Judah and Tamar 38 1 It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and o turned aside to a certain p Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2 There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was q Shua. He took her and went in to her, 3 and she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name r Er. 4 She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name r Onan. 5 Yet again she bore a son, and she called his name r Shelah. Judah 1 was in Chezib when she bore him. 6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, s was wicked in the sight of the Lord , and the Lord put him to death. 8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to t your brother’s wife and u perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” 9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother’s wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother. 10 And what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord , and he put him to death also. 11 Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, v “Remain a widow in your father’s house, till Shelah my son grows up”—for he feared that he would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went and remained w in her father’s house. 12 In the course of time the wife of Judah, Shua’s daughter, died. When Judah x was comforted, he went up to y Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 And when Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14 she took off her widow’s garments z and covered herself with a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to a Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that Shelah was grown up, b and she had not been given to him in marriage. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 He turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 17 He answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” And she said, “If you give me a pledge, until you send it—” 18 He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, c “Your signet 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 went away, and taking off d her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood. 20 When Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite to take back the pledge from the woman’s hand, he did not find her. 21 And he asked the men of the place, “Where is the cult prostitute 1 who was at e Enaim at the roadside?” And they said, “No cult prostitute has been here.” 22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I have not found her. Also, the men of the place said, ‘No cult prostitute has been here.’” 23 And Judah replied, “Let her keep the things as her own, or we shall be laughed at. You see, I sent this young goat, and you did not find her.” 24 About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law f has been immoral. 1 Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.” 2 And Judah said, “Bring her out, and g let her be burned.” 25 As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “By the man to whom these belong, I am pregnant.” And she said, “Please identify whose these are, h the signet and the cord and the staff.” 