38 Now at that time, Judah left his brothers and went down to [stay with] a certain Adullamite named Hirah. 2 There Judah saw a daughter of Shua, a Canaanite, and he took her [as his wife] and lived with her. 3 So she conceived and gave birth to a son and Judah named him Er. 4 Then she conceived again and gave birth to a son and named him Onan. 5 Again she conceived and gave birth to still another son and named him Shelah. It was at Chezib that she gave birth to him.
6 Now Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord killed him [in judgment]. 8 Then Judah told Onan, “Go in to your brother’s widow, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law [under the levirate marriage custom]; [be her husband and] raise children for [the name of] your brother.”9 Onan knew that the child (heir) would not be his [but his dead brother’s]; so whenever he lay with his brother’s widow, he spilled his seed on the ground [to prevent conception], so that he would not give a child to his brother. 10 But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord; therefore He killed him also [in judgment]. 11 Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow at your father’s house until Shelah my [youngest] son is grown”; [but he was deceiving her] for he thought that [if Shelah should marry her] he too might die like his brothers did. So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
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