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Genesis 38

38
Judah’s Sin with Tamar
1About that time Judah left his brothers and went to stay with a man from Adullam whose name was Hirah. 2There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man whose name was Shua. He married her and slept with her. 3She became pregnant and gave birth to a son named  #38:3 Some Hebrew manuscripts “son, whom he named”; other Hebrew manuscripts, Samaritan Pentateuch, and Targum “son, whom she named.” Er. 4She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son, whom she named Onan. 5Then she became pregnant again and gave birth to another son, whom she named Shelah. He was born at Kezib.
6Judah chose a wife for his firstborn son Er. Her name was Tamar. 7Er angered the Lord. So the Lord took away his life. 8Then Judah said to Onan, “Go sleep with your brother’s widow. Do your duty for her as a brother-in-law, and produce a descendant for your brother.” 9But Onan knew that the descendant wouldn’t belong to him, so whenever he slept with his brother’s widow, he wasted his semen on the ground to avoid giving his brother a descendant. 10What Onan did angered the Lord so much that the Lord took away Onan’s life too.
11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Return to your father’s home. Live as a widow until my son Shelah grows up.” He thought that this son, too, might die like his brothers. So Tamar went to live in her father’s home.
12After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had finished mourning, he and his friend Hirah from Adullam went to Timnah where the men were shearing Judah’s sheep. 13As soon as Tamar was told that her father-in-law was on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep, 14she took off her widow’s clothes, covered her face with a veil, and disguised herself. Then she sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. (She did this because she realized that Shelah was grown up now, and she hadn’t been given to him in marriage.)
15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face. 16Since he didn’t know she was his daughter-in-law, he approached her by the roadside and said, “Come on, let’s sleep together!”
She asked, “What will you pay to sleep with me?”
17“I’ll send you a young goat from the flock,” he answered.
She said, “First give me something as a deposit until you send it.”
18“What should I give you as a deposit?” he asked.
“Your signet ring, its cord, and the shepherd’s staff that’s in your hand,” she answered.
So he gave them to her. Then he slept with her, and she became pregnant. 19After she got up and left, she took off her veil and put her widow’s clothes back on.
20Judah sent his friend Hirah to deliver the young goat so that he could get back his deposit from the woman, but his friend couldn’t find her. 21He asked the men of that area, “Where’s that prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?”
“There’s no prostitute here,” they answered.
22So he went back to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. Even the men of that area said, ‘There’s no prostitute here.’ ”
23Then Judah said, “Let her keep what I gave her, or we’ll become a laughingstock. After all, I did send her 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. What’s more, because of it she’s pregnant.”
Judah ordered, “Bring her out to be burned.”
25As she was brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law, “I’m pregnant by the man who owns these things. See if you recognize whose signet ring, cord, and shepherd’s staff these are.”
26Judah recognized them and said, “She’s not guilty. I am! She did this because I haven’t given her my son Shelah.” Judah never made love to her again.
27The time came for Tamar to give birth, and she had twin boys. 28When she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand. The midwife took a piece of red yarn, tied it on his wrist, and said, “This one came out first.” 29As he pulled back his hand, his brother was born. So she said, “Is this how you burst into the world!” He was named Perez [Bursting Into]. 30After that his brother was born with the red yarn on his hand. He was named Zerah [Sunrise].
38
Judah and Tamar
1#1Sa 22:1; Jos 15:35At that time Judah left his brothers and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2#1Ch 2:3; Ge 24:3There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shua, and he took her and had relations with her. 3#Ge 46:12; Nu 26:19She conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er. 4#Ge 46:12She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan. 5#Nu 26:20She again conceived and bore a son and called his name Shelah. He was at Kezib when she bore him.
6Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 7#1Ch 2:3; Ge 46:12But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord killed him.
8#Dt 25:5–10Then Judah said to Onan, “Go have relations with your brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up descendants for your brother.” 9#Dt 25:6But Onan knew that the descendant would not be his, so when he had relations with his brother’s wife, he let his semen go on the ground, so that he would not give a descendant to his brother. 10#Ge 46:12; Nu 26:19What he did displeased the Lord; therefore He killed him also.
11#Lev 22:13Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow at your father’s house until Shelah my son grows up.” For he thought, “He may die also, just as his brothers did.” So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
12#Jos 15:10; Ge 24:67As time went on, the daughter of Shua, Judah’s wife, died. After Judah was consoled, he went up to his sheepshearers in Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
13It was told to Tamar, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14#Ge 38:26She took off her widow’s clothing, covered herself with a veil, wrapped herself up, and sat in an open place, which is by the road to Timnah. For she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given to him as his wife.
15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, because she had covered her face. 16He turned to her by the road and said, “Come 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, so that you may have relations with me?”
17#Ge 38:20; Eze 16:33And he said, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.”
And she said, “Will you give me a pledge, until you send it?”
18#Ge 38:25–26And he said, “What pledge should I give you?”
And she said, “Your signet, your bracelets, and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and had relations with her, and she conceived by him. 19#Ge 38:14She arose and went away, and taking off her veil, she put on her widow’s clothing.
20Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand, but he could not find her. 21Then he asked the men of the place, “Where is the cult prostitute who was at Enaim by the road?”
And they said, “There was no prostitute in this place.”
22So he returned to Judah and said, “I cannot find her. Also, the men of the place said there was no cult prostitute in this place.”
23Judah replied, “Let her keep them for herself, or we shall be laughed at. I sent this young goat, and you did not find her.”
24#Lev 21:9; Jdg 19:2After about three months, it was told Judah, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has turned to prostitution, and what is more, as a result of prostitution she is pregnant.”
Then Judah said, “Bring her forth, and let her be burned!”
25#Ge 38:18; 37:32When she was brought forth, she sent word to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man to whom these belong am I with child.” And she said, “Please identify whose these are—the signet and bracelet and staff.”
26#1Sa 24:17Judah recognized them and said, “She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her to Shelah my son.” He did not have relations with her again.
27When it was time for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 28While she was giving birth, one put out his hand, and the midwife took and tied on his hand a scarlet thread, saying, “This one came out first.” 29#Ge 46:12; Nu 26:20But as he drew back his hand, his brother came out. Then she said, “How have you made a breach for yourself?” Therefore his name was called Perez. 30Afterward his brother came out, the one that had the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called Zerah.