•   Verse by verse
  •   Verse numbers
  •   Section headings
  •   Red letters

Genesis 38

Judah and Tamar

Now it happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and turned aside to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her and went in to her. 3 So she conceived and bore a son, and he named him Er. 4 Then she conceived again and bore a son, and she named him Onan. 5 And she bore still another son, and she named him Shelah; and it was at Chezib that she bore him. 6 Then Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of Yahweh, so Yahweh put him to death. 8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up a seed for your brother.” 9 And Onan knew that the seed would not be his; and it happened that when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted it on the ground in order not to give seed to his brother. 10 But what he did was displeasing in the sight of Yahweh; so He put him to death also. 11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up”; for he thought, “I am afraid lest he also die like his brothers.” So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house. 12 And after a considerable time, Shua’s daughter, the wife of Judah, died. Then Judah was comforted, and he went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 Then it was told to Tamar, “Behold, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 So she removed her widow’s garments from herself and covered herself with a veil and wrapped herself. And she sat at the entrance of Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah had grown up, and she had not been given to him as a wife. 15 Then Judah saw her, and he thought she was a harlot, for she had covered her face. 16 So he turned aside to her by the road and said, “Here now, let me come in to you”; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 17 He said, therefore, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” She said, moreover, “Will you give a pledge until you send it?” 18 Then he said, “What pledge shall I give you?” And she said, “Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19 Then she arose and went. And she removed her veil from herself and put on her widow’s garments. 20 Then Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite to take the pledge from the woman’s hand, but he did not find her. 21 So he asked the men of her place, saying, “Where is the cult prostitute who was by the road at Enaim?” But they said, “There has been no cult prostitute here.” 22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I did not find her; and furthermore, the men of the place said, ‘There has been no cult prostitute here.’” 23 Then Judah said, “Let her keep them, lest we become a laughingstock. Behold, I sent this young goat, but you did not find her.” 24 Now it happened about three months later that it was told to Judah saying, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the harlot, and behold, she is also with child by harlotry.” Then Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” 25 It was while she was being brought out that she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “I am with child by the man to whom these things belong.” And she said, “Please recognize this and see, whose signet ring and cords and staff are these?” 26 And Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again. 27 Now it happened at the time she was giving birth, that behold, there were twins in her womb. 28 And it happened, while she was giving birth, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 29 And then it happened, as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out. So she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” So he was named Perez. 30 Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand; and he was named Zerah.