Genesis 38:1-24 (New International Version)

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Judah and Tamar

1 At that time, Judah1 left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam2 named Hirah.3 2 There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua.4 He married her and lay with her; 3 she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, who was named Er.5 4 She conceived again and gave birth to a son and named him Onan.6 5 She gave birth to still another son and named him Shelah.7 It was at Kezib that she gave birth to him. 6 Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.8 7 But Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the LORD's sight;9 so the LORD put him to death.10 8 Then Judah said to Onan, "Lie with your brother's wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother."11 9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the LORD's sight; so he put him to death also.12 11 Judah then said to his daughter-in-law13 Tamar,14 "Live as a widow in your father's house15 until my son Shelah16 grows up."17 For he thought, "He may die too, just like his brothers." So Tamar went to live in her father's house. 12 After a long time Judah's wife, the daughter of Shua,18 died. When Judah had recovered from his grief, he went up to Timnah,19 to the men who were shearing his sheep,20 and his friend Hirah the Adullamite21 went with him. 13 When Tamar22 was told, "Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep,"23 14 she took off her widow's clothes,24 covered herself with a veil25 to disguise herself, and then sat down26 at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah.27 For she saw that, though Shelah28 had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute,29 for she had covered her face. 16 Not realizing30 that she was his daughter-in-law,31 he went over to her by the roadside and said, "Come now, let me sleep with you."32 "And what will you give me to sleep with you?"33 she asked. 17 "I'll send you a young goat34 from my flock," he said. "Will you give me something as a pledge35 until you send it?" she asked. 18 He said, "What pledge should I give you?" "Your seal36 and its cord, and the staff37 in your hand," she answered. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.38 19 After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow's clothes39 again. 20 Meanwhile Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite40 in order to get his pledge41 back from the woman, but he did not find her. 21 He asked the men who lived there, "Where is the shrine prostitute42 who was beside the road at Enaim?" "There hasn't been any shrine prostitute here," they said. 22 So he went back to Judah and said, "I didn't find her. 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,43 or we will become a laughingstock.44 After all, I did send her this young goat, but you didn't find her." 24 About three months later Judah was told, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant." Judah said, "Bring her out and have her burned to death!"45
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