Genesis 38 ©

Judah marries a Canaanite woman, who bears him three sons, vs. 1, etc. The first whereof he gives to Tamar, as also (after the same was put to death by God) the second: who being likewise put to death by God, he promises her the third, 6. But not performing his promise, Tamar, by a subtle practice, commits incest with Judah, 13. And escaping the punishment thereof for his sake, 24. She bears two sons at once, Perez and Zarah, 27.


AND it came to pass 1at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain 2Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.


Anda Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and 3he took her, and 4went in unto her.


And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.


And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.


And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah:b and 5he was at 6Chezib, when she bare him.


And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.


And Er, Judah's firstborn, was 7wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD 8slew him.


And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and 9marry her, and 10raise up seed to thy brother.


And Onan 11knew that the 12seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he 13spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.


And the thing which he did 14displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.


Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, 15Remain a widow at thy father’s house, 16till Shelah my son be grown: 17for 18he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.


19And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah 20was comforted, and went up unto 21his sheepshearers to 22Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.


And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep.


And she put her widow’s garments 23off from her, and 24covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an 25open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.


When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.


And he turned unto her by the 26way, 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, 27What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?


And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, 28Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it?


And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy 29bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.


And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood.


And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman's hand: but he found her not.


Then he asked the men of 30that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was 31openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place.


And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place.


And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be 32shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.


¶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, 33Bring her forth, and 34let her be burnt.


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.


And Judah acknowledged them, and said, 35She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And 36he 37knew her again no more.


¶And it came to pass in the time of her travail,c that, behold, twinsd were in her womb.


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 38scarlet thread, saying, 39This came out first.


And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, 40How hast thou broken forth? this breach be 41upon thee: therefore his name was called 42Pharez.e


And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called 43Zarah.