But Er was a wicked man in the ’s sight, so the took his life.
Then Judah said to Er’s brother Onan, “Go and marry Tamar, as our law requires of the brother of a man who has died. You must produce an heir for your brother.”
But Onan was not willing to have a child who would not be his own heir. So whenever he had intercourse with his brother’s wife, he spilled the semen on the ground. This prevented her from having a child who would belong to his brother.
But the considered it evil for Onan to deny a child to his dead brother. So the took Onan’s life, too.
Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, “Go back to your parents’ home and remain a widow until my son Shelah is old enough to marry you.” (But Judah didn’t really intend to do this because he was afraid Shelah would also die, like his two brothers.) So Tamar went back to live in her father’s home.
Some years later Judah’s wife died. After the time of mourning was over, Judah and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went up to Timnah to supervise the shearing of his sheep.
Someone told Tamar, “Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.”
Tamar was aware that Shelah had grown up, but no arrangements had been made for her to come and marry him. So she changed out of her widow’s clothing and covered herself with a veil to disguise herself. Then she sat beside the road at the entrance to the village of Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah.
Judah noticed her and thought she was a prostitute, since she had covered her face.
So he stopped and propositioned her. “Let me have sex with you,” he said, not realizing that she was his own daughter-in-law. “How much will you pay to have sex with me?” Tamar asked.
“I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” Judah promised. “But what will you give me to guarantee that you will send the goat?” she asked.