Genesis 37:1-38:30 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Young Joseph, and Judah and Tamar
Comments for Study 23

Genesis 37:1-38:30
Memory Verse 38:26


I. Joseph's Youth (37:1-36)

>1. Why did Joseph's brothers hate him? What was Jacob's home atmosphere probably like?

Genesis 37:1-2 "Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. This is the account of Jacob. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them."

* "This is the account of" -Hebrew for "account" is "towledah" or "toledah". It is plural. It means; "descent, i.e. family; (fig.) history:-birth, generations." In planner English, the Hebrew word comes from a verb meaning "to beget or bear children." It could be translated "begettings." From this word comes the name of the book, Genesis. (See introduction.)

This is the last of ten times this statement is used in the Book of Genesis. See Genesis Study 3 for a list of their appearances.

By using this phrase the author is making a closing to the former period/subject and opening a new subject. In other words when the phrase "This is the account of" appears, the following verses will provide a bridge between the older to the newer points in history. In doing this the author made clear breaks, not leaving anything unfinished. So now, the author is closing the account of Jacob and moving onto the account of his sons, especially Joseph and Judah.

* "the land of Canaan" -The NIV Study Bible" states, "Jacob made the promised land his homeland and was later buried there. His son Joseph also insisted on being buried in Canaan, which he recognized as the land the LORD had promised to Israel. The Jacob-Joseph cycle begings and ends with references to the land of promise.

* "Joseph, a young man of seventeen" -Jacob moved from Paddan Aram to Canaan when Joseph was a young boy. His birth is recorded in 30:22-25. Jacob wanted to return after his birth, but he and his father-in-law, Laban set up a contract to stay in Paddan Aram. After six years Jacob left. Thus Joseph was six when he entered Canaan with his family. A few years later Joseph's mother died while giving birth to Joseph's direct brother, Benjamin. (35:19) Joseph's life story picks up now over ten years later.

* Joseph has often been sited as a type of Christ, or in other words, an example of Jesus' work for us. In saying this it is sited they are "alike in his betrayal, his elevation to highest dignity, and his preserving the life of his people, and in their ultimate recognition of him and repentance of their sin." (Alfred Edersheim). Others have sited Joseph as an example of a typical person who is slowly transformed into a prince of God, set aside for a God's purpose. Joseph himself claimed to his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Gen. 50:20)

* "he brought their father a bad report about them" -Joseph starts out doing what aught not to be done. Proverbs 10:19 states, "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." Proverbs 11:12 states, "A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue." Proverbs 12:18 states,"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." And finally most prophetic of all Proverbs 21:23 states, "He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity."

* "the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah... bad report" -The sons of Jacob's mid-wives were not the only one who could have a bad report. As this and the next study shows none of them were living like the children of God. They were blending into the sinful society around them and even marrying them. This has been true throughout history. The people of God often do not choose their mates for spiritual reasons, but for physical reasons. Human nature is to be drawn to the flesh. Without the Holy Spirit, as Jesus said, "the spirit is willing, but the body is weak." (Mt. 26:41)

* Joseph was most likely with the sons of these two because there was probably such great hate between Leah's sons and Rachel's sons (as their mother's did). Joseph didn't want to hang around with "those old guys" and they did not want "that little brat" with them, especially since he had a self righteous habit of reported others' sins.

Genesis 37:3-4 "Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him."

* "Israel" -The LORD God renamed Jacob when his faith matured. God also remained Abraham when his faith natured.

* "loved Joseph more" -Human nature is to love some more than others as God the Father loves God the Son more than anything. (Matt. 3:17, 17:5; John 3:35, 5:20, 10:17) Loving one person more than another is not wrong. However, we should not hate anyone. We should hate evil and sin. Yet, we always love the person.

* "he made a richly ornamented robe for him" -The Wycliffe Bible Commentary states, "The natural inference was that Jacob had chosen Joseph to be the one through whom the divine blessings would flow." Later in history, Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, would have a large influence and role in Israel's history. Divine election was displayed, and Jacob seemed to recognize it.

