Judah and Tamar
1And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.
3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.
4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.
5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him.
6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
7 And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him.
8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
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 displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also.
K.J.V. Bible Text
About the time Joseph was sold into slavery, Judah left the family and went to stay with a man named Hirah. (Was he feeling guilty about his part in the fate of Joseph?)
While staying with Hirah, Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite. He married her and she gave birth to two sons. The first was Er and the second was Onan.
Judah found a wife named Tamar for Er but Er was evil and the Lord put him to death.
Then Judah wanted his son Onan to sleep with Tamar so that she could have a child as offspring for the dead brother. Onan did not want to give Tamar a child that would not be his so he spilled his seed on the ground. This was evil in the sight of the Lord so he put Onan to death also.
As I read this, I wonder if this entire happenstance in the life of Judah is recompense for his treatment of Joseph. One reason why the sons turned out to be “evil” may be that Judah had married out of his people and had sons with a different culture. Perhaps that would not have happened if he had not taken part in the plot against Joseph because if he had not taken part in the plot, he may not have left home.
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