1 At that time, Judah left his brothers. He went down to stay with a man named Hirah. Hirah was from the town of Adullam. 2 There Judah met the daughter of a man from Canaan. His name was Shua. Judah married her and made love to her. 3 She became pregnant. She had a son. They named him Er. 4 She became pregnant again and had another son. She named him Onan. 5 She had still another son. She named him Shelah. He was born at Kezib. 6 Judah got a wife for his oldest son Er. Her name was Tamar. 7 But Judah's oldest son Er was evil in the LORD's eyes. So the LORD put him to death. 8 Then Judah said to Onan, "Make love to your brother's wife. After all, you are her brother-in-law. So carry out your duty to her. Produce children for your brother." 9 But Onan knew that the children wouldn't belong to him. So every time he made love to his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground. He did it so he wouldn't produce children for his brother. 10 What he did was evil in the LORD's eyes. So the LORD put him to death also. 11 Then Judah spoke to his daughter-in-law Tamar. He said, "Live as a widow in your father's home. Wait there until my son Shelah grows up." Judah was thinking, "Shelah might die too, just like his brothers." So Tamar went to live in her father's home. 12 After a long time Judah's wife died. She was the daughter of Shua. When Judah got over his sadness, he went up to Timnah. His friend Hirah from Adullam went with him. Men were clipping the wool from Judah's sheep at Timnah. 13 Tamar was told, "Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to clip the wool from his sheep." 14 So she took off her widow's clothes. She covered her face with a veil so people wouldn't know who she was. Then she sat down at the entrance to Enaim. Enaim is on the road to Timnah. Tamar knew that Shelah had grown up. But she hadn't been given to him as his wife. 15 Judah saw her. He thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face with a veil. 16 He didn't realize that she was his daughter-in-law. He went over to her by the side of the road. He said, "Come. Let me make love to you." "What will you give me to make love to you?" she asked. 17 "I'll send you a young goat from my flock," he said. "Will you give me something that belongs to you?" she asked. "I'll keep it until you send the goat." 18 He said, "What should I give you?" "Give me your seal and its string," she answered. "And give me your walking stick." So he gave them to her. Then he had sex with her. And she became pregnant by him. 19 After she left, she took off her veil. She put on her widow's clothes again. 20 Judah sent his friend Hirah with the young goat he had promised. He wanted to get back what he had given to the woman. But his friend Hirah couldn't find her. 21 He asked the men who lived at Enaim, "Where's the temple prostitute? She used to sit beside the road here." "There hasn't been any temple prostitute here," they said. 22 So Hirah went back to Judah. He said, "I couldn't find her. Besides, the men who lived there didn't know anything about her. They said, 'There hasn't been any temple prostitute here.' " 23 Then Judah said, "Let her keep what she has. I don't want people making fun of us. After all, I did send her this young goat. We can't help it if you couldn't find her." 24 About three months later people brought word to Judah. They said, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of being a prostitute. Now she's pregnant." Judah said, "Bring her out! Have her burned to death!" 25 As Tamar was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. She said, "I am pregnant by the man who owns these." She continued, "Do you recognize this seal and string and walking stick? Do you know who they belong to?" 26 Judah recognized them. He said, "She's a better person than I am. I should have given her to my son Shelah, but I didn't." Judah never had sex with Tamar again. 27 The time came for Tamar to have her baby. There were twin boys inside her. 28 As the babies were being born, one of them stuck out his hand. So the woman who was helping Tamar took a bright red thread. The woman tied it on the baby's wrist. She said, "This one came out first." 29 But he pulled his hand back, and his brother came out first instead. She said, "Just look at how you have broken out!" So he was called Perez. 30 Then his brother, who had the red thread on his wrist, came out. So he was named Zerah.
