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Genesis 38: Judah Tamar Pretends to Be a Harlot

Judah had a weird marriage to his deceased son’s widow and produced two children from her. Her name was Tamar; she was not a Canaanite and she had two sons named Pharez and Zarah. This is how it went, Judah was away from his brothers for a while and met an Adullamite named Hirah.

They became friends. He also met a Canaanite woman named Shuah and married her and had sons. Er, Onan and Shelah came from Judah and Shuah. Er, and Onan were wicked and the LORD killed them both. Before they were slain by the LORD, Er was married to Tamar, who was from Syria.

The custom of a brother raising seed for his deceased brother was not upheld by Onan, and Shelah was much younger than the older two so Tamar had to wait for him to become of age. Judah forgot over time and his wife Shuah also died.

Tamar Thought Quickly

Tamar, feeling forgotten, pretended to be a prostitute, and arranged it for Judah to lay with her. He did not have cash on him so he left some of his things with her and would send the money to retrieve her things. She pulled a fast one and hid.

Once it was known she was pregnant, she knew they would come out after her. Indeed it happened just like that and Judah was going to have her burnt to a crisp! However, she proclaimed she was pregnant by the man who owned the things she retrieved from Judah; it was his signet, bracelets, and staff.

How embarrassing?

That’s when Judah acknowledged Tamar was more righteous than he was because she realized he’d backed away from his pledge to give her Shelah, his youngest son. Tamar had twins for Judah, Pharez, where the Pharisees came forth, and Zarah (Genesis 38).


Principle: Honor and integrity! Judah lacked this in his relationship with Tamar, his daughter in law. He did not honestly tell her he worried she’d kill his youngest son because of what fell upon the older two. So he did not give Shelah to her. He was ready to burn her for the same act he was later found in; in all things, we must have honor about ourselves and integrity.

History: Tamar mothered Pharez and Zarah; Shelah is the third son. The kingdom of Judah is founded from these three. Pharez was the leader, even in the days of CHRIST because that is where the group, Pharisees came from. Now, it is evident why they had to remove CHRIST before HE removed them from their seats of authority given to them by the Romans.

Prophecy: This is the tribe that will one day rule the entire earth via CHRIST the King.

More 5 Minute Studies

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The disciples asked, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. with are working together with others to usher in the Kingdom of the ALMIGHTY! Join us!

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