1And at that time Iudah went downe from his brethren, and turned in to a man called Hirah an Adullamite. 2And Iudah sawe there the daughter of a man called Suah a Canaanite: and he tooke her to wife, and went in vnto her. 3So she conceiued and bare a sonne, and he called his name Er. 4And she conceiued againe, and bare a sonne, and she called his name Onan. 5Moreouer she bare yet a sonne, whome she called Shelah: and Iudah was at Chezib when she bare him. 6Then Iudah tooke a wife to Er his first borne sonne whose name was Tamar. 7Now Er the first borne of Iudah was wicked in the sight of the Lord: therefore the Lord slewe him. 8Then Iudah said to Onan, Goe in vnto thy brothers wife, and do the office of a kinsman vnto her, and raise vp seede vnto thy brother. 9And Onan knewe that the seede should not be his: therefore when he went in vnto his brothers wife, he spilled it on the grounde, least he should giue seede vnto his brother. 10And it was wicked in the eyes of the Lord, which he did: wherefore he slewe him also. 11Then said Iudah to Tamar his daughter in lawe, Remaine a widowe in thy fathers house, till Shelah my sonne growe vp (for he thought thus, Least he die as well as his brethren.) So Tamar went and dwelt in her fathers house. 12And in processe of time also the daughter of Shuah Iudahs wife dyed. Then Iudah, when he had left mourning, went vp to his sheepe sherers to Timnah, he, and his neighbour Hirah the Adullamite. 13And it was tolde Tamar, saying, beholde, thy father in lawe goeth vp to Timnah, to shere his sheepe. 14Then she put her widowes garments off from her, and couered her with a vaile, and wrapped her selfe, and sate downe in Pethah-enaim, which is by the way to Timnah, because she sawe that Shelah was growen, and she was not giuen vnto him to wife. 15When Iudah sawe her, he iudged her an whore: for she had couered her face. 16And he turned to the way towardes her, and saide, Come, I pray thee, let me lie with thee. (for he knewe not that she was his daughter in lawe) And she answered, What wilt thou giue me for to lie with me? 17Then said he, I will sende thee a kid of the goates from the flocke. and she said, Well, if thou wilt giue me a pledge, till thou sende it. 18Then he saide, What is the pledge that I shall giue thee? And she answered, Thy signet, and thy cloke, and thy staffe that is in thine hande. So he gaue it her, and lay by her, and she was with childe by him. 19Then she rose, and went and put her vaile from her and put on her widowes raiment. 20Afterwarde Iudah sent a kid of the goates by the hande of his neighbour the Adullamite, for to receiue his pledge from the womans hand: but he found her not. 21Then asked he the men of that place, saying, Where is ye whore, that sate in Enaim by the way side? And they answered, There was no whore here. 22He came therefore to Iudah againe, and said, I can not finde her, and also the men of the place said, There was no whore there. 23Then Iudah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: beholde, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her. 24Now after three moneths, one tolde Iudah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the whore, and lo, with playing the whore, she is great with childe. Then Iudah saide, Bring ye her foorth and let her be burnt. 25When she was brought foorth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, vnto whom these things pertaine, am I with childe: and saide also, Looke, I pray thee, whose these are, the seale, and the cloke, and the staffe. 26Then Iudah knewe them, and said, She is more righteous then I: for she hath done it because I gaue her not to Shelah my sonne. So he lay with her no more. 27Now, when the time was come that she should be deliuered, beholde, there were twinnes in her wombe. 28And when she was in trauell, the one put out his hand: and the midwife tooke and bound a red threde about his hand, saying, This is come out first. 29But when he plucked his hand backe againe, loe, his brother came out, and the midwife said, How hast thou broken the breach vpon thee? and his name was called Pharez. 30And afterward came out his brother that had the red threde about his hande, and his name was called Zarah.
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Judah and Tamar
(1 Chronicles 2:3–4)
1About that time, Judah left his brothers and settled near a man named Hirah, an Adullamite. 2There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua, and he took her as a wife and slept with her. 3So she conceived and gave birth to a son, and Judah named him Er. 4Again she conceived and gave birth to a son, and she named him Onan. 5Then she gave birth to another son and named him Shelah; it was at Chezib that she gave birth to him.
6Now Judah acquired a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; so the Lord put him to death. 8Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife. Perform your duty as her brother-in-law and raise up offspring for your brother.”
9But Onan knew that the offspring would not belong to him; so whenever he would sleep with his brother’s wife, he would spill his seed on the ground so that he would not produce offspring for his brother. 10What he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord, so He put Onan to death as well.
11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up.” For he thought, “He may die too, like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s house.
12After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had finished mourning, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah. 13When Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14she removed her widow’s garments, covered her face with a veil to disguise herself, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the way to Timnah. For she saw that although Shelah had grown up, she had not been given to him as a wife.
15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face. 16Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.”
“What will you give me for sleeping with you?” she inquired.
17“I will send you a young goat from my flock,” Judah answered.
But she replied, “Only if you leave me something as a pledge until you send it.”
18“What pledge should I give you?” he asked.
She answered, “Your seal and your cord, and the staff in your hand.” So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him. 19Then Tamar got up and departed. And she removed her veil and put on her widow’s garments again.
20Now when Judah sent his friend Hirah the Adullamite with the young goat to collect the items he had left with the woman, he could not find her. 21He asked the men of that place, “Where is the shrine prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?”
“No shrine prostitute has been here,” they answered.
22So Hirah returned to Judah and said, “I could not find her, and furthermore, the men of that place said, ‘No shrine prostitute has been here.’”
23“Let her keep the items,” Judah replied. “Otherwise we will become a laughingstock.#38:23 Or we will become despised After all, I did send her this young goat, but you could not find her.”
24About three months later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has prostituted herself, and now she is pregnant.”
“Bring her out!” Judah replied. “Let her be burned to death!”
25As she was being brought out, Tamar sent a message to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these items belong.” And she added, “Please examine them. Whose seal and cord and staff are these?”
26Judah recognized the items and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not have relations with her again.
The Birth of Perez and Zerah
27When the time came for Tamar to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 28And as she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it around his wrist. “This one came out first,” she announced. 29But when he pulled his hand back and his brother came out, she said, “You have broken out first!” So he was named Perez.#38:29 Perez means breaking out. 30Then his brother came out with the scarlet thread around his wrist, and he was named Zerah.#38:30 Zerah can mean scarlet or brightness.
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