1 About that time Judah left his brothers and went to stay with a man from Adullam whose name was Hirah. 2 There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man whose name was Shua. He married her and slept with her. 3 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son named Er. 4 She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son, whom she named Onan. 5 Then she became pregnant again and gave birth to another son, whom she named Shelah. He was born at Kezib. 6 Judah chose a wife for his firstborn son Er. Her name was Tamar. 7 Er angered the LORD. So the LORD took away his life. 8 Then 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." 9 But 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. 10 What Onan did angered the LORD so much that the LORD took away Onan's life too. 11 Then 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. 12 After 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. 13 As soon as Tamar was told that her father-in-law was on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep, 14 she 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.) 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face. 16 Since 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. 19 After she got up and left, she took off her veil and put her widow's clothes back on. 20 Judah 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. 21 He asked the men of that area, "Where's that prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?" "There's no prostitute here," they answered. 22 So he went back to Judah and said, "I couldn't find her. Even the men of that area said, 'There's no prostitute here.'" 23 Then 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." 24 About 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." 25 As 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." 26 Judah 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. 27 The time came for Tamar to give birth, and she had twin boys. 28 When 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." 29 As 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]. 30 After that his brother was born with the red yarn on his hand. He was named Zerah [Sunrise].
1 Joseph had been taken to Egypt. Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's Egyptian officials and captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. 2 The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. He worked in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 Joseph's master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made everything he did successful. 4 Potiphar liked Joseph so much that he made him his trusted servant. He put him in charge of his household and everything he owned. 5 From that time on the LORD blessed the Egyptian's household because of Joseph. Therefore, the LORD's blessing was on everything Potiphar owned in his house and in his fields. 6 So he left all that he owned in Joseph's care. He wasn't concerned about anything except the food he ate. Joseph was well-built and handsome. 7 After a while his master's wife began to desire Joseph, so she said, "Come to bed with me." 8 But Joseph refused and said to her, "My master doesn't concern himself with anything in the house. He trusts me with everything he owns. 9 No one in this house is greater than I. He's kept nothing back from me except you, because you're his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?" 10 Although she kept asking Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or be with her. 11 One day he went into the house to do his work, and none of the household servants were there. 12 She grabbed him by his clothes and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he ran outside and left his clothes in her hand. 13 When she realized that he had gone but had left his clothes behind, 14 she called her household servants and said to them, "Look! My husband brought this Hebrew here to fool around with us. He came in and tried to go to bed with me, but I screamed as loud as I could. 15 As soon as he heard me scream, he ran outside and left his clothes with me." 16 She kept Joseph's clothes with her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him the same story: "The Hebrew slave you brought here came in and tried to fool around with me. 18 But when I screamed, he ran outside and left his clothes with me." 19 When Potiphar heard his wife's story, especially when she said, "This is what your slave did to me," he became very angry. 20 So Joseph's master arrested him and put him in the same prison where the king's prisoners were kept. While Joseph was in prison, 21 the LORD was with him. The LORD reached out to him with his unchanging love and gave him protection. The LORD also put Joseph on good terms with the warden. 22 So the warden placed Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in that prison. Joseph became responsible for everything that they were doing. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care because the LORD was with Joseph and made whatever he did successful.
1 Later the king's cupbearer and his baker offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his chief cupbearer and his chief baker. 3 He put them in the prison of the captain of the guard, the same place where Joseph was a prisoner. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he took care of them. After they had been confined for some time, 5 both prisoners--the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt--had dreams one night. Each man had a dream with its own special meaning. 6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were upset. 7 So he asked these officials of Pharaoh who were with him in his master's prison, "Why do you look so unhappy today?" 8 "We both had dreams," they answered him, "but there's no one to tell us what they mean." "Isn't God the only one who can tell what they mean?" Joseph asked them. "Why don't you tell me all about them." 9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said "In my dream a grapevine with three branches appeared in front of me. 10 Soon after it sprouted it blossomed. Then its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes and squeezed them into it. I put the cup in Pharaoh's hand." 12 "This is what it means," Joseph said to him. "The three branches are three days. 13 In the next three days Pharaoh will release you and restore you to your position. You will put Pharaoh's cup in his hand as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 Remember me when things go well for you, and please do me a favor. Mention me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this prison. 15 I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I've done nothing to deserve being put in this prison." 16 The chief baker saw that the meaning Joseph had given to the cupbearer's dream was good. So he said to Joseph, "I had a dream too. In my dream three baskets of white baked goods were on my head. 17 The top basket contained all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head." 18 "This is what it means," Joseph replied. "The three baskets are three days. 19 In the next three days Pharaoh will cut off your head and hang your dead body on a pole. The birds will eat the flesh from your bones." 20 Two days later, on his birthday, Pharaoh had a special dinner prepared for all his servants. Of all his servants he gave special attention to the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position. So the cupbearer put the cup in Pharaoh's hand. 22 But he hung the chief baker just as Joseph had said in his interpretation. 23 Nevertheless, the chief cupbearer didn't remember Joseph. He forgot all about him.