Genesis 38-40 Bible in Basic English

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Judah and Tamar

38 1  Now at that time, Judah went away from his brothers and became the friend of a man of Adullam named Hirah. 2  And there he saw the daughter of a certain man of Canaan named Shua, and took her as his wife. 3  And she gave birth to a son, and he gave him the name Er. 4  And again she gave birth to a son, and he gave him the name Onan. 5  Then she had another son, to whom she gave the name Shelah; she was at Chezib when the birth took place. 6  And Judah took a wife for his first son Er, and her name was Tamar. 7  Now Er, Judah's first son, did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so that he put him to death. 8  Then Judah said to Onan, Go in to your brother's wife and do what it is right for a husband's brother to do; make her your wife and get offspring for your brother. 9  But Onan, seeing that the offspring would not be his, went in to his brother's wife, but let his seed go on to the earth, so that he might not get offspring for his brother. 10  And what he did was evil in the eyes of the Lord, so that he put him to death, like his brother. 11  Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, Go back to your father's house and keep yourself as a widow till my son Shelah becomes a man: for he had in his mind the thought that death might come to him as it had come to his brothers. So Tamar went back to her father's house.

12  And after a time, Bath-shua, Judah's wife, came to her end; and after Judah was comforted for her loss, he went to Timnah, where they were cutting the wool of his sheep, and his friend Hirah of Adullam went with him. 13  And when Tamar had news that her father-in-law was going up to Timnah to the wool-cutting, 14  She took off her widow's clothing, and covering herself with her veil, she took her seat near Enaim on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was now a man, but she had not been made his wife. 15  When Judah saw her he took her to be a loose woman of the town, because her face was covered. 16  And turning to her by the roadside, he said to her, Let me come in to you; for he had no idea that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, What will you give me as my price? 17  And he said, I will give you a young goat from the flock. And she said, What will you give me as a sign till you send it? 18  And he said, What would you have? And she said, Your ring and its cord and the stick in your hand. So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she became with child by him. 19  Then she got up and went away and took off her veil and put on her widow's clothing. 20  Then Judah sent his friend Hirah with the young goat, to get back the things which he had given as a sign to the woman: but she was not there. 21  And he put questions to the men of the place, saying, Where is the loose woman who was in Enaim by the wayside? And they said, There was no such woman there. 22  So he went back to Judah, and said, I have not seen her, and the men of the place say that there is no such woman there. 23  And Judah said, Let her keep the things, so that we may not be shamed; I sent the young goat, but you did not see the woman.

24  Now about three months after this, word came to Judah that Tamar, his daughter-in-law, had been acting like a loose woman and was with child. And Judah said, Take her out and let her be burned. 25  And while she was being taken out, she sent word to her father-in-law, saying, The man whose property these things are, is the father of my child: say then, whose are this ring and this cord and this stick? 26  Then Judah said openly that they were his, and said, She is more upright than I am, for I did not give her to Shelah my son. And he had no more connection with her. 27  And when the time came for her to give birth, it was clear that there were two children in her body. 28  And while she was in the act of giving birth, one of them put out his hand; and the woman who was with her put a red thread round his hand, saying, This one came out first. 29  But then he took his hand back again, and his brother came first to birth: and the woman said, What an opening you have made for yourself! So he was named Perez. 30  And then his brother came out, with the red thread round his hand, and he was named Zerah.

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

39 1  Now Joseph was taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar the Egyptian, a captain of high position in Pharaoh's house, got him for a price from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. 2  And the Lord was with Joseph, and he did well; and he was living in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3  And his master saw that the Lord was with him, making everything he did go well. 4  And having a high opinion of Joseph as his servant, he made him the overseer of his house and gave him control over all he had. 5  And from the time when he made him overseer and gave him control of all his property, the blessing of the Lord was with the Egyptian, because of Joseph; the blessing of the Lord was on all he had, in the house and in the field. 6  And he gave Joseph control of all his property, keeping no account of anything, but only the food which was put before him. Now Joseph was very beautiful in form and face.

