Genesis 38:13-18 "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 off from her, and covered her with a veil, 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. When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot; because she had covered her face. 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? And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt 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 bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him."



Why is it the woman always gets in more trouble for infidelity than the man? (Sorry guys.)

In this chapter we find the story of Judah's "family". Jacob's fourth son married a Canaanite woman named Shuah. They had three children: Er, Onan, and Shelah. When Er became old enough to marry, Judah procured him a wife named Tamar. The bible doesn't say what Er did to provoke God's wrath but it must have been pretty bad for the Lord killed him. So, as the custom was in that day, Judah told his second son to have a child by Tamar to continue the name of his brother. Unwilling to have a child that would not bear his name, Onan "spilled it (his seed) on the ground". God slew him also. Judah then sent Tamar to her father's house, saying she was to wait for his youngest son to grow up and marry her.

Tamar went home but, meanwhile, Shelah grew up but was not give to her to wed as promised. Tamar then heard that Judah was traveling her way. She disguised herself as a prostitute and sat along the road she knew Judah would be traveling. This was the road that led to Timnath, about 12 miles from Adullam. Judah saw her and went in to her, thinking she was a harlot. She made him give her his signet, bracelets and staff as a pledge of payment. Tamar knew exactly what she was doing. She purposely lured Judah into giving her a child and leaving behind something she could later identify him as the father with. Three months later, Judah found out his daughter-in-law was pregnant. He was ready to have her burned to death. Yet he had done the same thing as she!!! I'm sorry if some of you guys don't like this, but if it is wrong for the goose it is wrong for the gander! Imagine how foolish Judah felt when he found out he was the father! She had him dead to rights! Six months later, twin boys were born: Pharez and Zerah. Though Zerah's hand appeared first at the time of birth, Pharez was born first. Pharez is listed in Ruth 4:18 and Matthew 1:2 as an ancestor of both David and Jesus!


  • What do you think about the death of Judah's second born son for spilling his seed on the ground? Why was God so angry at this action?
  • Do you think the "double standard" shown here in Bible times is still prevalent today?
  • Do you think it is a bigger sin for an unmarried woman to have a child than for a man to have sex outside of marriage?


Thank you so much for doing the Bible Study with us this week. I hope you enjoyed your visit. I am looking forward to hearing your answers to the questions this week. Please feel free to e-mail me, post on the message board or write your comments in my guestbook so everyone can see what you think!



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