Genesis 38, Judah and Tamar

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Helen, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    We now interrupt the narrative for one of the weirder episodes in the Bible...

    Judah, great, great.....great grandfather of Jesus, leaves his brothers after the sale of Joseph and ends up marrying a Canaanite woman. Not good.

    She gives him three sons. The first marries Tamar but the Bible says this first son is wicked and the Lord puts him to death. That is all we really know about him!

    However, inheritance rights were so strong that it was then considered proper for the brother to impregnate the widow if she was childless so that the dead brother would still have his inheritance passed on. The second brother is also wicked, however, refusing to properly complete his duty, and so, the Bible says, the Lord kills him.

    The third brother is a bit young, but Judah instructs Tamar to wait for him to grow up, and she obeys.

    The mother of the three brothers, Judah's wife, dies. Realizing that she is not being given to the youngest brother, Tamar has a plan. She dresses as a shrine prostitute and waits at the side of the road. How did she know Judah would stop? Did the man have the reputation of a philanderer? We dn't know what made Judah stop and strike a bargain for a time of sex with her.

    Tamar becomes pregnant and Judah finds out his daughter-in-law is pregnant and wants to kill her. When she reveals him as the father, he calls her righteous!

    In that culture she was. She had guaranteed the inheritance of Judah's sons to be passed down through the family line. The Bible doesn't say what the pregnancy was like, but the delivery must have been awful. Twin boys. And they evidently were both trying to emerge at the same time. It must have been only by the grace of God she survived it! It is through one of these boys, Perez, the Christ line will pass.
     
  2. ChristianCynic

    ChristianCynic
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    Tamar really went through a lot just to get Judah's goat.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    ChristianCynic,

    :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    Laughing,
    but not out loud!

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
    ***********************************

    Hey Helen,

    About Judah.

    I think we do know what caused him to stop and solicit Tamar! :eek:

    Just kidding. I had wondered that myself before about Judah and why he just seemed so easily self-justified.

    And about Onan. Don't forget that if Er never had a son to claim the inheritance of the "first-born" that the inheritance went directly to Onan.

    I think there was more greed to Onan than there was selfishness. It was more that just not wanting to have any of his children bear Er's "name."

    And Tamar. Since Judah never intended to take her back into his household, where was she to go?

    More than likely, her own family would not take her back. Not her parents nor siblings. She was on her own. And a woman on her own would most likely be a beggar or a whore and/or die homeless.

    It's interesting that Tamar is one of only five women listed in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus.

    Tamar = pretended to be a whore
    Rahab = she was a whore
    Ruth = God considered intermarriages with Israelites and Ruth's people, the Moabites, whoredom
    Bathsheba = was treated like a whore
    Mary = she was innocent, but what did people think about her?

    I'm enjoying your posts!!

    Isn't the Bible great?!?

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  4. Helen

    Helen
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    CC -- aaaggghhhhhhhh I'll groan later :D (By the way, I really appreciate and enjoy a number of your posts on BB. Just wanted to mention that.)

    Scarlett -- really good observations; thanks. I never thought about those five women that way. That's amazing. And thank you for the extra insight into this particular story. I remember Judah did tell her to go back to her family and live as a widow in her father's house. She was a widow. And it does say she did what Judah suggested. Maybe they wouldn't have kept her after Shelah grew up?

    Really interesting insights, though, and thanks again. I love being invited to think this way and not just spout off what little I have learned!
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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