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Genesis 38

38
1And it cometh to pass, at that time, that Judah goeth down from his brethren, and turneth aside unto a man, an Adullamite, whose name [is] Hirah;
2and Judah seeth there the daughter of a man, a Canaanite, whose name [is] Shuah, and taketh her, and goeth in unto her.
3And she conceiveth, and beareth a son, and he calleth his name Er;
4and she conceiveth again, and beareth a son, and calleth his name Onan;
5and she addeth again, and beareth a son, and calleth his name Shelah; and he was in Chezib in her bearing him.
6And Judah taketh a wife for Er, his first-born, and her name [is] Tamar;
7and Er, Judah's first-born, is evil in the eyes of Jehovah, and Jehovah doth put him to death.
8And Judah saith to Onan, ‘Go in unto the wife of thy brother, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother;’
9and Onan knoweth that the seed is not [reckoned] his; and it hath come to pass, if he hath gone in unto his brother's wife, that he hath destroyed [it] to the earth, so as not to give seed to his brother;
10and that which he hath done is evil in the eyes of Jehovah, and He putteth him also to death.
11And Judah saith to Tamar his daughter-in-law, ‘Abide a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son groweth up;’ for he said, ‘Lest he die — even he — like his brethren;’ and Tamar goeth and dwelleth at her father's house.
12And the days are multiplied, and the daughter of Shuah, Judah's wife, dieth; and Judah is comforted, and goeth up unto his sheep-shearers, he and Hirah his friend the Adullamite, to Timnath.
13And it is declared to Tamar, saying, ‘Lo, thy husband's father is going up to Timnath to shear his flock;’
14and she turneth aside the garments of her widowhood from off her, and covereth herself with a vail, and wrappeth herself up, and sitteth in the opening of Enayim, which [is] by the way to Timnath, for she hath seen that Shelah hath grown up, and she hath not been given to him for a wife.
15And Judah seeth her, and reckoneth her for a harlot, for she hath covered her face,
16and he turneth aside unto her by the way, and saith, ‘Come, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee,’ (for he hath not known that she [is] his daughter-in-law); and she saith, ‘What dost thou give to me, that thou mayest come in unto me?’
17and he saith, ‘I — I send a kid of the goats from the flock.’ And she saith, ‘Dost thou give a pledge till thou send [it]?’
18and he saith, ‘What [is] the pledge that I give to thee?’ and she saith, ‘Thy seal, and thy ribbon, and thy staff which [is] in thy hand;’ and he giveth to her, and goeth in unto her, and she conceiveth to him;
19and she riseth, and goeth, and turneth aside her vail from off her, and putteth on the garments of her widowhood.
20And Judah sendeth the kid of the goats by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the hand of the woman, and he hath not found her.
21And he asketh the men of her place, saying, ‘Where [is] the separated one — she in Enayim, by the way?’ and they say, ‘There hath not been in this [place] a separated one.’
22And he turneth back unto Judah, and saith, ‘I have not found her; and the men of the place also have said, There hath not been in this [place] a separated one,’
23and Judah saith, ‘Let her take to herself, lest we become despised; lo, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.’
24And it cometh to pass about three months [after], that it is declared to Judah, saying, ‘Tamar thy daughter-in-law hath committed fornication; and also, lo, she hath conceived by fornication:’ and Judah saith, ‘Bring her out — and she is burnt.’
25She is brought out, and she hath sent unto her husband's father, saying, ‘To a man whose these [are], I [am] pregnant;’ and she saith, ‘Discern, I pray thee, whose [are] these — the seal, and the ribbons, and the staff.’
26And Judah discerneth and saith, ‘She hath been more righteous than I, because that I did not give her to Shelah my son;’ and he hath not added to know her again.
27And it cometh to pass in the time of her bearing, that lo, twins [are] in her womb;
28and it cometh to pass in her bearing, that [one] giveth out a hand, and the midwife taketh and bindeth on his hand a scarlet thread, saying, ‘This hath come out first.’
29And it cometh to pass as he draweth back his hand, that lo, his brother hath come out, and she saith, ‘What! thou hast broken forth — on thee [is] the breach;’ and he calleth his name Pharez;
30and afterwards hath his brother come out, on whose hand [is] the scarlet thread, and he calleth his name Zarah.
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.”