Genesis 38:1-30

38  And at that time Judah went down from his brothers’ company, and got to a certain ʽAdullamite named Hirah. 2  And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite named Shuaʽ, and took her and went in to her, 3 * and she became pregnant and had a son, whom she named ʽEr; 4  and again she became pregnant and had a son, whom she named Onan; 5 * and she had one more son and named him Shelah; she was at Kezib when he was born. 6  And Judah married his eldest son ʽEr to a wife named Tamar. 7  And Judah’s eldest son ʽEr displeased Jehovah, and Jehovah caused his death. 8  And Judah said to Onan “Go in to your brother’s widow and do a brother-in-law’s duty by her and set up a posterity for your brother.” 9  And Onan knew the posterity would not belong to him; and if he went in to his brother’s wife he wasted his germs on the ground so as not to give his brother a posterity. 10  And what Onan did displeased Jehovah, and he caused his death too. 11  And Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar “Stay at your father’s as widow till my son Shelah grows up,” because he thought “He too might die like his brothers.” And Tamar went and stayed at her father’s. 12  And a long time elapsed, and Shuaʽ’s daughter, Judah’s wife, died, and Judah got through mourning and went up to Timnah to his sheepshearing, he and his associate Hirah the ʽAdullamite. 13  And Tamar was told “There your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep”; 14 * and she laid off her widow’s weeds and covered herself with a muffler and disguised herself and sat down in the gateway of ʽEnan on the road to Timnah, because she saw that Shelah had grown up and she had not been married to him. 15  And Judah saw her and took her for a prostitute because she had covered her face; 16 * and he turned off to her on the way and said “Say, let me go in to you,” because he did not know it was his daughter-in-law. And she said “What will you give to come in to me?” 17  and he said “I will send you a kid from the flock of goats.” And she said “If you will give security till you do.” 18  And he said “What is to be the security I give you?” and she said “Your seal and your cord and the stick you have in your hand.” And he gave them to her and went in to her, and she became pregnant by him. 19  And she rose and went away and laid off her muffler and put on her widow’s weeds. 20  And Judah sent the kid by his ʽAdullamite friend to take up the security from the woman’s hands; and he did not find her, 21  and asked the men of the place “Where is that religious girl at ʽEnan by the roadside?” and they said “There has not been any religious girl around here.” 22  And he went back to Judah and said “I did not find her,” and the men of the place too said “There has not been any religious girl around here.” 23  And Judah said “Let her have them, for fear we should cut a bad figure: here I have sent the kid and you did not find her.” 24  And after about three months Judah was told “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has been unchaste and is actually going to have an illegitimate child.” And Judah said “Take her out and have her burned.” 25  When she came to be led out she sent word to her father-in-law “It is by the man these belong to that I have a child coming”; and she said “Identify whose this seal and these cords and this stick are.” 26  And Judah recognized them and said “She has the right on her side, seeing I had not married her to my son Shelah,” but he never knew her again. 27  And at the time for the birth she found she had twins in her body. 28  And as she was giving birth a hand showed, and the midwife tied a bit of scarlet on the hand to mean “This one came out first”; 29  but when he drew his hand back out came his brother, and she said “What a burst you made for yourself!” and he was named Peres, “Burst.” 30  And afterward his brother came out, who had the scarlet on his hand, and he was named Zerah.


38:3 Var. he named ʽEr (but she named Onan)
38:5 Var. he was at Kezib when she bore him
38:14 Or sat down at Pethah-ʽEnan Var. ʽEnaim for ʽEnan
38:16 (on the way) Unc.; susp.; Lit. to the road Var. he turned the course off to her and said