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Genesis 38

38
1 About the same time, Judah, descending from his brothers, turned toward an Adullamite man, named Hirah.
2 And he saw there the daughter of a man called Shua, of Canaan. And taking her as a wife, he entered to her.
3 And she conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Er.
4 And conceiving offspring again, having given birth to a son, she called him Onan.
5 Likewise, she bore a third, whom she called Shelah, after whose birth, she ceased to bear any more.
6 Then Judah gave a wife to his first born Er, whose name was Tamar.
7 And it also happened that Er, the first born of Judah, was wicked in the sight of the Lord and was killed by him.
8 Therefore, Judah said to his son Onan: "Enter to the wife of your brother, and associate with her, so that you may raise offspring to your brother."
9 He, knowing that the sons to be born would not be his, when he entered to the wife of his brother, he spilled his seed on the ground, lest children should be born in his brother's name.
10 And for this reason, the Lord struck him down, because he did a detestable thing.
11 Because of this matter, Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, "Be a widow in your father's house, until my son Shelah grows up." For he was afraid, lest he also might die, just as his brothers did. She went away, and she lived in her father's house.
12 Then, after many days had passed, the daughter of Shua, the wife of Judah, died. And when he accepted consolation after his mourning, he went up to the shearers of his sheep at Timnah, he and Hirah, the herdsman of the Adullamite flock.
13 And it was reported to Tamar that her father-in-law had gone up to Timnah to shear the sheep.
14 And storing away the garments of her widowhood, she took up a veil. And changing her clothing, she sat at the crossroad that leads to Timnah, because Shelah had grown up, and she had not received him as a husband.
15 And when Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot. For she had covered her face, lest she be recognized.
16 And entering to her, he said, "Permit me to join with you." For he did not know her to be his daughter-in-law. And she responded, "What will you give to me, to enjoy me as a concubine?"
17 He said, "I will send you a young goat from the flock." And again, she said, "I will allow what you want, if you give me a pledge, until you may send what you promise."
18 Judah said, "What do you want to be given for a pledge?" She responded, "Your ring and bracelet, and the staff that you hold in your hand." Thereupon, the woman, from one sexual encounter, conceived.
19 And she arose and went away. And storing away the garments that she had taken up, she was clothed in the garments of her widowhood.
20 Then Judah sent a young goat by his shepherd, the Adullamite, so that he might receive the pledge that he had given to the woman. But, when he had not found her,
21 he questioned the men of that place: "Where is the woman who sat at the crossroad?" And they all responded, "There has been no harlot in this place."
22 He returned to Judah, and he said to him: "I did not find her. Moreover, the men of that place told me that a prostitute had never sat there."
23 Judah said: "Let her hold herself to blame. Certainly, she is not able to accuse us of a lie. I sent the young goat that I had promised, and you did not find her."
24 And behold, after three months, they reported to Judah, saying, "Tamar, your daughter-in-law, has committed fornication and her abdomen appears to be enlarged." And Judah said, "Produce her, so that she may be burned."
25 But when she was led out to the punishment, she sent to her father-in-law, saying: "I conceived by the man to whom these things belong. Recognize whose ring, and bracelet, and staff this is."
26 But he, acknowledging the gifts, said: "She is more just than I am. For I did not deliver her to my son Shelah." However, he knew her no more.
27 Then, at the moment of birth, there appeared twins in the womb. And so, in the very delivery of the infants, one put forth a hand, on which the midwife tied a scarlet thread, saying,
28 "This one will go out first."
29 But in truth, drawing back his hand, the other came out. And the woman said, "Why is the partition divided for you?" And for this reason, she called his name Perez.
30 After this, his brother came out, on whose hand was the scarlet thread. And she called him Zerah.
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