26 Then Judah identified them and said, i “She is more righteous than I, since j I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again. 27 When the time of her labor came, there were twins in her womb. 28 And when she was in labor, 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 as he drew back his hand, behold, his brother came out. And she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” Therefore his name was called k Perez. 1 30 Afterward his brother came out with the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called k Zerah.
38 1 וַֽיְהִי֙ בָּעֵ֣ת הַהִ֔וא וַיֵּ֥רֶד יְהוּדָ֖ה מֵאֵ֣ת אֶחָ֑יו וַיֵּ֛ט עַד ־ אִ֥ישׁ עֲדֻלָּמִ֖י וּשְׁמ֥וֹ חִירָֽה ׃ 2 וַיַּרְא ־ שָׁ֧ם יְהוּדָ֛ה בַּת ־ אִ֥ישׁ כְּנַעֲנִ֖י וּשְׁמ֣וֹ שׁ֑וּעַ וַיִּקָּחֶ֖הָ וַיָּבֹ֥א אֵלֶֽיהָ ׃ 3 וַתַּ֖הַר וַתֵּ֣לֶד בֵּ֑ן וַיִּקְרָ֥א אֶת ־ שְׁמ֖וֹ עֵֽר ׃ 4 וַתַּ֥הַר ע֖וֹד וַתֵּ֣לֶד בֵּ֑ן וַתִּקְרָ֥א אֶת ־ שְׁמ֖וֹ אוֹנָֽן ׃ 5 וַתֹּ֤סֶף עוֹד֙ וַתֵּ֣לֶד בֵּ֔ן וַתִּקְרָ֥א אֶת ־ שְׁמ֖וֹ שֵׁלָ֑ה וְהָיָ֥ה בִכְזִ֖יב בְּלִדְתָּ֥הּ אֹתֽוֹ ׃ 6 וַיִּקַּ֧ח יְהוּדָ֛ה אִשָּׁ֖ה לְעֵ֣ר בְּכוֹר֑וֹ וּשְׁמָ֖הּ תָּמָֽר ׃ 7 וַיְהִ֗י עֵ֚ר בְּכ֣וֹר יְהוּדָ֔ה רַ֖ע בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה וַיְמִתֵ֖הוּ יְהוָֽה ׃ 8 וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוּדָה֙ לְאוֹנָ֔ן בֹּ֛א אֶל ־ אֵ֥שֶׁת אָחִ֖יךָ וְיַבֵּ֣ם אֹתָ֑הּ וְהָקֵ֥ם זֶ֖רַע לְאָחִֽיךָ ׃ 9 וַיֵּ֣דַע אוֹנָ֔ן כִּ֛י לֹּ֥א 1 ל֖וֹ יִהְיֶ֣ה הַזָּ֑רַע וְהָיָ֞ה אִם ־ בָּ֨א אֶל ־ אֵ֤שֶׁת אָחִיו֙ וְשִׁחֵ֣ת אַ֔רְצָה לְבִלְתִּ֥י נְתָן ־ זֶ֖רַע לְאָחִֽיו ׃ 10 וַיֵּ֛רַע בְּעֵינֵ֥י יְהוָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֑ה וַיָּ֖מֶת גַּם ־ אֹתֽוֹ ׃ 11 וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוּדָה֩ לְתָמָ֨ר כַּלָּת֜וֹ שְׁבִ֧י אַלְמָנָ֣ה בֵית ־ אָבִ֗יךְ עַד ־ יִגְדַּל֙ שֵׁלָ֣ה בְנִ֔י כִּ֣י אָמַ֔ר פֶּן ־ יָמ֥וּת גַּם ־ ה֖וּא כְּאֶחָ֑יו וַתֵּ֣לֶךְ תָּמָ֔ר וַתֵּ֖שֶׁב בֵּ֥ית אָבִֽיהָ ׃ 12 וַיִּרְבּוּ֙ הַיָּמִ֔ים וַתָּ֖מָת בַּת ־ שׁ֣וּעַ אֵֽשֶׁת ־ יְהוּדָ֑ה וַיִּנָּ֣חֶם יְהוּדָ֗ה וַיַּ֜עַל עַל ־ גֹּֽזֲזֵ֤י צֹאנוֹ֙ ה֗וּא וְחִירָ֛ה רֵעֵ֥הוּ הָעֲדֻלָּמִ֖י תִּמְנָֽתָה ׃ 13 וַיֻּגַּ֥ד לְתָמָ֖ר לֵאמֹ֑ר הִנֵּ֥ה חָמִ֛יךְ עֹלֶ֥ה תִמְנָ֖תָה לָגֹ֥ז צֹאנֽוֹ ׃ 14 וַתָּסַר֩ בִּגְדֵ֨י אַלְמְנוּתָ֜הּ מֵֽעָלֶ֗יהָ וַתְּכַ֤ס בַּצָּעִיף֙ וַתִּתְעַלָּ֔ף וַתֵּ֙שֶׁב֙ בְּפֶ֣תַח עֵינַ֔יִם אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל ־ דֶּ֣רֶךְ תִּמְנָ֑תָה כִּ֤י רָאֲתָה֙ כִּֽי ־ גָדַ֣ל שֵׁלָ֔ה וְהִ֕וא לֹֽא ־ נִתְּנָ֥ה ל֖וֹ לְאִשָּֽׁה ׃ 15 וַיִּרְאֶ֣הָ יְהוּדָ֔ה וַֽיַּחְשְׁבֶ֖הָ לְזוֹנָ֑ה כִּ֥י כִסְּתָ֖ה פָּנֶֽיהָ ׃ 16 וַיֵּ֨ט אֵלֶ֜יהָ אֶל ־ הַדֶּ֗רֶךְ וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ הָֽבָה ־ נָּא֙ אָב֣וֹא אֵלַ֔יִךְ כִּ֚י לֹ֣א יָדַ֔ע כִּ֥י כַלָּת֖וֹ הִ֑וא וַתֹּ֙אמֶר֙ מַה ־ תִּתֶּן ־ לִּ֔י 1 כִּ֥י תָב֖וֹא אֵלָֽי ׃ 17 וַיֹּ֕אמֶר אָנֹכִ֛י אֲשַׁלַּ֥ח גְּדִֽי ־ עִזִּ֖ים מִן ־ הַצֹּ֑אן וַתֹּ֕אמֶר אִם ־ תִּתֵּ֥ן עֵרָב֖וֹן עַ֥ד שָׁלְחֶֽךָ ׃ 18 וַיֹּ֗אמֶר מָ֣ה הָֽעֵרָבוֹן֮ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶתֶּן ־ לָּךְ֒ וַתֹּ֗אמֶר חֹתָֽמְךָ֙ וּפְתִילֶ֔ךָ וּמַטְּךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּיָדֶ֑ךָ וַיִּתֶּן ־ לָּ֛הּ וַיָּבֹ֥א אֵלֶ֖יהָ וַתַּ֥הַר לֽוֹ ׃ 19 וַתָּ֣קָם וַתֵּ֔לֶךְ וַתָּ֥סַר צְעִיפָ֖הּ מֵעָלֶ֑יהָ וַתִּלְבַּ֖שׁ בִּגְדֵ֥י אַלְמְנוּתָֽהּ ׃ 20 וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח