah and said, “I could not find the woman. The men who live in that place said that there was never a prostitute there.”
23So Judah said, “Let her keep the things. I don’t want people to laugh at us. I tried to give her the goat, but we could not find her. That is enough.”
Tamar Is Pregnant
24About three months later, someone told Judah, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar sinned like a prostitute, and now she is pregnant.”
Then Judah said, “Take her out and burn her.”
25The men went to Tamar to kill her, but she sent a message to her father-in-law that said, “The man who made me pregnant is the man who owns these things. Look at them. Whose are they? Whose special seal and string is this? Whose walking stick is this?”
26Judah recognized these things and said, “She is right. I was wrong. I did not give her my son Shelah like I promised.” And Judah did not sleep with her again.
27The time came for Tamar to give birth. She was going to have twins. 28While she was giving birth, one baby put his hand out. The nurse tied a red string on the hand and said, “This baby was born first.” 29But that baby pulled his hand back in, so the other baby was born first. So the nurse said, “You were able to break out first!” So they named him Perez.#38:29 Perez This name is like the word meaning “to break out.” 30After this, the other baby was born. This was the baby with the red string on his hand. They named him Zerah.#38:30 Zerah This name is like the word meaning “bright.”

Genesis 38

38
Judah and Tamar
1It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and #ver. 16; ch. 19:3; 2 Kgs. 4:8 turned aside to a certain #1 Sam. 22:1; 2 Sam. 23:13; 1 Chr. 11:15; Mic. 1:15Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was #[1 Chr. 2:3]Shua. He took her and went in to her, 3and she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name #ch. 46:12; Num. 26:19, 20Er. 4She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name #[See ver. 3 above]Onan. 5Yet again she bore a son, and she called his name #[See ver. 3 above]Shelah. Judah#38:5 Hebrew He was in Chezib when she bore him.
6And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7But Er, Judah’s firstborn, #1 Chr. 2:3was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death. 8Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to #Matt. 22:24; Mark 12:19; Luke 20:28 your brother’s wife and #See Deut. 25:5-10perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” 9But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother’s wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother. 10And what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also. 11Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, #[Ruth 1:12, 13] “Remain a widow in your father’s house, till Shelah my son grows up”—for he feared that he would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went and remained #Lev. 22:13in her father’s house.
12In the course of time the wife of Judah, Shua’s daughter, died. When Judah #ch. 24:67; 37:35; 2 Sam. 13:39 was comforted, he went up to #Judg. 14:1Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13And when Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14she took off her widow’s garments #[ver. 19; ch. 24:65] and covered herself with a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to #ver. 21 Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that Shelah was grown up, #ver. 26and she had not been given to him in marriage. 15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16He turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 17He answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” And she said, “If you give me a pledge, until you send it—” 18He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, #ver. 25“Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19Then she arose and went away, and taking off #ver. 14her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood.
20When Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite to take back the pledge from the woman’s hand, he did not find her. 21And he asked the men of the place, “Where is the cult prostitute#38:21 Hebrew sacred woman; a woman who served a pagan deity by prostitution; also verse 22 who was at #ver. 14Enaim at the roadside?” And they said, “No cult prostitute has been here.” 22So he returned to Judah and said, “I have not found her. Also, the men of the place said, ‘No cult prostitute has been here.’” 23And Judah replied, “Let her keep the things as her own, or we shall be laughed at. You see, I sent this young goat, and you did not find her.”
24About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law #Judg. 19:2 has been immoral.#38:24 Or has committed prostitution Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.”#38:24 Or by prostitution And Judah said, “Bring her out, and #Lev. 21:9; [Deut. 22:21; John 8:5]let her be burned.” 25As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “By the man to whom these belong, I am pregnant.” And she said, “Please identify whose these are, #ver. 18the signet and the cord and the staff.” 26Then Judah identified them and said, #1 Sam. 24:17 “She is more righteous than I, since #ver. 14I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again.
27When the time of her labor came, there were twins in her womb. 28And when she was in labor, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 29But as he drew back his hand, behold, his brother came out. And she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” Therefore his name was called #ch. 46:12; Num. 26:20; 1 Chr. 2:4; Matt. 1:3Perez.#38:29 Perez means a breach 30Afterward his brother came out with the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called #[See ver. 29 above]Zerah.