11 Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, 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 sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
13 And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep.
14 And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto 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 unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?
K.J.V. Bible Text
Because Judah’s son Shelah was not yet grown up and Judah thought that he might also die like his brothers, he sent Tamar to live as a widow in her father’s house until Shelah was grown.
A long time afterward, Judah’s wife died. After recovering from his grief Judah went on a trip to have his sheep sheared. Just as men sometimes do today, while Judah was on this business trip, he spotted a woman, disguised with a veil, that he took to be a prostitute and he asked her to allow him to sleep with her.
In reality, this woman was his daughter-in-law, Tamar. She had learned her father-in-law was in town and she knew that Shelah had grown and she had not been made his wife. She had taken off her widow weeds and disguised herself so he would not recognize her. Obliviously, she was miffed. I’m sure she was “up to no good” and surely no good can come of this. .
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