יְהוּדָ֜ה אֶת ־ גְּדִ֣י הָֽעִזִּ֗ים בְּיַד֙ רֵעֵ֣הוּ הָֽעֲדֻלָּמִ֔י לָקַ֥חַת הָעֵרָב֖וֹן מִיַּ֣ד הָאִשָּׁ֑ה וְלֹ֖א מְצָאָֽהּ ׃ 21 וַיִּשְׁאַ֞ל אֶת ־ אַנְשֵׁ֤י מְקֹמָהּ֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר אַיֵּ֧ה הַקְּדֵשָׁ֛ה הִ֥וא בָעֵינַ֖יִם עַל ־ הַדָּ֑רֶךְ וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ לֹא ־ הָיְתָ֥ה בָזֶ֖ה קְדֵשָֽׁה ׃ 22 וַיָּ֙שָׁב֙ אֶל ־ יְהוּדָ֔ה וַיֹּ֖אמֶר לֹ֣א מְצָאתִ֑יהָ וְגַ֨ם אַנְשֵׁ֤י הַמָּקוֹם֙ אָֽמְר֔וּ לֹא ־ הָיְתָ֥ה בָזֶ֖ה קְדֵשָֽׁה ׃ 23 וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוּדָה֙ תִּֽקַּֽח ־ לָ֔הּ פֶּ֖ן נִהְיֶ֣ה לָב֑וּז הִנֵּ֤ה שָׁלַ֙חְתִּי֙ הַגְּדִ֣י הַזֶּ֔ה וְאַתָּ֖ה לֹ֥א מְצָאתָֽהּ ׃ 24 וַיְהִ֣י ׀ כְּמִשְׁלֹ֣שׁ חֳדָשִׁ֗ים וַיֻּגַּ֨ד לִֽיהוּדָ֤ה לֵֽאמֹר֙ זָֽנְתָה֙ תָּמָ֣ר כַּלָּתֶ֔ךָ וְגַ֛ם הִנֵּ֥ה הָרָ֖ה לִזְנוּנִ֑ים וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוּדָ֔ה הוֹצִיא֖וּהָ וְתִשָּׂרֵֽף ׃ 25 הִ֣וא מוּצֵ֗את וְהִ֨יא שָׁלְחָ֤ה אֶל ־ חָמִ֙יהָ֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר לְאִישׁ֙ אֲשֶׁר ־ אֵ֣לֶּה לּ֔וֹ אָנֹכִ֖י הָרָ֑ה וַתֹּ֙אמֶר֙ הַכֶּר ־ נָ֔א לְמִ֞י הַחֹתֶ֧מֶת וְהַפְּתִילִ֛ים וְהַמַּטֶּ֖ה הָאֵֽלֶּה ׃ 26 וַיַּכֵּ֣ר יְהוּדָ֗ה וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ צָֽדְקָ֣ה מִמֶּ֔נִּי כִּֽי ־ עַל ־ כֵּ֥ן לֹא ־ נְתַתִּ֖יהָ לְשֵׁלָ֣ה בְנִ֑י וְלֹֽא ־ יָסַ֥ף ע֖וֹד לְדַעְתָּֽה 1 ׃ 27 וַיְהִ֖י בְּעֵ֣ת לִדְתָּ֑הּ וְהִנֵּ֥ה תְאוֹמִ֖ים בְּבִטְנָֽהּ ׃ 28 וַיְהִ֥י בְלִדְתָּ֖הּ וַיִּתֶּן ־ יָ֑ד וַתִּקַּ֣ח הַמְיַלֶּ֗דֶת וַתִּקְשֹׁ֨ר עַל ־ יָד֤וֹ שָׁנִי֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר זֶ֖ה יָצָ֥א רִאשֹׁנָֽה ׃ 29 וַיְהִ֣י ׀ כְּמֵשִׁ֣יב יָד֗וֹ וְהִנֵּה֙ יָצָ֣א אָחִ֔יו וַתֹּ֕אמֶר מַה ־ פָּרַ֖צְתָּ עָלֶ֣יךָ פָּ֑רֶץ וַיִּקְרָ֥א שְׁמ֖וֹ פָּֽרֶץ ׃ 30 וְאַחַר֙ יָצָ֣א אָחִ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֥ר עַל ־ יָד֖וֹ הַשָּׁנִ֑י וַיִּקְרָ֥א שְׁמ֖וֹ זָֽרַח ׃ ס
Judah is deceived Intro Why are we told this in such detail? D eception, again. Theme of manipulators/deceivers who themselves get tricked...and yet by the grace of God receive a key place in God's plan Shapes character of Judah for later. Clear contrast to chapter 39 , Joseph's purity More sibling struggles in 38; Onan; and Perez tussling in the womb. 1. Judah has three sons, but two of them die (v1-11) Judah's primary relational context here is outside the people of God - he is good mates/business partner with Hirah. Leaves his father's house and his brothers. Takes a Canaanite wife. Sons born in Chezib. Why does it matter. Achzib; Tell el-Beidai We don't know what Er's sin was. Idolatry? Onan. Coitus interruptus. He didn't want to lose his new status as first inheritor; Er's son (from Onan) would have been that. Levirate marriage - explain v11 Judah locking her in. Back to her father's house. Yet can't remarry since Judah tells her to wait for Shelah. He thinks Tamar must be to blame. 