Judah’s Sin with Tamar
1About that time Judah left his brothers and went to stay with a man from Adullam whose name was Hirah. 2There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man whose name was Shua. He married her and slept with her. 3She became pregnant and gave birth to a son named #38:3 Some Hebrew manuscripts “son, whom he named”; other Hebrew manuscripts, Samaritan Pentateuch, and Targum “son, whom she named.” Er. 4She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son, whom she named Onan. 5Then she became pregnant again and gave birth to another son, whom she named Shelah. He was born at Kezib.
6Judah chose a wife for his firstborn son Er. Her name was Tamar. 7Er angered the Lord. So the Lord took away his life. 8Then Judah said to Onan, “Go sleep with your brother’s widow. Do your duty for her as a brother-in-law, and produce a descendant for your brother.” 9But Onan knew that the descendant wouldn’t belong to him, so whenever he slept with his brother’s widow, he wasted his semen on the ground to avoid giving his brother a descendant. 10What Onan did angered the Lord so much that the Lord took away Onan’s life too.
11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Return to your father’s home. Live as a widow until my son Shelah grows up.” He thought that this son, too, might die like his brothers. So Tamar went to live in her father’s home.
12After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had finished mourning, he and his friend Hirah from Adullam went to Timnah where the men were shearing Judah’s sheep. 13As soon as Tamar was told that her father-in-law was on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep, 14she took off her widow’s clothes, covered her face with a veil, and disguised herself. Then she sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. (She did this because she realized that Shelah was grown up now, and she hadn’t been given to him in marriage.)
15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face. 16Since he didn’t know she was his daughter-in-law, he approached her by the roadside and said, “Come on, let’s sleep together!”
She asked, “What will you pay to sleep with me?”
17“I’ll send you a young goat from the flock,” he answered.
She said, “First give me something as a deposit until you send it.”
18“What should I give you as a deposit?” he asked.
“Your signet ring, its cord, and the shepherd’s staff that’s in your hand,” she answered.
So he gave them to her. Then he slept with her, and she became pregnant. 19After she got up and left, she took off her veil and put her widow’s clothes back on.
20Judah sent his friend Hirah to deliver the young goat so that he could get back his deposit from the woman, but his friend couldn’t find her. 21He asked the men of that area, “Where’s that prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?”
“There’s no prostitute here,” they answered.
22So he went back to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. Even the men of that area said, ‘There’s no prostitute here.’ ”
23Then Judah said, “Let her keep what I gave her, or we’ll become a laughingstock. After all, I did send her this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”
24About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has been acting like a prostitute. What’s more, because of it she’s pregnant.”
Judah ordered, “Bring her out to be burned.”
25As she was brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law, “I’m pregnant by the man who owns these things. See if you recognize whose signet ring, cord, and shepherd’s staff these are.”
26Judah recognized them and said, “She’s not guilty. I am! She did this because I haven’t given her my son Shelah.” Judah never made love to her again.
27The time came for Tamar to give birth, and she had twin boys. 28When she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand. The midwife took a piece of red yarn, tied it on his wrist, and said, “This one came out first.” 29As he pulled back his hand, his brother was born. So she said, “Is this how you burst into the world!” He was named Perez [Bursting Into]. 30After that his brother was born with the red yarn on his hand. He was named Zerah [Sunrise].
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1At that time Juda went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Odollamite, named Hiras.
2And he saw there the daughter of a man of Chanaan, called Sue: and taking her to wife, he went in unto her.
3And she conceived, and bore a son, and called his name Her.
4And conceiving again, she bore a son, and called him Onan.
5She bore also a third: whom she called Sela. After whose birth, she ceased to bear any more.
6And Juda took a wife for Her his firstborn, whose name was Thamar.
7And Her, the firstborn of Juda, was wicked in the sight of the Lord: and was slain by him.
8Juda, therefore add to Onan his son: Go in to thy brother's wife and marry her, that thou mayst raise seed to thy brother.
9He knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother's wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother's name.
10And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.
11Wherefore Juda said to Thamar his daughter-in-law: Remain a widow in thy father's house, till Sela my son grow up. For he was afraid lest he also might die, as his brethren did. She went her way and dwelt in her father's house.
12And after many days were past, the daughter of Sue the wife of Juda died: and when he had taken comfort after his mourning he went up to Thamnas, to the shearers of his sheep, he and Hiras the Odollamite the shepherd of his flock.
13And it was told Thamar that her father-in-law was come up to Thamnas to shear his sheep.
14And she put off the garments of her widowhood, and took a veil, and changing her dress sat in the cross way, that leadeth to Thamnas; because Sela was grown up, and she had not been married to him.
15When Juda saw her, he thought she was a harlot: for she had covered her face, lest she should be known.
16And going to her, he said: Suffer me to lie with thee; for he knew her not to be his daughter-in-law. And she answered: What wilt thou give me to enjoy my company?
17He said: I will send thee a kid out of the flock. And when she said again: I will suffer what thou wilt, if thou give a pledge, till thou send what thou promisest.
18Juda said: What wilt thou have for a pledge? She answered: Thy ring and bracelet, and the staff which thou holdest in thy hand. The woman therefore at one copulation conceived.
19And she arose and went her way: and putting off the apparel which she had taken, put on the garments of her widowhood.
20And Juda sent a kid by his shepherd, the Odollamite, that he might receive the pledge again, which he had given to the woman: but he, not finding her,
21Asked the men of that place: Where is the woman that sat in the cross way? And when they all made answer: There was no harlot in this place,
22He returned to Juda, and said to him: I have not found her; moreover the men of that place said to me, that there never sat a harlot there.
23Juda said: Let her take it to herself; surely she cannot charge us with a lie. I sent the kid which I promised: and thou didst not find her.
24And, behold, after three months they told Juda, saying: Thamar thy daughter-in-law hath played the harlot, and she appeareth to have a big belly. And Juda said: Bring her out that she may be burnt.
25But when she was led to execution, she sent to her father-in-law, saying: By the man, to whom these things belong, I am with child. See whose ring, and bracelet, and staff this is.
26But he acknowledging the gifts, said: She is juster than I; because I did not give her to Sela; my son. However, he knew her no more.
27And when she was ready to be brought to bed, there appeared twins in her womb: and in the very delivery of the infants, one put forth a hand, whereon the midwife tied a scarlet thread, saying:
28This shall come forth the first.
29But he drawing back his hand, the other came forth. And the woman said: Why is the partition divided for thee? And therefore called his name Phares.
30Afterwards his brother came out, on whose hand was the scarlet thread: and she called him Zara.
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