(D) He married her and made love to her; 3 she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, who was named Er. Tamar is then married as a levirate widow to Onan, the next eldest, who, is killed by God because he, well, commits onanism to keep Tamar from having a child who will be Er's heir and who will then get the first born's inheritance. Besides, the men who lived there said, ‘There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here.’”, 23 Then Judah said, “Let her keep what she has,(AQ) or we will become a laughingstock. NIV Reverse Interlinear Bible: English to Hebrew and English to Greek. Of Tamar, we know nothing more than we have in this chapter. (G) It was at Kezib that she gave birth to him. You probably haven’t heard too many sermons preached on this chapter, right? Tamar is sent to her father's house on the excuse that Shelah is not yet old enough to marry. But Tamar actively gives herself a role in history when she stands alone and disguised in the road. Since he knew that a child with Tamar would … (AV)” And he did not sleep with her again. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD took his life. It may be there was more, for King David had a daughter named Tamar. So, why does this odd tale deserve to break into the Joseph story, a story so tender it's hard to read it without brushing away a tear? He marries the daughter of a merchant named Shua and has three sons, Er, Onan and Shelah. It's an approach to Jewish living. (AA) For she saw that, though Shelah(AB) had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife. “There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here,” they said. 13 When Tamar(V) was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep,”(W) 14 she took off her widow’s clothes,(X) covered herself with a veil(Y) to disguise herself, and then sat down(Z) at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. (H) 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight;(I) so the Lord put him to death. “Your seal(AJ) and its cord, and the staff(AK) in your hand,” she answered. 21 He asked the men who lived there, “Where is the shrine prostitute(AP) who was beside the road at Enaim?”. New International Version (NIV), “And what will you give me to sleep with you?”, Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!”, Upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, and access the NEW, Jos 12:15; 15:35; 1Sa 22:1; 2Sa 23:13; 2Ch 11:7, ver 14; Jos 15:10, 57; 19:43; Jdg 14:1, 2; 2Ch 28:18, ver 25; 1Ki 21:8; Est 3:12; 8:8; SS 8:6; Isa 49:16; Jer 22:24; Hag 2:23; 2Co 1:22; Eph 1:13, S Ge 19:5; Lev 19:29; Dt 22:21; 23:17; 2Ki 23:7; Hos 4:14, Lev 20:10, 14; 21:9; Dt 22:21, 22; Jos 7:25; Jdg 15:6; 1Sa 31:12; Job 31:11, 28; Eze 16:38, Ge 46:12; Nu 26:20, 21; Ru 4:12, 18; 2Sa 5:20; 6:8; 1Ch 2:4; 9:4; Isa 28:21; Mt 1:3, NIV, Beautiful Word Bible Journal, Luke, Comfort Print, NIV, Biblical Theology Study Bible, Comfort Print: Follow God’s Redemptive Plan as It Unfolds throughout Scripture, NIV, The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People, NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, Red Letter Edition: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture, NIV, Beautiful Word Bible Journal, Acts, Comfort Print. ( H) 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; ( I) so the Lord put him to death. When he next appears in the Joseph story, Judah will have become a strong and compassionate leader, careful of his father's feelings and repentant for his bad actions toward Joseph. She, like Ruth, seems to have been an outsider. 22 So he went back to Judah and said, “I didn’t find her. We can imagine that she suffered and was an outcast. Judah is Leah's fourth son and the ringleader in selling Joseph into slavery. The story of Judah and Tamar is certainly not the most pleasant story in the Bible. “Will you give me something as a pledge(AI) until you send it?” she asked. Tamar's intervention also seems to have been critical in changing Judah from a man with no moral compass, as evidenced by his treatment of Joseph, Tamar, and Er, into one who is eloquent, self-sacrificing, and compassionate when we next see him. She plays the role of a kedeishah - sacred prostitute - and, in fact, she has a sacred role to perform. Er is killed by God for some unstated fault. (AW) 28 As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife(AX) took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist(AY) and said, “This one came out first.” 29 But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out,(AZ) and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez. Judah refuses to marry Tamar to Shelah, the youngest, for fear she is bad luck. Why did the Holy Spirit choose to include the sordid story of Judah’s adultery and Tamar’s “prostitution” as part of the inspired text? In a sense, Judah had lost his true self. Judah, unknown to himself, tried to lose his role in history as the ancestor of King David. He included it for our instruction. We bring holiness into the world in many ways: Connect with Reconstructionist communities and resources nearby and around the world: Learn more about us and the resources available here: There is so much wonderful meat for discussion in the Joseph story that it is easy to skip or skim the story of Judah and Tamar — or of Tamar and Judah — to get back to the next installment of Joseph in Egypt. And Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your brother.” 38 At that time, Judah(A) left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam(B) named Hirah. In Ruth and Boaz (the descendent of Peretz), Lot and Abraham are reunited. Copyright © 2019 by Zondervan. Three months later when he learns she is pregnant, Tamar produces these items and tells Judah they belong to the father of her child. “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. But the fact that God included this chapter in His Holy Word means that it contains teaching that God wants us to learn. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. A text study sheet prepared by Rabbi Toba Spitzer on the mysterious “man” found in Parshat Vayeshev. [a](BA) 30 Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist,(BB) came out. Please Help Reconstructing Judaism Stay Strong. Even when read with care, it is not an easy story. 18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?”. But Onan spills his seed. And then Tamar wanders out of the spotlight. She acted the parallel role of Lot's oldest daughter who produced the child who would become Ruth's ancestor by having sex with her father Lot. Latest Devo: Losing Faith in the Elected, Worship Music Videos on our YouTube channel. Tamar's intervention also seems to have been critical in changing Judah from a man with no moral compass, as evidenced by his treatment of Joseph, Tamar, and Er, into one who is eloquent, self-sacrificing, and compassionate when we next see him. All rights reserved worldwide. (J), 8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.”(K) 9 But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. Judah recognizes that Tamar was in the right to act as she had. “And what will you give me to sleep with you?”(AG) she asked. However, he is luckier in that the person he gave them to was Tamar and not Jacob. 12 After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua,(R) died. 27 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 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