2. Tamar deceives Judah (v12-26) Yet another deception, using a veil etc. Tamar shrewdly gets the undeniable evidence of Judah's identity. v14 on the road to Timnah (where Samson went to get a wife, Judges 14.1) v16 picture of Judah as a man - see it, want it, get it Tamar the 'more righteous' one; cf all the ladies in Matthew 1 Glory of God. His patience and commitment to these people, generation after generation - is staggering. And to do such good to them! FCF. Fear of man, leading to manipulation and deception. Using people rather than loving and serving them. From a mis-trust of God. Covert (religious) ways. Simple-ism and superstition. Overt (irreligious) ways. cf fear of man leading to deception in Genesis so far: Abraham and Pharoah/Abimelech Isaac and Abimelech Jacob and Esau Jacob and Isaac Jacob and Laban Jacob's sons and Shechem Jacob's sons and Joseph cf one reason why idolatry is constantly given the picture of 'adultery' or 'prostitution' is that it is not simply unfaithfulness, but a pragmatic, transactional affair. I need this, you have it. fear of man playing out again here in Gen 38. Co-dependent transaction. -his needs and manipulation -her needs and manipulation -his fear of the community; leads to silence and also violence to her What no one is doing is trusting God to give grace to navigate the situation We are riddled with this, as every church is. But always in 'our own way' (cf Anna Karenina). Our choice is always either: (1) 'simple-ism'; apparently Biblical thinking, but actually a cover for fear and defensiveness. This is covert manipulation/fear of man. Will desperately avoid scrutiny (and thus avoids relationship, community, being known). Or, (2) outright manipulation; overt fear of man. Bullying, intimidation etc. Or, (3) trusting for grace to navigate amidst the complexity and wreckage. See the book of Proverbs; such nuance. Refuses to endorse simple-ism. Person of Jesus. He is deeply attractive as we intuitively realise, here is someone who sees people, accepts people, serves and loves people. Pure and blameless, no deceit. Work of Jesus. He is crucified by people who will not let go of their fear of man. Who must have the power and security. Who will not own up to the lie. He dies to forgive our mistrust of God, he dies to forgive our mistreatment of others. He is raised in newness of life; in Him God has created a new humanity. By his out-poured Spirit we are being apprenticed in a new way of relating and being human in the world. Jesus was perceived as utterly, socially, shamefully repugnant. Yet he proves to be the righteous hero. Union with Jesus. In him I have died to fear of man and I live to the fear of the LORD. In him I am being apprenticed to need people less, love people more. Jesus' Invitation. To dysfunctional manipulators, deceivers, and haters. Come and be forgiven, come and relate in a new, pure way. Don't give up on one another, since Jesus does not. Jesus' Confrontation. To hardened mis-treaters of people. Turn from it; it does not belong in the Kingdom of God. Jesus' Consolation. To those harmed and deceived, Jesus invites to his banquet of acceptance, washing, restoring. 3. Judah has two more sons, twins (v27-30) The chapter ends with a note of such joy and grace! Two lively boys are born to the tribe of Judah. Once again the pledge of grace on into the future, through the birth of another generation. Tussling even in the womb. Older/younger. Wrap-up: Meanwhile, in Egypt, Joseph is walking in purity. Once again we see God's grace to those who mis-trust him and mis-treat others.