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Chapter Summary: Genesis Chapter 38 Summary

We are here with Genesis chapter 38 summary. This chapter began with the patriarch Juda, the son of Jacob. Juda, now a grown man, began to deal with the Canaanites of the land and even selected a daughter of a man named Hirah.

Her name was Shuah. They married and had children, three boys named Er, Onan, and Shelah. Juda gave his son a wife named Tamar. Er was wicked before the Creator and the Creator had him killed. Onan was then, by tradition, supposed to raise up seed, or a child, for his brother Er with his widow Tamar. He refused and the Creator killed him too.

Genesis Chapter 38 Summary

As Tamar waited for Shela to grow up, Juda forgot to give Shela, his third son, to her. Tamar took matters in her own hands and pretended to be a prostitute. Juda’s wife Shuah passed away and while being comforted, Juda went in to lay with Tamar (who presented herself as a prostitute).

She became pregnant and this caused problems because she wasn’t supposed to be pregnant unless she was “playing the whore,” according to tradition. However, she kept several items of Juda’ as collateral payment. When the off-brand paternity test was conducted, Jerry Springer would have proclaimed to Juda, “You are the father!”

She went from about to be burnt to being a hero. Juda realized that she was being more righteous than he was. She produced twin sons named Pharez and Zara. This is the summary of Genesis chapter 38!


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  1. JoAnn Spencer JoAnn Spencer

    So what is the moral of the story??? Where is the blessing in all of this!!! Sounds no different than today!!! I truly was not blessed by ch 38, I did understand what was taking place but…. I expected more from Judah being one of the 12 tribes…. His Word was not solid till he saw the things Tamar had of his, smart woman in that respect, and stupid at the same time. Tamar wasted her life on a man that’s integrity is subpar!!!!!!

    God takes two of Judahs sons……
    Fornication involved……
    Judah word not kept…….
    Dishonesty on the part of Tamar……

    • Greetings JoAnn,

      You made a great point among many. The blessing is in what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

      Reading this story, if we have wisdom, we’d avoid living the lives of Juda and Tamar. However, the Creator was merciful towards everyone in the story, especially Juda, who is the patriarch to the Holy Anointed Son, whom the world calls Jesus. Also, Juda may have repented and got his life together, for all we know.

      Lastly, the world hasn’t changed; people are the same, fornicating, not looking out for their brothers, not keeping their words, and being dishonest.

      Thank you JoAnn,

      Min Koko

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