Judah and Tamar

38 And it came about at that time, that Judah [a]departed from his brothers and [b]visited a certain (A)Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was (B)Shua; and he took her as a wife and had relations with her. And she conceived and gave birth to a son, and he named him (C)Er. Then she conceived again and gave birth to a son, and she named him (D)Onan. She gave birth to yet another son and named him (E)Shelah; and it was at Chezib [c]that she gave birth to him.

Now Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But (F)Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord took his life. Then Judah said to Onan, “(G)Have relations with your brother’s wife and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up a [d]child for your brother.” Now Onan knew that the [e](H)child would not be his; so when he had relations with his brother’s wife, he [f]wasted his seed on the ground so that he would not give [g]a child to his brother. 10 But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord; so He (I)took his life also. 11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “(J)Remain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up”; for he [h]thought, “I am afraid that he too may die like his brothers.” So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.

12 Now [i]after a considerable time Shua’s daughter, the wife of Judah, died; and when [j]the time of mourning was ended, Judah went up to his sheepshearers at (K)Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 And Tamar was told, “Behold, your father-in-law is going up to (L)Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 So she [k]removed her widow’s garments and (M)covered herself with a [l]veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gateway of [m]Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah had grown up, and (N)she had not been given to him as a wife. 15 When Judah saw her, he assumed she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 So he turned aside to her by the road, and said, “[n]Here now, let me have relations with you”; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, “What will you give me, that you may have relations with me?” 17 He said, therefore, “I will send you a [o]young goat from the flock.” She then said, “Will you give a pledge until you send it?” 18 He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” And she said, “(O)Your seal and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and had relations with her, and she conceived by him. 19 Then she got up and departed, and [p]removed her [q]veil and put on her widow’s garments.

20 When Judah sent the [r]young goat by his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman’s hand, he did not find her. 21 He asked the people of her place, saying, “Where is the temple prostitute who was by the road at Enaim?” But they said, “There has been no temple prostitute here.” 22 So he returned to Judah, and said, “I did not find her; and furthermore, the people of the place said, ‘There has been no temple prostitute here.’” 23 Then Judah said, “Let her [s]keep them, otherwise we will become a laughingstock. [t]After all, I sent this young goat, but you did not find her.”

24 Now it was about three months later that Judah was [u]informed, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has prostituted herself, and behold, she is also pregnant by prostitution.” Then Judah said, “Bring her out and (P)have her burned!” 25 It was while she was being brought out that she sent word to her father-in-law, saying, “I am pregnant by the man to whom these things belong.” She also said, “(Q)Please examine and see, whose signet ring and cords and staff are these?” 26 And Judah recognized them, and said, “(R)She is more righteous than I, since (S)I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not [v]have relations with her again.

27 It came about at the time she was giving birth, that behold, there were (T)twins in her womb. 28 Moreover, it took place while she was giving birth, that one baby put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 29 But it came about as he drew back his hand that behold, his brother came out. Then she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” So he was named [w](U)Perez. 30 Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand; and he was named [x](V)Zerah.

Joseph’s Success in Egypt

39 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him [y]from the (W)Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. And (X)the Lord was with Joseph, so he became a [z]successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Now his master (Y)saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord (Z)made all that he did prosper in his hand. So Joseph (AA)found favor in his sight and [aa]became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and [ab]put him in charge of (AB)all that he owned. It came about that from the time he made him overseer in his house and over all that he owned, the Lord (AC)blessed the Egyptian’s house on account of Joseph; so (AD)the Lords blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field. So he left [ac]Joseph in charge of everything that he owned; and with him there he did not [ad]concern himself with anything except the [ae]food which he [af]ate.

Now Joseph was (AE)handsome in form and appearance. And it came about after these events (AF)that his master’s wife [ag]had her eyes on Joseph, and she said, “(AG)Sleep with me.” But (AH)he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me here, my master [ah]does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has [ai]put me in charge of all that he owns. [aj](AI)There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil, and (AJ)sin against God?” 10 Though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her. 11 Now it happened [ak]one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the people of the household was there inside. 12 So she grabbed him by his garment, saying, “Sleep with me!” But he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside. 13 [al]When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought in a [am]Hebrew to us to make fun of us; he came in to me to sleep with me, and I [an]screamed. 15 When he heard that I raised my voice and [ao]screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled and went outside.” 16 So she [ap]left his garment beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she (AK)spoke to him [aq]with these [ar]words: “The Hebrew slave, whom you brought to us, came in to me to make fun of me; 18 but when I raised my voice and [as]screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled outside.”

Joseph Imprisoned

19 Now when his master heard the words of his wife which she spoke to him, saying, “[at]This is what your slave did to me,” (AL)his anger burned. 20 So Joseph’s master took him and (AM)put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; and he was there in the prison. 21 But (AN)the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and (AO)gave him favor in the sight of the warden of the prison. 22 And the warden of the prison [au](AP)put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison; so that whatever was done there, he was [av]responsible for it. 23 (AQ)The warden of the prison did not supervise anything [aw]under Joseph’s authority, because (AR)the Lord was with him; and, (AS)the Lord made whatever he did prosper.

