Genesis 38-40 Revised Standard Version

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Judah and Tamar

38 1  It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2  There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; he married her and went in to her, 3  and she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er. 4  Again she conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Onan. 5  Yet again she bore a son, and she called his name Shelah. She was in Chezib when she bore him. 6  And Judah took a wife for Er his first-born, and her name was Tamar. 7  But Er, Judah's first-born, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him. 8  Then Judah said to Onan, "Go in to your brother's wife, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother." 9  But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother's wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. 10  And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord, and he slew him also. 11  Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, "Remain a widow in your father's house, till Shelah my son grows up" --for he feared that he would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.

12  In course of time the wife of Judah, Shua's daughter, died; and when Judah was comforted, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13  And when Tamar was told, "Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep," 14  she put off her widow's garments, and put on a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she had not been given to him in marriage. 15  When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot, for she had covered her face. 16  He went over to her at the road side, and said, "Come, let me come in to you," for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, "What will you give me, that you may come in to me?" 17  He answered, "I will send you a kid from the flock." And she said, "Will you give me a pledge, till you send it?" 18  He said, "What pledge shall I give you?" She replied, "Your signet and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand." So he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19  Then she arose and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood. 20  When Judah sent the kid by his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman's hand, he could not find her. 21  And he asked the men of the place, "Where is the harlot who was at Enaim by the wayside?" And they said, "No harlot has been here." 22  So he returned to Judah, and said, "I have not found her; and also the men of the place said, 'No harlot has been here.'" 23  And Judah replied, "Let her keep the things as her own, lest we be laughed at; you see, I sent this kid, and you could not find her."

24  About three months later Judah was told, "Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; and moreover she is with child by harlotry." And Judah said, "Bring her out, and let her be burned." 25  As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, "By the man to whom these belong, I am with child." And she said, "Mark, I pray you, whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff." 26  Then Judah acknowledged them and said, "She is more righteous than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah." And he did not lie with her again. 27  When the time of her delivery came, there were twins in her womb. 28  And when she was in labor, one put out a hand; and the midwife took and bound on his hand a scarlet thread, saying, "This came out first." 29  But as he drew back his hand, behold, his brother came out; and she said, "What a breach you have made for yourself!" Therefore his name was called Perez. 30  Afterward his brother came out with the scarlet thread upon his hand; and his name was called Zerah.

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

39 1  Now Joseph was taken down to Egypt, and Pot'i-phar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ish'maelites who had brought him down there. 2  The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian, 3  and his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hands. 4  So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. 5  From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had, in house and field. 6  So he left all that he had in Joseph's charge; and having him he had no concern for anything but the food which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome and good-looking.

7  And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph, and said, "Lie with me." 8  But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Lo, having me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand; 9  he is not greater in this house than I am; nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife; how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" 10  And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie with her or to be with her. 11  But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12  she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and got out of the house.

13  And when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and had fled out of the house, 14  she called to the men of her household and said to them, "See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice; 15  and when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment with me, and fled and got out of the house." 16  Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, 17  and she told him the same story, saying, "The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to insult me; 18  but as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment with me, and fled out of the house."

19  When his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, "This is the way your servant treated me," his anger was kindled. 20  And Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21  But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22  And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's care all the prisoners who were in the prison; and whatever was done there, he was the doer of it; 23  the keeper of the prison paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph's care, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.

Joseph Interprets the Prisoners' Dreams

40 1  Some time after this, the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord the king of Egypt. 2  And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief butler and the chief baker, 3  and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined. 4  The captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he waited on them; and they continued for some time in custody.

5  And one night they both dreamed--the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison--each his own dream, and each dream with its own meaning. 6  When Joseph came to them in the morning and saw them, they were troubled. 7  So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, "Why are your faces downcast today?" 8  They said to him, "We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them." And Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, I pray you." 9  So the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, "In my dream there was a vine before me, 10  and on the vine there were three branches; as soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. 11  Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand." 12  Then Joseph said to him, "This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days; 13  within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his butler. 14  But remember me, when it is well with you, and do me the kindness, I pray you, to make mention of me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. 15  For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews; and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon." 16  When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, "I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head, 17  and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head." 18  And Joseph answered, "This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days; 19  within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head--from you! --and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat the flesh from you."

20  On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he made a feast for all his servants, and lifted up the head of the chief butler and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 21  He restored the chief butler to his butlership, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand; 22  but he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23  Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

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