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katapi HOME Genesis 38:1-30 - Judah and Tamar.  Gn.38.1-30

38 1 ABOUT THAT TIME JUDAH LEFT HIS BROTHERS and went south and pitched his tent in company with an Adullamite named Hirah. 38 2 There he saw Bathshua the daughter of a Canaanite and married her. He slept with her, 38 3 and she conceived and bore a son, whom she called Er. 38 4 She conceived again and bore a son whom she called Onan. 38 5 Once more she conceived and bore a son whom she called Shelah, and she ceased to bear children ceased . . . children: or was at Kezib when she had given birth to him. 38 6 Judah found a wife for his eldest son Er; her name was Tamar. 38 7 But Judah's eldest son Er was wicked in the LORD's sight, and the LORD took his life. 38 8 Then Judah told Onan to sleep with his brother's wife, to do his duty as the husband's brother and raise up issue for his brother. 38 9 But Onan knew that the issue would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother's wife, he spilled his seed on the ground so as not to raise up issue for his brother. 38 10 What he did was wicked in the LORD's sight, and the LORD took his life. 38 11 Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, 'Remain as a widow in your father's house until my son Shelah grows up'; for he was afraid that he too would die like his brothers. So Tamar went and stayed in her father's house.

38 12 Time passed, and Judah's wife Bathshua died. When he had finished mourning, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went up to Timnath at sheep-shearing. 38 13 When Tamar was told that her father-in-law was on his way to shear his sheep at Timnath, 38 14 she took off her widow's weeds, veiled her face, perfumed herself and sat where the road forks in two directions on the way to Timnath. She did this because she knew that Shelah had grown up and she had not been given to him as a wife. 38 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, although she had veiled her face. 38 16 He turned to her where she sat by the roadside and said, 'Let me lie with you', not knowing that she was his daughter-in-law. She said 'What will you give me to lie with me?' 38 17 He answered, 'I will send you a kid from my flock', but she said, 'Will you give me a pledge until you send it?' 38 18 He asked what pledge he should give her, and she replied, 'Your seal and its cord, and the staff which you hold in your hand.' So he gave them to her and lay with her, and she conceived. 38 19 She then rose and went home, took off her veil and resumed her widow's weeds.

38 20 Judah sent the kid by his friend the Adullamite in order to recover the pledge from the woman, but he could not find her. 38 21 He asked the men of that place, 'Where is that temple-prostitute, the one who was sitting where the road forks?', but they answered, 'There is no temple-prostitute here.' 38 22 So he went back to Judah and told him that he had not found her and that the men of the place had said there was no such prostitute there. 38 23 Judah said, 'Let her keep my pledge, or we shall get a bad name. I did send a kid, but you could not find her.'

38 24 About three months later Judah was told that his daughter-in-law Tamar had behaved like a common prostitute and through her wanton conduct was with child. Judah said, 'Bring her out so that she may be burnt.' 38 25 But when she was brought out, she sent to her father-in-law and said, 'The father of my child is the man to whom these things belong. See if you recognize whose they are, the engraving on the seal, the pattern of the cord, and the staff.' 38 26 Judah recognized them and said, 'She is more in the right than I am, because I did not give her to my son Shelah.' He did not have intercourse with her again.

38 27 When her time was come, there were twins in her womb, 38 28 and while she was in labour one of them put out a hand. The midwife took a scarlet thread and fastened it round the wrist, saying, 'This one appeared first.' 38 29 No sooner had he drawn back his hand, than his brother came out and the midwife said, 'What! you have broken out first!' So he was named Perez That is Breaking out. 38 30 Soon afterwards. his brother was born with the scarlet thread on his wrist, and he was named Zerah That is Redness.

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