1 About that time, Judah left his brothers and went to stay with a man named Hirah in the town of Adullam. 2 There Judah met a Canaanite girl, the daughter of a man named Shua, and married her. Judah had sexual relations with her, 3 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, whom Judah named Er. 4 Later she gave birth to another son and named him Onan. 5 Still later she had another son and named him Shelah. She was at Kezib when this third son was born. 6 Judah chose a girl named Tamar to be the wife of his first son Er. 7 But Er, Judah's oldest son, did what the Lord said was evil, so the Lord killed him. 8 Then Judah said to Er's brother Onan, "Go and have sexual relations with your dead brother's wife. It is your duty to provide children for your brother in this way." 9 But Onan knew that the children would not belong to him, so when he was supposed to have sexual relations with Tamar he did not complete the sex act. This made it impossible for Tamar to become pregnant and for Er to have descendants. 10 The Lord was displeased by this wicked thing Onan had done, so the Lord killed Onan also. 11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, "Go back to live in your father's house, and don't marry until my young son Shelah grows up." Judah was afraid that Shelah also would die like his brothers. So Tamar returned to her father's home. 12 After a long time Judah's wife, the daughter of Shua, died. After Judah had gotten over his sorrow, he went to Timnah to his men who were cutting the wool from his sheep. His friend Hirah from Adullam went with him. 13 Tamar learned that Judah, her father-in-law, was going to Timnah to cut the wool from his sheep. 14 So she took off the clothes that showed she was a widow and covered her face with a veil to hide who she was. Then she sat down by the gate of Enaim on the road to Timnah. She did this because Judah's younger son Shelah had grown up, but Judah had not made plans for her to marry him. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, because she had covered her face with a veil. 16 So Judah went to her and said, "Let me have sexual relations with you." He did not know that she was Tamar, his daughter-in-law. She asked, "What will you give me if I let you have sexual relations with me?" 17 Judah answered, "I will send you a young goat from my flock." She answered, "First give me something to keep as a deposit until you send the goat." 18 Judah asked, "What do you want me to give you as a deposit?" Tamar answered, "Give me your seal and its cord, and give me your walking stick." So Judah gave these things to her. Then Judah and Tamar had sexual relations, and Tamar became pregnant. 19 When Tamar went home, she took off the veil that covered her face and put on the clothes that showed she was a widow. 20 Judah sent his friend Hirah with the young goat to find the woman and get back his seal and the walking stick he had given her, but Hirah could not find her. 21 He asked some of the people at the town of Enaim, "Where is the prostitute who was here by the road?" They answered, "There has never been a prostitute here." 22 So he went back to Judah and said, "I could not find the woman, and the people who lived there said, 'There has never been a prostitute here.'" 23 Judah said, "Let her keep the things. I don't want people to laugh at us. I sent her the goat as I promised, but you could not find her." 24 About three months later someone told Judah, "Tamar, your daughter-in-law, is guilty of acting like a prostitute, and now she is pregnant." Then Judah said, "Bring her out and let her be burned to death." 25 When the people went to bring Tamar out, she sent a message to her father-in-law that said, "The man who owns these things has made me pregnant. Look at this seal and its cord and this walking stick, and tell me whose they are." 26 Judah recognized them and said, "She is more in the right than I. She did this because I did not give her to my son Shelah as I promised." And Judah did not have sexual relations with her again. 27 When the time came for Tamar to give birth, there were twins in her body. 28 While she was giving birth, one baby put his hand out. The nurse tied a red string on his hand and said, "This baby came out first." 29 But he pulled his hand back in, so the other baby was born first. The nurse said, "So you are able to break out first," and they named him Perez. 30 After this, the baby with the red string on his hand was born, and they named him Zerah.