1 Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. An Egyptian named Potiphar had bought him from the Ishmaelite traders who had taken him there. Potiphar was one of Pharaoh's officials. He was the captain of the palace guard. 2 The LORD was with Joseph. He gave him great success. Joseph lived in Potiphar's house. 3 Joseph's master saw that the LORD was with him. He saw that the LORD gave Joseph success in everything he did. 4 So Potiphar was pleased with Joseph. He made him his attendant. He put Joseph in charge of his house. He told Joseph to take good care of everything he owned. 5 From that time on, the LORD blessed Potiphar's family and servants because of Joseph. He blessed everything Potiphar had in his house and field. 6 So Potiphar told Joseph to take good care of everything he owned. With Joseph in charge, he didn't have to worry about anything except the food he ate. Joseph was strong and handsome. 7 After a while, his master's wife noticed Joseph. She said to him, "Make love to me!" 8 But he said no. "My master has put me in charge," he told her. "Now he doesn't have to worry about anything in the house. He trusts me to take care of everything he owns. 9 "No one in this house is in a higher position than I am. My master hasn't held anything back from me, except you. You are his wife. So how could I do an evil thing like that? How could I sin against God?" 10 She spoke to Joseph day after day. But he told her he wouldn't make love to her. He didn't even want to be with her. 11 One day Joseph went into the house to take care of his duties. None of the family servants was inside. 12 Potiphar's wife grabbed hold of him by his coat. "Make love to me!" she said. But he left his coat in her hand. And he ran out of the house. 13 She saw that he had left his coat in her hand and had run out of the house. 14 So she called her servants. "Look," she said to them, "this Hebrew slave has been brought here to make fun of us! He came in here to force me to have sex with him. But I screamed for help. 15 He heard my scream. So he left his coat beside me and ran out of the house." 16 She kept Joseph's coat with her until Potiphar came home. 17 Then she told him her story. She said, "That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to rape me. 18 But I screamed for help. So he left his coat beside me and ran out of the house." 19 Potiphar's wife told him, "That's how your slave treated me." When Joseph's master heard her story, he became very angry. 20 So he put Joseph in prison. It was the place where the king's prisoners were kept. While Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the LORD was with him. He was kind to him. So the man who was running the prison was pleased with Joseph. 22 He put Joseph in charge of all of the prisoners. He made him accountable for everything that was done there. 23 The man who ran the prison didn't pay attention to anything that was in Joseph's care. The LORD was with Joseph. He gave Joseph success in everything he did.
1 Some time later, the Egyptian king's baker and wine taster did something their master didn't like. 2 So Pharaoh became angry with his two officials, the chief wine taster and the chief baker. 3 He put them in prison in the house of the captain of the palace guard. It was the same prison where Joseph was kept. 4 The captain put Joseph in charge of those men. So Joseph took care of them. Some time passed while they were in prison. 5 Then each of the two men had a dream. The men were the Egyptian king's baker and wine taster. They were being held in prison. Both of them had dreams the same night. Each of their dreams had its own meaning. 6 Joseph came to them the next morning. He saw that they were sad. 7 They were Pharaoh's officials, and they were in prison with Joseph in his master's house. So he asked them, "Why do you look so sad today?" 8 "We both had dreams," they answered. "But no one can tell us what they mean." Then Joseph said to them, "Only God knows what dreams mean. Tell me your dreams." 9 So the chief wine taster told Joseph his dream. He said to him, "In my dream I saw a vine in front of me. 10 There were three branches on the vine. As soon as it budded, it flowered. And bunches of ripe grapes grew on it. 11 "Pharaoh's cup was in my hand. I took the grapes. I squeezed them into Pharaoh's cup. Then I put the cup in his hand." 12 "Here's what your dream means," Joseph said to him. "The three branches are three days. 13 In three days Pharaoh will let you out of prison. He'll give your position back to you. And you will put Pharaoh's cup in his hand. That's what you used to do when you were his wine taster. 14 "But when everything is going well with you, remember me. Do me a favor. Speak to Pharaoh about me. Get me out of this prison. 15 I was taken away from the land of the Hebrews by force. Even here I haven't done anything to be put in prison for." 16 The chief baker saw that Joseph had given a positive meaning to the wine taster's dream. So he said to Joseph, "I had a dream too. There were three baskets of bread on my head. 17 All kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh were in the top basket. But the birds were eating them out of the basket that was on my head." 18 "Here's what your dream means," Joseph said. "The three baskets are three days. 19 In three days Pharaoh will cut your head off. Then he will stick a pole through your body and set the pole up. The birds will eat up your body." 20 The third day was Pharaoh's birthday. He had a big dinner prepared for all of his officials. He brought the chief wine taster and the chief baker out of prison. He did it in front of his officials. 21 He gave the chief wine taster's position back to him. Once again the wine taster put the cup into Pharaoh's hand. 22 But Pharaoh had a pole stuck through the chief baker's body. Then he had the pole set up. Everything happened exactly as Joseph had told them when he explained their dreams. 23 But the chief wine taster didn't remember Joseph. In fact, he forgot all about him.