Genesis Chapter 38  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Gen 38
Judah and Tamar

1It came to pass at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
  2Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua. He took her and went in to her.
  3She conceived and bore a son, and he named him Er.
  4She conceived again and bore a son, and she named him Onan.
  5She yet again bore a son, and named him Shelah; and he was at Chezib when she bore him.

6Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.
  7Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the eyes of Yahweh, so Yahweh killed him.
  8Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her, and raise up seed to your brother.”
  9Onan knew that the seed would not be his; and it came to pass when he went in to his brother’s wife that he spilled it on the ground, lest he should give seed to his brother.
  10The thing that he did was evil in the eyes of Yahweh, and he killed him also.

11Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter–in–law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house, until Shelah my son is grown up.” For he said, “Lest he also die, like his brothers.” Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.

12After many days Shua’s daughter, the wife of Judah, died. Judah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers to Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
  13It was told Tamar, saying, “Behold, your father–in–law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.”
  14She took off of her the garments of her widowhood and covered herself with her veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gate of Enaim that is by the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she was not given to him as a wife.
  15When Judah saw her, he thought that she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face.

16He turned to her by the way and said, “Please come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter–in–law.

She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”

17He said, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.”

She said, “Will you give me a pledge until you send it?”

18He said, “What pledge will I give you?”

She said, “Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” He gave them to her and went into her, and she conceived by him.
  19She arose and went away, and put off her veil from her and put on the garments of her widowhood.

20Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend the Adullamite to receive the pledge from the woman’s hand, but he did not find her.
  21Then he asked the men of her place, saying, “Where is the prostitute that was at Enaim by the road?”

They said, “There has been no prostitute here.”

22He returned to Judah and said, “I did not find her, and also the men of the place said, ‘There has been no prostitute here.’”

23Judah said, “Let her keep it, lest we be shamed. Behold, I sent this young goat, and you have not found her.”

24It came to pass about three months later that it was told Judah, saying, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has committed prostitution, and moreover, look, she is with child by prostitution.”

Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.”

25When she was brought out, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man whose these are, I am with child.” She also said, “Please identify whose these are; the signet and the cords and the staff.”

26Judah acknowledged them and said, “She is more righteous than I, because I did not give her to Shelah my son.” He knew her again no more.

27It came to pass in the time of her travail that behold, twins were in her womb.
  28When she travailed, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This came out first.”
  29It came to pass as he drew back his hand that, behold, his brother came out, and she said, “Why have you made a breach for yourself?” Therefore his name was called Perez.
  30Afterward his brother came out that had the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called Zerah.

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