Joseph Interprets Dreams

40 Then it came about after these things, that (AT)the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was (AU)furious with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. So he put them in confinement in the house of the (AV)captain of the bodyguard, in the prison, the same place where Joseph was imprisoned. And the captain of the bodyguard put Joseph in charge of them, and he [ax]took care of them; and they were in confinement for [ay]some time. Then the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, both had a dream the same night, each man with his own dream and each dream with its own interpretation. [az]When Joseph came to them in the morning and saw them, [ba]behold, they were dejected. So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were with him in confinement in his master’s house, “[bb](AW)Why are your faces so sad today?” And they said to him, “(AX)We have [bc]had a dream, and there is no one to interpret it.” Then Joseph said to them, “(AY)Do interpretations not belong to God? Tell it to me, please.”

So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, [bd]saying to him, “In my dream, [be]behold, there was a vine in front of me; 10 and on the vine were three branches. And as it was budding, its blossoms came out, and its clusters produced ripe grapes. 11 Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; so I took the grapes and squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I put the cup into Pharaoh’s [bf]hand.” 12 Then Joseph said to him, “This is the (AZ)interpretation of it: the three branches are three days; 13 within three more days Pharaoh will [bg]lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you will put Pharaoh’s cup into his hand as in your former practice when you were his cupbearer. 14 Only [bh]keep me in mind when it goes well for you, and please (BA)do me a kindness [bi]by mentioning me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this [bj]prison. 15 For (BB)I was in fact kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing that they should have put me into the [bk]dungeon.”

16 When the chief baker saw that he had interpreted favorably, he said to Joseph, “I also saw in my dream, and behold, there were three baskets of white bread on my head; 17 and in the top basket there were some of all [bl]kinds of baked food for Pharaoh, and the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.” 18 Then Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days; 19 within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head from you and will hang you on a wooden post, and the birds will eat your flesh off you.”

20 So it came about on the third day, which was (BC)Pharaoh’s birthday, that he held a feast for all his servants; (BD)and he lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his [bm]office, and (BE)he put the cup into Pharaoh’s [bn]hand; 22 but (BF)he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but (BG)forgot him.


  1. Genesis 38:1 Lit went down
  2. Genesis 38:1 Lit turned aside to
  3. Genesis 38:5 Lit when
  4. Genesis 38:8 Lit seed
  5. Genesis 38:9 Lit seed
  6. Genesis 38:9 Lit spilled on the ground
  7. Genesis 38:9 Lit seed
  8. Genesis 38:11 Lit said
  9. Genesis 38:12 Lit the days became many and
  10. Genesis 38:12 Lit Judah was comforted, he
  11. Genesis 38:14 Lit removed from herself
  12. Genesis 38:14 Or shawl
  13. Genesis 38:14 In Josh 15:34, Enam
  14. Genesis 38:16 Or Come, now
  15. Genesis 38:17 Lit kid of goats
  16. Genesis 38:19 Lit removed from herself
  17. Genesis 38:19 Or shawl
  18. Genesis 38:20 Lit kid of goats by the hand of
  19. Genesis 38:23 Lit take for herself
  20. Genesis 38:23 Lit Behold
  21. Genesis 38:24 Lit informed, saying
  22. Genesis 38:26 Lit know her yet again
  23. Genesis 38:29 I.e., a breach
  24. Genesis 38:30 I.e., a dawning or brightness
  25. Genesis 39:1 Lit from the hand of
  26. Genesis 39:2 Or prosperous
  27. Genesis 39:4 Or ministered to him
  28. Genesis 39:4 Lit handed over to him
  29. Genesis 39:6 Lit in Joseph’s hand
  30. Genesis 39:6 Lit know
  31. Genesis 39:6 Lit bread
  32. Genesis 39:6 Or used to eat
  33. Genesis 39:7 Lit lifted up her eyes at
  34. Genesis 39:8 Lit does not know what is in the house
  35. Genesis 39:8 Lit handed over to me
  36. Genesis 39:9 Or He is not greater
  37. Genesis 39:11 Lit about this day
  38. Genesis 39:13 Lit And it came about when
  39. Genesis 39:14 Lit Hebrew man
  40. Genesis 39:14 Lit called with a great voice
  41. Genesis 39:15 Lit called out
  42. Genesis 39:16 Lit let...lie beside
  43. Genesis 39:17 Lit according to
  44. Genesis 39:17 Lit words, saying
  45. Genesis 39:18 Lit called out
  46. Genesis 39:19 Lit According to these things your slave
  47. Genesis 39:22 Lit handed over to Joseph all
  48. Genesis 39:22 Lit the doer
  49. Genesis 39:23 Lit in his hand
  50. Genesis 40:4 Lit ministered to
  51. Genesis 40:4 Lit days
  52. Genesis 40:6 Or And
  53. Genesis 40:6 Lit and behold
  54. Genesis 40:7 Lit saying, Why
  55. Genesis 40:8 Lit dreamed
  56. Genesis 40:9 Lit and said
  57. Genesis 40:9 Lit and behold
  58. Genesis 40:11 Lit palm
  59. Genesis 40:13 I.e., a royal gesture of forgiveness
  60. Genesis 40:14 Lit remember me with yourself
  61. Genesis 40:14 Lit and mention
  62. Genesis 40:14 Lit house
  63. Genesis 40:15 Or pit
  64. Genesis 40:17 Lit food for Pharaoh made by a baker
  65. Genesis 40:21 Lit wine-pouring
  66. Genesis 40:21 Lit palm

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