20 Meanwhile Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite(A) in order to get his pledge(B) back from the woman, but he did not find her. 21 He asked the men who lived there, “Where is the shrine prostitute(C) 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,(D) or we will become a laughingstock.(E) 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!”(F)

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.”(G)

26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I,(H) since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.(I)” 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.(J) 28 As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife(K) took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist(L) and said, “This one came out first.” 29 But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out,(M) and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez.[a](N) 30 Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist,(O) came out. And he was named Zerah.[b](P)

Read full chapter


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

Bible Gateway Recommends