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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
1-5About that time, Judah separated from his brothers and hooked up with a man in Adullam named Hirah. While there, Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite named Shua. He married her, they went to bed, she became pregnant and had a son named Er. She got pregnant again and had a son named Onan. She had still another son; she named this one Shelah. They were living at Kezib when she had him.
6-7Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn. Her name was Tamar. But Judah’s firstborn, Er, grievously offended God and God took his life.
8-10So Judah told Onan, “Go and sleep with your brother’s widow; it’s the duty of a brother-in-law to keep your brother’s line alive.” But Onan knew that the child wouldn’t be his, so whenever he slept with his brother’s widow he spilled his semen on the ground so he wouldn’t produce a child for his brother. God was much offended by what he did and also took his life.
11So Judah stepped in and told his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow at home with your father until my son Shelah grows up.” He was worried that Shelah would also end up dead, just like his brothers. So Tamar went to live with her father.
12Time passed. Judah’s wife, Shua’s daughter, died. When the time of mourning was over, Judah with his friend Hirah of Adullam went to Timnah for the sheep shearing.
13-14Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law has gone to Timnah to shear his sheep.” She took off her widow’s clothes, put on a veil to disguise herself, and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the road to Timnah. She realized by now that even though Shelah was grown up, she wasn’t going to be married to him.
15Judah saw her and assumed she was a prostitute since she had veiled her face. He left the road and went over to her. He said, “Let me sleep with you.” He had no idea that she was his daughter-in-law.
16She said, “What will you pay me?”
17“I’ll send you,” he said, “a kid goat from the flock.”
She said, “Not unless you give me a pledge until you send it.”
18“So what would you want in the way of a pledge?”
She said, “Your personal seal-and-cord and the staff you carry.”
He handed them over to her and slept with her. And she got pregnant.
19She then left and went home. She removed her veil and put her widow’s clothes back on.
20-21Judah sent the kid goat by his friend from Adullam to recover the pledge from the woman. But he couldn’t find her. He asked the men of that place, “Where’s the prostitute that used to sit by the road here near Enaim?”
They said, “There’s never been a prostitute here.”
22He went back to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. The men there said there never has been a prostitute there.”
23Judah said, “Let her have it then. If we keep looking, everyone will be poking fun at us. I kept my part of the bargain—I sent the kid goat but you couldn’t find her.”
24Three months or so later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law has been playing the whore—and now she’s a pregnant whore.”
Judah yelled, “Get her out here. Burn her up!”
25As they brought her out, she sent a message to her father-in-law, “I’m pregnant by the man who owns these things. Identify them, please. Who’s the owner of the seal-and-cord and the staff?”
26Judah saw they were his. He said, “She’s in the right; I’m in the wrong—I wouldn’t let her marry my son Shelah.” He never slept with her again.
27-30When her time came to give birth, it turned out that there were twins in her womb. As she was giving birth, one put his hand out; the midwife tied a red thread on his hand, saying, “This one came first.” But then he pulled it back and his brother came out. She said, “Oh! A breakout!” So she named him Perez (Breakout). Then his brother came out with the red thread on his hand. They named him Zerah (Bright).