Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, "Return to your father's house and remain a widow until my son Shelah grows up." He said this because he was afraid that Shelah would be killed, as his brothers had been. So Tamar went back home.
After some time Judah's wife died. When he had finished the time of mourning, he and his friend Hirah of Adullam went to Timnah, where his sheep were being sheared.
Someone told Tamar that her father-in-law was going to Timnah to shear his sheep.
So she changed from the widow's clothes she had been wearing, covered her face with a veil, and sat down at the entrance to Enaim, a town on the road to Timnah. As she well knew, Judah's youngest son Shelah was now grown up, and yet she had not been given to him in marriage.
When Judah saw her, he thought that she was a prostitute, because she had her face covered.
He went over to her at the side of the road and said, "All right, how much do you charge?" (He did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.) She said, "What will you give me?"
He answered, "I will send you a young goat from my flock." She said, "All right, if you will give me something to keep as a pledge until you send the goat."
"What shall I give you as a pledge?" he asked. She answered, "Your seal with its cord and the walking stick you are carrying." He gave them to her. Then they had intercourse, and she became pregnant.
Tamar went home, took off her veil, and put her widow's clothes back on.
Judah sent his friend Hirah to take the goat and get back from the woman the articles he had pledged, but Hirah could not find her.
He asked some men at Enaim, "Where is the prostitute who was here by the road?" "There has never been a prostitute here," they answered.