* Many have speculated what the garment looked like. Smith's Dictionary of the Bible states, "The richer classes among the ancient Egyptians wore long dresses of white linen. The people of Palestine and Syria, represented on the Egyptian monuments as enemies or tributaries, wore silmilar dresses, partly coloured, generally with a stripe round the skirts and the borders of the sleeves." (2 Sam. 13:8)

* "hate" -The children of the aged righteous and changed man, Israel was full of problems.

* "could not speak a kind word" -Joseph was not the only one who would not control their tongue.

>2. Describe Joseph's dreams. What did they reveal about God's purpose for Joseph? What did they mean to Joseph? How can we contrast Joseph and his brothers? Does God speak to people in this day and age? Why?

Genesis 37:5-8 "Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it." His brothers said to him, "Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?" And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said."

* "Joseph had a dream" -In a previous study the subject of whether or not God still communicates with us in dreams and visions is mentioned. He does. Peter in his Pentecostal Message said, "No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams." (Acts 2:16-17) And Paul wrote of himself in 2 Corinthians 12:1-2 "I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows."

* "and when he told it to his brothers, the hated him" -Some dreams should have be told to others, or we should at least be selective on who we tell. Whether he was boasting or not, that is the way it was received. Telling them accomplished no good.

* "Listen to this dream I had" -Joseph was excited. All dreams associated with Joseph are in pairs.

* "We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field" -During harvest the plants (i.e. wheat) are cut close to the ground after they had started to dry out and die. The cut stalks are gathered and bound together so that they can stand up and dry. If they were to lie on the ground and dry the grain would rot on the ground. After they are completely dry the stalks are beat on a rock to knock the wheat out of the chaff (the dry bracts enclosing mature grain). The grain is collected and put in sacks for storage. The chaff and stalks are burned.

* The coat showed them that their father considered him to be the heir of blessing. Now Joseph's dream was stating that he would be the heir of blessing. The other brothers would not accept this. Yet, as the story continues, this is what happened no matter what they felt. In the same way Jesus was rejected by his brother Jews, especially their leaders. Yet, as Peter said, "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:36)

Genesis 37:9-11 "Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. "Listen," he said, "I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me." When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, "What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?" His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind."

* "sun" -Jacob (Israel).

* "moon" -Rachel was dead so it must mean Leah.

* "eleven stars" -all of the brothers.

* God used wheat and the luminous things in the heaven to describe all of Israel. These illustrations are repeated all throughout the Bible.

* "His father rebuked... kept it in mind" -Jacob was surprised. Yet he did not hate Joseph as his sons did. In fact he took note of it to see what would happen. When we study the Bible there are often things we do not understand and/or are kept from understand. We should not brush it aside, but keep it in mind.

>3. What does Joseph's attitude toward his father's errand show us about his character? (12-17)

Genesis 37:12-14 "Now his brothers had gone to graze their father's flocks near Shechem, and Israel said to Joseph, "As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them." "Very well," he replied. So he said to him, "Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me." Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron. When Joseph arrived at Shechem,"

* "their father's flocks" -The flocks was not their own.

* "near Shechem" -Jacob lived there and bought land there before he moved to Bethel. (33:18, 35:1)

* Joseph was not tending the flocks with his brothers. Perhaps because Jacob saw the trouble between them and feared for his son. Why did he send Joseph to them now? Perhaps he began wondering where they were and what they were doing.

* "Very well" -Joseph obeyed his father even though he knew his brothers hated him and harassed him. Jesus also obeyed his father and came to this earth even though he knew he was hated and would be crucified. Hebrews 5:8-10 states, "Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek." We too are sons and daughters. We too must obey even though it may mean suffering and perhaps even death. As it says, "God did not spare his own son." (Rom. 8:32)

Genesis 37:15-17 "a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, "What are you looking for?" He replied, "I'm looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?" "They have moved on from here," the man answered. "I heard them say, 'Let's go to Dothan.'" So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan."

* "wandering around in the fields" -Looking for them. He did not give up and run away out of fear. Jesus wandered around the country of Israel looking for true brother, that is true believers.

* "Dothan" -Located about 13 miles (10km) north of Shechem. Dothan was already an ancient city by this time.

>4. How did Joseph's brothers come to sell him to Midianite traders going to Egypt? Which of the brothers was instrumental in this? (26) Who tried to save him? (21, 28)

Genesis 37:18-20 "But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. "Here comes that dreamer!" they said to each other. "Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams."