7  And after a time, his master's wife, looking on Joseph with desire, said to him, Be my lover. 8  But he would not, and said to her, You see that my master keeps no account of what I do in his house, and has put all his property in my control; 9  So that no one has more authority in this house than I have; he has kept nothing back from me but you, because you are his wife; how then may I do this great wrong, sinning against God? 10  And day after day she went on requesting Joseph to come to her and be her lover, but he would not give ear to her. 11  Now one day he went into the house to do his work; and not one of the men of the house was inside. 12  And pulling at his coat, she said, Come to my bed; but slipping out of his coat, he went running away.

13  And when she saw that he had got away, letting her keep his coat, 14  She sent for the men of her house and said to them, See, he has let a Hebrew come here and make sport of us; he came to my bed, and I gave a loud cry; 15  And hearing it he went running out without his coat. 16  And she kept his coat by her, till his master came back. 17  Then she gave him the same story, saying, The Hebrew servant whom you have taken into our house came in to make sport of me; 18  And when I gave a loud cry he went running out without his coat.

19  And hearing his wife's account of what his servant had done, he became very angry. 20  And Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, in the place where the king's prisoners were kept in chains, and he was there in the prison-house. 21  But the Lord was with Joseph, and was good to him, and made the keeper of the prison his friend. 22  And the keeper of the prison put all the prisoners under Joseph's control, and he was responsible for whatever was done there. 23  And the keeper of the prison gave no attention to anything which was under his care, because the Lord was with him; and the Lord made everything he did go well.

Joseph Interprets the Prisoners' Dreams

40 1  Now after these things the chief servant who had the care of the wine, and the chief bread-maker in Pharaoh's house, did something against Pharaoh's orders; 2  And Pharaoh was angry with his two servants, with the chief wine-servant and the chief bread-maker; 3  And he put them in prison under the care of the captain of the army, in the same prison where Joseph himself was shut up. 4  And the captain put them in Joseph's care, and he did what was needed for them; and they were kept in prison for some time.

5  And these two had a dream on the same night; the chief wine-servant and the chief bread-maker of the king of Egypt, who were in prison, the two of them had dreams with a special sense. 6  And in the morning when Joseph came to them he saw that they were looking sad. 7  And he said to the servants of Pharaoh who were in prison with him, Why are you looking so sad? 8  Then they said to him, We have had a dream, and no one is able to give us the sense. And Joseph said, Does not the sense of dreams come from God? what was your dream? 9  Then the chief wine-servant gave Joseph an account of his dream, and said, In my dream I saw a vine before me; 10  And on the vine were three branches; and it seemed as if it put out buds and flowers, and from them came grapes ready for cutting. 11  And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and crushing them into Pharaoh's cup, gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand. 12  Then Joseph said, This is the sense of your dream: the three branches are three days; 13  After three days Pharaoh will give you honour, and put you back into your place, and you will give him his cup as you did before, when you were his wine-servant. 14  But keep me in mind when things go well for you, and be good to me and say a good word for me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison: 15  For truly I was taken by force from the land of the Hebrews; and I have done nothing for which I might be put in prison. 16  Now when the chief bread-maker saw that the first dream had a good sense, he said to Joseph, I had a dream; and in my dream there were three baskets of white bread on my head; 17  And in the top basket were all sorts of cooked meats for Pharaoh; and the birds were taking them out of the baskets on my head. 18  Then Joseph said, This is the sense of your dream: the three baskets are three days; 19  After three days Pharaoh will take you out of prison, hanging you on a tree, so that your flesh will be food for birds.

20  Now the third day was Pharaoh's birthday, and he gave a feast for all his servants; and he gave honour to the chief wine-servant and the chief bread-maker among the others. 21  And he put the chief wine-servant back in his old place; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand. 22  But the chief bread-maker was put to death by hanging, as Joseph had said. 23  But the wine-servant did not keep Joseph in mind or give a thought to him.

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