1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. An Egyptian named Potiphar was an officer to the king of Egypt and the captain of the palace guard. He bought Joseph from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. 2 The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man. He lived in the house of his master, Potiphar the Egyptian. 3 Potiphar saw that the Lord was with Joseph and that the Lord made Joseph successful in everything he did. 4 So Potiphar was very happy with Joseph and allowed him to be his personal servant. He put Joseph in charge of the house, trusting him with everything he owned. 5 When Joseph was put in charge of the house and everything Potiphar owned, the Lord blessed the people in Potiphar's house because of Joseph. And the Lord blessed everything that belonged to Potiphar, both in the house and in the field. 6 So Potiphar left Joseph in charge of everything he owned and was not concerned about anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well built and handsome. 7 After some time the wife of Joseph's master began to desire Joseph, and one day she said to him, "Have sexual relations with me." 8 But Joseph refused and said to her, "My master trusts me with everything in his house. He has put me in charge of everything he owns. 9 There is no one in his house greater than I. He has not kept anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How can I do such an evil thing? It is a sin against God." 10 The woman talked to Joseph every day, but he refused to have sexual relations with her or even spend time with her. 11 One day Joseph went into the house to do his work as usual and was the only man in the house at that time. 12 His master's wife grabbed his coat and said to him, "Come and have sexual relations with me." But Joseph left his coat in her hand and ran out of the house. 13 When she saw that Joseph had left his coat in her hands and had run outside, 14 she called to the servants in her house and said, "Look! This Hebrew slave was brought here to shame us. He came in and tried to have sexual relations with me, but I screamed. 15 My scream scared him and he ran away, but he left his coat with me." 16 She kept his coat until her husband came home, 17 and she told him the same story. She said, "This Hebrew slave you brought here came in to shame me! 18 When he came near me, I screamed. He ran away, but he left his coat." 19 When Joseph's master heard what his wife said Joseph had done, he became very angry. 20 So Potiphar arrested Joseph and put him into the prison where the king's prisoners were put. And Joseph stayed there in the prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him kindness and caused the prison warden to like Joseph. 22 The prison warden chose Joseph to take care of all the prisoners, and he was responsible for whatever was done in the prison. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's care because the Lord was with Joseph and made him successful in everything he did.
1 After these things happened, two of the king's officers displeased the king -- the man who served wine to the king and the king's baker. 2 The king became angry with his officer who served him wine and his baker, 3 so he put them in the prison of the captain of the guard, the same prison where Joseph was kept. 4 The captain of the guard put the two prisoners in Joseph's care, and they stayed in prison for some time. 5 One night both the king's officer who served him wine and the baker had a dream. Each had his own dream with its own meaning. 6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw they were worried. 7 He asked the king's officers who were with him, "Why do you look so unhappy today?" 8 The two men answered, "We both had dreams last night, but no one can explain their meaning to us." Joseph said to them, "God is the only One who can explain the meaning of dreams. Tell me your dreams." 9 So the man who served wine to the king told Joseph his dream. He said, "I dreamed I saw a vine, and 10 on the vine were three branches. I watched the branches bud and blossom, and then the grapes ripened. 11 I was holding the king's cup, so I took the grapes and squeezed the juice into the cup. Then I gave it to the king." 12 Then Joseph said, "I will explain the dream to you. The three branches stand for three days. 13 Before the end of three days the king will free you, and he will allow you to return to your work. You will serve the king his wine just as you did before. 14 But when you are free, remember me. Be kind to me, and tell the king about me so I can get out of this prison. 15 I was taken by force from the land of the Hebrews, and I have done nothing here to deserve being put in prison." 16 The baker saw that Joseph's explanation of the dream was good, so he said to him, "I also had a dream. I dreamed there were three bread baskets on my head. 17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked food for the king, but the birds were eating this food out of the basket on my head." 18 Joseph answered, "I will tell you what the dream means. The three baskets stand for three days. 19 Before the end of three days, the king will cut off your head! He will hang your body on a pole, and the birds will eat your flesh." 20 Three days later, on his birthday, the king gave a feast for all his officers. In front of his officers, he released from prison the chief officer who served his wine and the chief baker. 21 The king gave his chief officer who served wine his old position, and once again he put the king's cup of wine into the king's hand. 22 But the king hanged the baker on a pole. Everything happened just as Joseph had said it would, 23 but the officer who served wine did not remember Joseph. He forgot all about him.