Chapter 38

Judah and Tamar

1 And it came about at that time, that Judah 1departed from his brothers and 2visited a certain aAdullamite, whose name was Hirah.

2 Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was aShua; and he took her and went in to her.

3 So she conceived and bore a son and he named him aEr.

4 Then she conceived again and bore a son and named him aOnan.

5 She bore still another son and named him aShelah; and it was at Chezib 1that she bore him.

6 Now Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.

7 But aEr, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord took his life.

8 Then Judah said to Onan, “aGo in to your brother’s wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up 1offspring for your brother.”

9 Onan knew that the 1aoffspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he 2wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give 1offspring to his brother.

10 But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord; so He atook his life also.

11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “aRemain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up”; for he 1thought, “I am afraid that he too may die like his brothers.” So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.

12 Now 1after a considerable time Shua’s daughter, the wife of Judah, died; and when 2the time of mourning was ended, Judah went up to his sheepshearers at aTimnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.

13 It was told to Tamar, “1Behold, your father-in-law is going up to aTimnah to shear his sheep.”

14 So she 1removed her widow’s garments and acovered herself with a 2veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gateway of 3Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah had grown up, and bshe had not been given to him as a wife.

15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, for she had covered her face.

16 So he turned aside to her by the road, and said, “1Here now, let me come in to you”; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”

17 He said, therefore, “I will send you a 1young goat from the flock.” She said, moreover, “Will you give a pledge until you send it?

18 He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” And she said, “aYour seal and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him.

19 Then she arose and departed, and 1removed her 2veil and put on her widow’s garments.

20 When Judah sent the 1young goat by his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman’s hand, he did not find her.

21 He asked the men 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 men of the place said, ‘There has been no temple prostitute here.’ ”

23 Then Judah said, “Let her 1keep them, otherwise we will become a laughingstock. 2After all, I sent this young goat, but you did not find her.”

24 Now it was about three months later that Judah was informed, “1Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the harlot, and behold, she is also with child by harlotry.” Then Judah said, “Bring her out and alet her be burned!”

25 It was while she was being brought out that she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “I am with child by the man to whom these things belong.” And she said, “aPlease examine and see, whose signet ring and cords and staff are these?”

26 Judah recognized them, and said, “aShe is more righteous than I, inasmuch as bI did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not 1have relations with her again.

27 It came about at the time she was giving birth, that behold, there were atwins in her womb.

28 Moreover, it took place while she was giving birth, one 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 1aPerez.

30 Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand; and he was named 1aZerah.


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