38:1-30. Joseph's Brother: Judah.

(The whole Chapter is the Figure of Speech, Digression, a temporary turning aside from one subject to another.)

1727 B.C.

Genesis 38)

1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite (= justice of the people), whose name was Hirah (= a noble race).
2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite (in this was Judah's sin. Cp. 24:3; 26:35; 27:46; 38:1. Ex.34:16. Deut. 7:3. A warning, and a revelation of the human heart. Note who these Canaaanites were!), whose name was Shuah (= wealth); and he took her, and went in unto her.
3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er (= watchful).
4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan (= strong).
5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah (= a petition): and he was at Chezib (= lying), when she bare him.
6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar (= a palm tree).
7 And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the eyes of the Lord; and the Lord slew him.
8 And Judah said to Onan, "Go in to your brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to your brother." (a law before Sinai, "The Code of Khamurrabi". Cp. Deut .25:5-9, Ruth 4:10, Matt.22:24. An old and present Eastern law)
9: And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
10 And the thing which he did was evil in the eyes of the Lord: wherefore he slew him also.
11 Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, "Remain a widow at your father's house, till Shelah my son be grown:" for he said, "Lest perhaps he die also (Judah, an unnatural brother, is punished in his own children), as his brethren did." And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.
12 And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheep-shearers to Timnath (= portion), he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
13 And it was told Tamar, saying, "Behold your father in law goes up to Timnath to shear his sheep."
14 And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place (Heb. = "in the entrance to Enaim", Enaim = double fountain), which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given to him to wife.
15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.
16 And he turned to her by the way, and said, "Go to, I pray you, let me come in unto you;" {for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.} And she said, "What will you give me, that you may come in unto me?"
17 And he said, "I will send you a kid from the flock." And she said, "Will you give me a pledge, till you send it?"
18 And he said, "What pledge shall I give you?" And she said, "Your signet, and your bracelets, and your staff that is in thine hand." And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.
19 And she arose, and went away, and laid by her veil from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. (9 widows mentioned in Scriptures,#9 = finality of judgment)
20 And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman's hand: but he found her not.
21 Then he asked the men of that place, saying, "Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side?" And they said, "There was no harlot in this place."
22 And he returned to Judah, and said, "I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place."
23 And Judah said, "Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and you have not found her."
24 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, "Tamar your daughter in law has played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom." And Judah said, "Bring her forth, and let her be burnt." (This was strictly in accordance with the "Code", which was then in force throughout Canaan)
25 When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, "By the man, whose these are, am I with child:" and she said, "Discern, I pray you, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff."
26 And Judah acknowledged them, and said, "She has been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son." And he knew her again no more. (But God remembered her-Matt.1:3)
27 And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb.
28 And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, "This came out first."
29 And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, "How have you broken forth? this breach be upon you:" therefore his name was called Pharez. (breach)
30 And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah. (= a rising light, offspring, or dawn. Both Pharez and Zarah, together with their mother Tamar, are in the genealogy of Christ - Matt.1:3. This is why this parenthetical chapter is inserted here. It come historically, before chapter 37.)

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