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Genesis 38

38
1At that time Juda went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Odollamite, named Hiras.
2And he saw there the daughter of a man of Chanaan, called Sue: and taking her to wife, he went in unto her.
3And she conceived, and bore a son, and called his name Her.
4And conceiving again, she bore a son, and called him Onan.
5She bore also a third: whom she called Sela. After whose birth, she ceased to bear any more.
6And Juda took a wife for Her his firstborn, whose name was Thamar.
7And Her, the firstborn of Juda, was wicked in the sight of the Lord: and was slain by him.
8Juda, therefore add to Onan his son: Go in to thy brother's wife and marry her, that thou mayst raise seed to thy brother.
9He knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother's wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother's name.
10And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.
11Wherefore Juda said to Thamar his daughter-in-law: Remain a widow in thy father's house, till Sela my son grow up. For he was afraid lest he also might die, as his brethren did. She went her way and dwelt in her father's house.
12And after many days were past, the daughter of Sue the wife of Juda died: and when he had taken comfort after his mourning he went up to Thamnas, to the shearers of his sheep, he and Hiras the Odollamite the shepherd of his flock.
13And it was told Thamar that her father-in-law was come up to Thamnas to shear his sheep.
14And she put off the garments of her widowhood, and took a veil, and changing her dress sat in the cross way, that leadeth to Thamnas; because Sela was grown up, and she had not been married to him.
15When Juda saw her, he thought she was a harlot: for she had covered her face, lest she should be known.
16And going to her, he said: Suffer me to lie with thee; for he knew her not to be his daughter-in-law. And she answered: What wilt thou give me to enjoy my company?
17He said: I will send thee a kid out of the flock. And when she said again: I will suffer what thou wilt, if thou give a pledge, till thou send what thou promisest.
18Juda said: What wilt thou have for a pledge? She answered: Thy ring and bracelet, and the staff which thou holdest in thy hand. The woman therefore at one copulation conceived.
19And she arose and went her way: and putting off the apparel which she had taken, put on the garments of her widowhood.
20And Juda sent a kid by his shepherd, the Odollamite, that he might receive the pledge again, which he had given to the woman: but he, not finding her,
21Asked the men of that place: Where is the woman that sat in the cross way? And when they all made answer: There was no harlot in this place,
22He returned to Juda, and said to him: I have not found her; moreover the men of that place said to me, that there never sat a harlot there.
23Juda said: Let her take it to herself; surely she cannot charge us with a lie. I sent the kid which I promised: and thou didst not find her.
24And, behold, after three months they told Juda, saying: Thamar thy daughter-in-law hath played the harlot, and she appeareth to have a big belly. And Juda said: Bring her out that she may be burnt.
25But when she was led to execution, she sent to her father-in-law, saying: By the man, to whom these things belong, I am with child. See whose ring, and bracelet, and staff this is.
26But he acknowledging the gifts, said: She is juster than I; because I did not give her to Sela; my son. However, he knew her no more.
27And when she was ready to be brought to bed, there appeared twins in her womb: and in the very delivery of the infants, one put forth a hand, whereon the midwife tied a scarlet thread, saying:
28This shall come forth the first.
29But he drawing back his hand, the other came forth. And the woman said: Why is the partition divided for thee? And therefore called his name Phares.
30Afterwards his brother came out, on whose hand was the scarlet thread: and she called him Zara.
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.”