Genesis 38:1

Judah and Tamar

1 At that time, Judah left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam named Hirah.

Read Genesis 38:1 Using Other Translations

And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and turned aside to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
About this time, Judah left home and moved to Adullam, where he stayed with a man named Hirah.

What does Genesis 38:1 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Genesis 38:1

And it came to pass at that time
This some refer to the time of Jacob's coming from Padanaram into Canaan, soon after he came to Shechem, and before the affair of Dinah; but to this may be objected the marriage of Judah at an age that may seem too early for him, his separation from his brethren, and having a flock of his own to keep, which seems not consistent with the above history: wherefore it is better to connect this with the history of Joseph's being sold into Egypt; for though there were but twenty three years from hence to Jacob's going down into Egypt, Joseph being now seventeen, and was thirty years when he stood before Pharaoh, after which were seven years of plenty, and two of famine, at which time Jacob went thither with two of Judah's grandsons, Hezron and Hamul, ( Genesis 46:12 ) , which make the number mentioned; yet all this may be accounted for; at seventeen, Er, Judah's firstborn, might marry, being the eighteenth from the selling of Joseph, and the marriage of his father; and Onan at the same age, which was the nineteenth; and allowing two or three years for Tamar's staying for Shelah, there was time for her intrigue with Judah, and bearing him two sons at a birth, before the descent of Jacob into Egypt; as for his two grandsons, they may be said to go into Egypt; as Benjamin's sons did in their father's loins, being begotten there during Jacob's abode in it: that Judah went down from his brethren:
not from Dothan to Adullam, as Ben Melech observes, as if this separation was at the time and place of the selling of Joseph; but rather from Hebron thither, after he and his brethren were come home to their father, and had reported and condoled the death of Joseph; and Judah is said to go down, because he went from the north to the south, as Aben Ezra notes; whether this departure from his brethren was owing to a misunderstanding or quarrel between them on account of the affair of Joseph, or on any account, is not certain: and turned in to a certain Adullamite;
an inhabitant of Adullam, a city which afterwards fell to the tribe of Judah, and where was a famous cave, that had its name from thence in David's time; it was ten miles from Eleutheropolis to the east F9, and eight from Jerusalem to the southwest F11; hither he turned, or stretched out F12; that is, his tent, with his flock, which he extended to Adullam, as Ben Melech interprets it, and joined to this man, whose name [was] Hirah;
whom the Jews F13 fabulously report to be the same with Hiram king of Tyre, in the days of David and Solomon, and that he was the husband of Nebuchadnezzar's mother, and lived twelve hundred years.


F9 Jerom de loc. Heb. fol. 88. F.
F11 Bunting's Travels, p. 78.
F12 (jyw) "et tentorium fixerat", Schmidt.
F13 Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 8. 2.
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