* "they saw his in the distance" -Dothan was in the area of green rolling hills, easy perches to see for miles in all directions.

* "they plotted to kill him" -A phrase often quoted in the New Testament in regards to the Pharisees and the teachers of the law.

* "then we'll see what comes of his dreams" -If they saw his dreams as the prophecy of God, then their sin of attempted murder is made greater by trying to stop God's will from happening.

Genesis 37:21-22 "When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. "Let's not take his life," he said. "Don't shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the desert, but don't lay a hand on him." Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father."

* "Reuben" -the oldest.

* "Don't shed any blood" -Perhaps the event of Able spilling out and speaking to God was known.

* "rescue him" -Reuben seamed to have changed from his sleeping with his father's midwife, an act meant to show he was claiming the birthright. (See previous study.) Reuben later reminded him of this day. (42:22) Reuben's attempt at leading the group was short and eventually Judah's idea prevailed. Judah was the one who would get the part of the blessing of leadership/kingship.

Genesis 37:23-25 "So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe--the richly ornamented robe he was wearing-- and they took him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt."

* "they stripped him of his robe" -The item that showed his favoritism and leadership. Joseph's rob would again be stripped by Potiphar's wife. (41:14) The third time, when Pharaoh put a rob on Joseph, the rob was not stripped off.

* "they sat down to their meal" -When Jesus was arrested and tried, perhaps the Jews sat down to their Passover meal.

* God's providence that they happened to be in sight of the main spice trade route.

* "Ishmaelites... Midianites" -Descendants of Abraham. Perhaps two separate caravans, or they traveled together. (Judges 8:22)

Genesis 37:26-28 "Judah said to his brothers, "What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let's sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood." His brothers agreed. So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt."

* Joseph was sold at a slave's price.

* How did Joseph feel when this happened? Genesis 42:21 states, "They said to one another, "Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that's why this distress has come upon us."

Genesis 37:29-32 "When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. He went back to his brothers and said, "The boy isn't there! Where can I turn now?" Then they got Joseph's robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. They took the ornamented robe back to their father and said, "We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son's robe."

* "tore his clothes" -a sign of shock. The high priest tore his robe when Jesus said he was "the Son of the Blessed One", the great "I AM" and they would see him"coming on the clouds of heaven."

* "Where can I turn now!" -He was thinking of what his father would think of him now. He must have believed there was no hope to save his name with two great errors.

* "your son" -not their brother.

>5. How did Joseph feel in this situation? (42:21) How did Joseph's brother explain this to their father? How do you think they felt and what they thought about themselves and their actions?

Genesis 37:33-36 "He recognized it and said, "It is my son's robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces." Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. "No," he said, "in mourning will I go down to the grave to my son." So his father wept for him. Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard."

* Jacob was again deceived. He who deceives will get paid back as he dishes out.

* "put on sackcloth" -A sign of grief.

* "mourned for his son many days" -True grief.

* "came to comfort" -They grew tired of his mourning as much as they began to feel his pain..

* "I will go down to the grave" -Israel had grown tired of living in this life. He wanted to die. He would end up living many more years after this.

II. Judah and Tamar (38:1-30)

>6. Where did Judah go and why? (1) What kind of women did he marry and have children by? (2-5) What kind of people where they? (Gen. 11:15-19; 24:3; 26:34-35; 28:1, 8) Who else married a Canaanite? (Gen. 46:10) What do you remember about him? (34:25, 30; 42:24; 49:5-7) Look up the future of the Canaanites. (Num. 21:3, 33:40; Jos. 5:1, 13:2-5)

Genesis 38:1-5 "At that time, Judah left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam named Hirah. There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. He married her and lay with her; she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, who was named Er. She conceived again and gave birth to a son and named him Onan. She gave birth to still another son and named him Shelah. It was at Kezib that she gave birth to him."

* "At that time Judah left his brothers" -The author seems to indicate that Judah had enough of his family. The family split with Judah going one way and Joseph another. Similarly, in time the nation of Israel would split after Solomon died. The northern tribes lead by Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph's sons would split from the southern tribes lead by Judah. Jacob would split his blessing, the blessing God gave to Abraham and Isaac (12:1-3, 6; 13:14-17; 15) among these two; a prophetic completion of epic proportions.

