Now Day 36 (skipped Day 35) of Reading the Bible in 365 Days (Busy day yesterday and worn out today)
Judah married the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. Yes, that’s the father’s name, not the daughter. It does not give the daughter’s name, which I find to be a bit chauvinistic, as if a daughter is just a daughter. A woman was just a woman in those days. Anyway, she gave him 3 sons, Er and then Onan, and later Shelah. Judah got a wife for Er and her name was Tamar. Er was wicked in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord put him to death. Not sure what Er did, it did not say. Judah told Onan to lie with his brother’s wife and fulfill his duty as her brother-in-law to produce offspring for Er. Onan knew that the offspring would not be his so he did lay with Tamar but he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. I don’t understand this part. If it’s his semen, then the offspring is his, but I suppose in those days, if his father tells him to produce offspring for his brother, the children are seen as his brother’s offspring? Sooooo weird. I do not get that at all. And count me thankful to not have lived in those days. Well, what Onan did was wicked in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord put Onan to death also.
Judah told Tamar to live in his house as a widow until his son Shelah grows up but Judah was thinking that Shelah too would suffer his brothers’ fate. Tamar lived in her father’s house (I think it should say father-in-law, but that’s just me). Later, Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua (still nameless, I see), died.
When Judah finished mourning, he went to Timnah to the men who were shearing his sheep and his friend, Hirah went with him. When Tamar was told Judah was on his way to Timnah, she removed her widow’s clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. Shelah was not grown yet and so they were not wed. When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, since she had covered her face. Wow, the Bible is filled with sooo much drama. Wicked people. He asked her to let him sleep with her. She asked him what he would give her and he offered a young goat from his flock. She asked for a pledge until he sent it and he questioned her as to what he should give. She asks for his seal and its cord, and the staff in his hand. So he did it, and they did it and she got preggers by him. After she left, she removed her veil and put back on her widow’s clothes. Judah sent the young goat by his friend so he could hurry and get his pledge back but he couldn’t find her. He asked the men who lived there about the shrine prostitute but the men said there hadn’t been any shrine prostitute. Judah said let her keep what she has for his fear of being embarrassed.
About 3 months later, Judah is told Tamar is guilty of prostitution and now she’s pregnant. Judah suggests she be burned to death. As she’s brought out, she sent a message to Judah, “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. And she added, “See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.” Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not sleep with her again. When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, “This one came out first.” But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez. Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out and he was given the name Zerah.