Judah and Tamar

38 At that time Judah left his brothers and settled near an Adullamite(A) named Hirah. There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite named Shua; he took her as a wife and slept with her. She conceived and gave birth to a son, and he named him Er.(B) She conceived again, gave birth to a son, and named him Onan. She gave birth to another son and named him Shelah. It was at Chezib that[a][b] she gave birth to him.

Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. Now Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the Lord’s sight, and the Lord put him to death.(C) Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife. Perform your duty as her brother-in-law(D) and produce offspring for your brother.”(E) But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he released his semen on the ground so that he would not produce offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was evil in the Lord’s sight, so He put him to death also.

11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Remain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up.”(F) For he thought, “He might die too, like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s house.

12 After a long time[c] Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had finished mourning, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went up to Timnah(G) to the sheepshearers. 13 Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 So she took off her widow’s clothes, veiled her face,(H) covered herself, and sat at the entrance to Enaim,[d] which is on the way to Timnah. For she saw that, though Shelah had grown up, she had not been given to him as a wife. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face.

16 He went over to her and said, “Come, let me sleep with you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.(I)

She said, “What will you give me for sleeping with me?”

17 “I will send you a young goat from my flock,” he replied.

But she said, “Only if you leave something with me until you send it.”

18 “What should I give you?” he asked.

She answered, “Your signet ring, your cord, and the staff in your hand.” So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she got pregnant by him. 19 She got up and left, then removed her veil and put her widow’s clothes back on.

20 When Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite in order to get back the items he had left with the woman, he could not find her. 21 He asked the men of the place, “Where is the cult prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?”

“There has been no cult prostitute here,” they answered.

22 So the Adullamite returned to Judah, saying, “I couldn’t find her, and furthermore, the men of the place said, ‘There has been no cult prostitute here.’”

23 Judah replied, “Let her keep the items for herself; otherwise we will become a laughingstock. After all, I did send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”

24 About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law, Tamar, has been acting like a prostitute, and now she is pregnant.”

“Bring her out!” Judah said. “Let her be burned to death!”(J)

25 As she was being brought out, she sent her father-in-law this message: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these items belong.” And she added, “Examine them. Whose signet ring, cord, and staff are these?”

26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more in the right[e] than I,(K) since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her intimately again.

27 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 28 As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand, and the midwife took it and tied a scarlet thread around it, announcing, “This one came out first.” 29 But then he pulled his hand back, and his brother came out. Then she said, “You have broken out first!” So he was named Perez.[f](L) 30 Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread tied to his hand, came out, and was named Zerah.[g]

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 38:5 LXX reads She was at Chezib when
  2. Genesis 38:5 Or He was at Chezib when
  3. Genesis 38:12 Lit And there were many days
  4. Genesis 38:14 Or sat by the mouth of the springs
  5. Genesis 38:26 Or more righteous
  6. Genesis 38:29 = Breaking Out
  7. Genesis 38:30 = Brightness of Sunrise; perhaps related to the scarlet thread

Judah and Tamar

38 At that time, Judah(A) left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam(B) named Hirah.(C) There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua.(D) He married her and made love to her; she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, who was named Er.(E) She conceived again and gave birth to a son and named him Onan.(F) She gave birth to still another son and named him Shelah.(G) It was at Kezib that she gave birth to him.

Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.(H) But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight;(I) so the Lord put him to death.(J)

Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.”(K) But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death also.(L)

11 Judah then said to his daughter-in-law(M) Tamar,(N) “Live as a widow in your father’s household(O) until my son Shelah(P) grows up.”(Q) For he thought, “He may die too, just like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s household.

12 After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua,(R) died. When Judah had recovered from his grief, he went up to Timnah,(S) to the men who were shearing his sheep,(T) and his friend Hirah the Adullamite(U) went with him.

13 When Tamar(V) was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep,”(W) 14 she took off her widow’s clothes,(X) covered herself with a veil(Y) to disguise herself, and then sat down(Z) at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah.(AA) For she saw that, though Shelah(AB) had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife.

15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute,(AC) for she had covered her face. 16 Not realizing(AD) that she was his daughter-in-law,(AE) he went over to her by the roadside and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.”(AF)

“And what will you give me to sleep with you?”(AG) she asked.

17 “I’ll send you a young goat(AH) from my flock,” he said.

“Will you give me something as a pledge(AI) until you send it?” she asked.

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

“Your seal(AJ) and its cord, and the staff(AK) in your hand,” she answered. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.(AL) 19 After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow’s clothes(AM) again.

20 Meanwhile Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite(AN) in order to get his pledge(AO) back from the woman, but he did not find her. 21 He asked the men who lived there, “Where is the shrine prostitute(AP) who was beside the road at Enaim?”

“There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here,” they said.

22 So he went back to Judah and said, “I didn’t find her. Besides, the men who lived there said, ‘There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here.’”

23 Then Judah said, “Let her keep what she has,(AQ) or we will become a laughingstock.(AR) After all, I did send her this young goat, but you didn’t find her.”

24 About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant.”

Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!”(AS)

25 As she was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. And she added, “See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.”(AT)

26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I,(AU) since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.(AV)” And he did not sleep with her again.

27 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.(AW) 28 As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife(AX) took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist(AY) and said, “This one came out first.” 29 But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out,(AZ) and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez.[a](BA) 30 Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist,(BB) came out. And he was named Zerah.[b](BC)

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 38:29 Perez means breaking out.
  2. Genesis 38:30 Zerah can mean scarlet or brightness.

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