* Simeon and Judah married Canaanites. The Canaanites would be all but destroyed because of their many sins when Israel entered the promised land (Num. 21:3, 33:40; Jos. 5:1, 13:2-5). As mentioned above Simeon's descendants were few and lived within Judah's border.

* Was there any spiritual leadership in Israel at this time? The eldest, Reuben, was not a spiritual leader and thus would not receive the blessing of Jacob. Simeon and Levi, the second and third oldest lost the elder and leadership blessing because of their sins. (34:25, 30; 42:24; 49:5-7)

* "Kezib" -The Hebrew root of the name means "deception", a theme in Jacob and Judah's lives.

>7. What kind of man was Judah's first son? (6) His second son? (8-10)

Genesis 38:6-10 "Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the Lord's sight; so the Lord put him to death. Then Judah said to Onan, "Lie with your brother's wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother." But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the Lord's sight; so he put him to death also."

* Judah's sons by a Canaanite were beyond redemption. Their wicked lives would not be allowed to taint Israel.

* Judah's actions (as well as his brothers) would be the reason why the LORD did not let them live among the Canaanites. Their tendency to blend into the sinful actions of the Canaanites (Amorites) made it so that they had to be removed from them even though the Canaanites would live in the promised land for four generations instead of the Israelites. (15:12-18) Being slaves in Egypt, looked down upon and separated from their owners (43:32, 46:34), would allow them to grow in size and remain a unique people who had no choice but to cry out to their God for help. Is this the same today? 2 Corinthians 13:5-9 records Paul writing, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection."

* The passage refers to the widespread practice in the ancient world known as "levirate marriage"; this legal duty of a brother-in-law was intended to provide a widow with a son bearing her first husband's name and title. The responsibility could be financially onerous, and it is evident from this passage and also from the legal passage in Deut. 25:5-10 that it could be very unpopular." (F.F Bruce, The International bible Commentary)

>8. What did Judah tell Tamar? (11) What does his words reveal about his understanding of the deaths of his sons and of righteousness?

Genesis 38:11 "Judah then said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, "Live as a widow in your father's house until my son Shelah grows up." For he thought, "He may die too, just like his brothers." So Tamar went to live in her father's house."

* "as a widow" -He forbid her to marry another.

* "in your father's house" -a polite way of kicking her out of his family.

* "until my son Shelah grows up" -He deceived her.

* "he too may die" -Judah seems to hold the belief that Tamar is somehow "hexed". Judah was self righteous, not considering that his choice of a wife and lack of a positive spiritual influence in his family was the problem. Often we jump to conclusions about people that are completely wrong, especially ourselves. Human nature is to rationalize our sins, blame others for our problems, and/or condemn others for their errors. Jesus taught, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Matt. 7:3-5)

Genesis 38:12 "After a long time Judah's wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had recovered from his grief, he went up to Timnah, to the men who were shearing his sheep, and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went with him."

* "After a long time" -Long enough for Shelah, Judah's son to be old enough to marry.

* "Judah's wife, the daughter of Shua, died" -Judah did not have another chance to have a son unless he remarried. His one son left was his only way to continue his family line. Since his father, Jacob was not about to pass the leadership blessing onto Judah's older brothers because of terrible sins, the leadership blessing, the one that lead to the Messiah had the possibility to pass over Judah too. As an amazing twist, Judah's place of leadership was about to be saved by the women he thought was hexed and cursed. Even though through Tamar's vigilant faith and desire to stay in Judah's family Judah retained the leadership blessing, the rest of Israel's blessing would fall not on Judah, but on Joseph and his two sons.

* "Timnah" -Place name meaning, allotted portion.” Two cities hold that name. The village in the hill country of Judah (Josh. 15:57) was the likely scene of Judah's encounter with Tamar. The probable site lies south of Hebron about four miles east of Beit Nettif. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

>9. When Tamar heard Judah was coming, what was she still wearing? (14) After being with Judah what did she put back on? (19) What does this say about her?

Genesis 38:13-14 "When Tamar was told, "Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep," she took off her widow's clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself, and then sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that, though Shelah had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife."

