Genesis 38 (Lexham English Bible)

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Judah and Tamar

1 And it happened [that] at that time Judah went down from his brothers and pitched his tent near a certain Adullamite, whose name [was] Hirah. 2 And Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite there whose name [was] Shua. And he took her and went in to her. 3 And she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er. 4 And she conceived again and bore a son, and he called his name Onan. 5 And once again she bore a son, and she called his name Shelah. And hea was in Chezib when she bore him. 6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name [was] Tamar. 7 And Er, the firstborn of Judah, was evil in the eyes of Yahweh, and Yahweh killed him. 8 Then Judah said to Onan, "Go in to the wife of your brother and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother." 9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be for him, so whenever he went in to the wife of his brother he would waste [it] on the groundb so as not to give offspring to his brother. 10 And what he did was evil in the sight of Yahweh, so he killed him also. 11 Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, "Stay a widow in your father's house until Shelah my son grows up," for {he feared he would also die}c like his brother. So Tamar went and stayed in the house of her father. 12 {And in the course of time}d the daughter of Shua, the wife of Judah, died. When Judah was consoled he went up to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite, to Timnah. 13 And it was told to Tamar, saying, "Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep." 14 So she removed the clothes of her widowhood and covered [herself] with the veil and disguised herself. And she sat at the entrance to Eynayim, which [is] on the way to Timnah, for she saw that Shelah was grown but she had not been given to him as a wife. 15 And Judah saw her and reckoned her to [be] a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 And he turned aside to her at the roadside and said, "Please come, let me come in to you," for he did not know that she [was] his daughter-in-law. And she said, "What will you give to me that you may come in to me?" 17 And he said, "I will send a kid from the goats of the flock." And she said, "[Only] if you give a pledge until you send [it]." 18 And he said, "What [is] the pledge that I must give to you?" And she said, "your seal, your cord, and your staff that [is] in your hand." And he gave [them] to her and went in to her. And she conceived by him. 19 And she arose and left, and she removed her veil from herself and put on the garments of her widowhood. 20 And Judah sent the kid from the goats by the hand of his friend the Adullamite to take [back] the pledge from the hand of the woman, but he could not find her. 21 So he asked the men of her place, saying, "Where [is] that cult prostitute [that was] at Eynayim by the roadside?" And they said, "There is no cult prostitute here." 22 Then he returned to Judah and said, "I could not find her. Morever, the men of the place said, 'There is no cult prostitute here.'" 23 And Judah said, "Let her take [them] for herself, lest we be {laughed at}.e Behold, I sent this kid, but you could not find her." 24 And {about three months later}f it was told to Judah, "Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the whore, and now, behold, she has conceived by prostitution." And Judah said, "Bring her out and let her be burned." 25 She was brought out, but she sent to her father-in-law saying, "By the man to whom these [belong] I have conceived." And she said, "Now discerng to whom these [belong]: the seal and cord and the staff." 26 Then Judah recognized [them] and said, "She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah." And he did not knowh her again. 27 And it happened [that] at the time she gave birth that, behold, twins [were] in her womb. 28 And it happened [that] at her labor one [child] put out a hand. And the midwife took [it] and tied a crimson thread on his hand saying, "This [one] came out first." 29 Then his hand drew back and, behold, his brother came out, and she said, "What a breach you have made for yourself!" And she called his name Perez. 30 And afterward his brother who [had] the crimson thread on his hand came out. And his name was called Zerah.
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