24 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.
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 thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff.
26 And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.
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 hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez.
30 And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.
K.J.V. Bible Text
We’ve been reading about Tamar, daughter-in-law of Judah who has tricked Judah into sleeping with her by pretending to be a prostitute. In those days they had no tests for pregnancy. The condition was confirmed only as time passed, so it’s not surprising that it was about three months later that word of Tamar’s misdeed was discovered.
When Judah heard that his daughter-in-law was pregnant as a result of prostitution, he demanded that she be burned to death.
Tamar then sent word to her father-in-law that she was pregnant by the owner of certain items. She sent the seal and cord and the staff with the messenger. Of course Judah recognized the items he had left in pledge and apparently, he was ashamed of himself.
He realized that he had failed her by not giving her to Shelah as his wife. The scripture says, “And he knew her again no more..”
Tamar was not put to death. She lived to bear the twin boys that were in her womb. It was thought that one baby, Zerah, would be first born. He put out his hand and the midwife tied a scarlet thread on it to mark him as first; but he drew the hand back in and the other brother named Perez was born first.
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