* Tamar's vigilant faith would let her be one of only five women mentioned in Jesus' family tree in Matthew. (Matt. 1:3)

* How did Tamar know that Judah would come to her as a prostitute? It must had become his custom since his wife died. He had a reputation.

* "took off her widow's clothes" -Tamar kept Judah's instructions even though Judah did not keep his. She could have married another or given up. She didn't

* "Enaim" -Place name meaning, “two eyes or springs.” A village near Timnah. It is probably the same as Enam in the tribal territory of Judah (Josh. 15:34). The exact location is not known. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "sat down at the entrance" -The city gave was were all business was done in ancient times. Tamar disguised herself as a religious cult prostitute who were also at city gates to do business since those gained money there would want to spend it too. However, in the area often non-prostitutes would preform like a prostitute as part of a religious rite.

Genesis 38:15-18 "When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, "Come now, let me sleep with you." "And what will you give me to sleep with you?" she asked. "I'll send you a young goat from my flock," he said. "Will you give me something as a pledge until you send it?" she asked. He said, "What pledge should I give you?" "Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand," she answered. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him."

* "he thought she was a prostitute" -Not the religious cult prostitute, but a women preforming a pagan religious rite.

* Tamar's wit is commendable.

* "Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand" -The seal was usually a ring on a cord around the neck. It was an official sign of rights to give and receive his will and blessing.

Genesis 38:19 "After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow's clothes again."

* Thus Tamar shows her good intent.

Genesis 38:20-23 "Meanwhile Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite in order to get his pledge back from the woman, but he did not find her. He asked the men who lived there, "Where is the shrine prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?" "There hasn't been any shrine prostitute here," they said. So he went back to Judah and said, "I didn't find her. Besides, the men who lived there said, 'There hasn't been any shrine prostitute here.'" Then Judah said, "Let her keep what she has, or we will become a laughingstock. After all, I did send her this young goat, but you didn't find her."

* "shrine prostitute" -Tamar chose a place were Judah would be and where no other women would be offering to preform the religious rite.

* "we will become a laughingstock" -Peer pressure kept him from doing what he promised. It seems Tamar knew him to well. Judah had blended in with all the practices of sinners around him.

>10. What was Judah's words after he discovered what Tamar did? How did Judah grow through Tamar's actions? What does the fact that Tamar is one of the five women in Jesus' genealogy show about God's view of her faith? (Matt. 1:3)

Genesis 38:24 "About three months later Judah was told, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant." Judah said, "Bring her out and have her burned to death!"

* "guilty of prostitution" -Judah saw an opportunity. He was not a vigilant against prostitution. The crime to him was that he had told her to wait and he would give her his last son to fulfill the customs and laws of the land. He had given his word and now it appears that she did not keep his instructions. If this were so then he would be cleared to give his son to another women. That is why Judah made such a big spectacle and acted so outraged. In contract to Judah, later what Mary, Jesus' mother was found pregnant Joseph was going to divorce her quietly. (Matt. 1:19) Judah's actions against Tamar is very similar to the actions of the teachers of the law and the Pharisees when they brought to Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery. (John 8:1-11)

* "burn her to death" -Later, Lev. 21:9 would state that this was the penalty for a priest's daughter acting as a prostitute.

* In the end none of Judah's sons by his wife, the Canaanite would receive the Abrahamic blessing.

Genesis 38:25-26 "As she was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. "I am pregnant by the man who owns these," she said. And she added, "See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are." Judah recognized them and said, "She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn't give her to my son Shelah." And he did not sleep with her again."

* "as she was being brought out" -The stoning was down outside a city usually at the garbage dump to save having to dig a grave. Even in modern times mass executions are done outside cites.

* "she sent a message" -Judah wasn't even there.

* "She is more righteous than me" -Judah repented with a public confession since he was having her guilt made public.

Genesis 38:27-30 "When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, "This one came out first." But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, "So this is how you have broken out!" And he was named Perez. Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out and he was given the name Zerah."

* "Zerah" -The name means "brightness" or "red" referring to the scarlet thread.

* "scarlet" -blood red royalty.

* "Perez" -meaning a breach. The head of the leading clan in Judah and the ancestor of David and the Messiah.

>11. From the events in these chapters, what can you learn about how a man and women's faith (or lack of it) can affect the future of not only ourselves, but others as well?