Genesis 38-40 World English Bible

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Judah and Tamar

38 1  It happened at that time, that Judah went down from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2  Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua. He took her, and went in to her. 3  She conceived, and bore a son; and he named him Er. 4  She conceived again, and bore a son; and she named him Onan. 5  She yet again bore a son, and named him Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bore him. 6  Judah took a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7  Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of Yahweh. Yahweh killed him. 8  Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her, and raise up seed to your brother.” 9  Onan knew that the seed wouldn’t be his; and it happened, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest he should give seed to his brother. 10  The thing which he did was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and he killed him also. 11  Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house, until Shelah, my son, is grown up;” for he said, “Lest he also die, like his brothers.” Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.

12  After many days, Shua’s daughter, the wife of Judah, died. Judah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers to Timnah, he and his friend Hirah, the Adullamite. 13  It was told Tamar, saying, “Behold, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14  She took off of her the garments of her widowhood, and covered herself with her veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gate of Enaim, which is by the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she wasn’t given to him as a wife. 15  When Judah saw her, he thought that she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16  He turned to her by the way, and said, “Please come, let me come in to you,” for he didn’t know that she was his daughter-in-law.

She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 17  He said, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.”

She said, “Will you give me a pledge, until you send it?” 18  He said, “What pledge will I give you?”

She said, “Your signet and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand.”

He gave them to her, and came in to her, and she conceived by him. 19  She arose, and went away, and put off her veil from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. 20  Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend, the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman’s hand, but he didn’t find her. 21  Then he asked the men of her place, saying, “Where is the prostitute, that was at Enaim by the road?”

They said, “There has been no prostitute here.” 22  He returned to Judah, and said, “I haven’t found her; and also the men of the place said, ‘There has been no prostitute here.’” 23  Judah said, “Let her keep it, lest we be shamed. Behold, I sent this young goat, and you haven’t found her.”

24  It happened about three months later, that it was told Judah, saying, “Tamar, your daughter-in-law, has played the prostitute; and moreover, behold, she is with child by prostitution.”

Judah said, “Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.” 25  When she was brought forth, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man, whose these are, I am with child.” She also said, “Please discern whose are these—the signet, and the cords, and the staff.” 26  Judah acknowledged them, and said, “She is more righteous than I, because I didn’t give her to Shelah, my son.”

He knew her again no more. 27  It happened in the time of her travail, that behold, twins were in her womb. 28  When she travailed, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This came out first.” 29  It happened, as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out, and she said, “Why have you made a breach for yourself?” Therefore his name was called Perez. [1] 30  Afterward his brother came out, that had the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called Zerah. [2]

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

39 1  Joseph was brought down to Egypt. Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the hand of the Ishmaelites that had brought him down there. 2  Yahweh was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man. He was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3  His master saw that Yahweh was with him, and that Yahweh made all that he did prosper in his hand. 4  Joseph found favor in his sight. He ministered to him, and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. 5  It happened from the time that he made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that Yahweh blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of Yahweh was on all that he had, in the house and in the field. 6  He left all that he had in Joseph’s hand. He didn’t concern himself with anything, except for the food which he ate.

Joseph was well-built and handsome.

7  It happened after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph; and she said, “Lie with me.” 8  But he refused, and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, my master doesn’t know what is with me in the house, and he has put all that he has into my hand. 9  He isn’t greater in this house than I, neither has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” 10  As she spoke to Joseph day by day, he didn’t listen to her, to lie by her, or to be with her. 11  About this time, he went into the house to do his work, and there were none of the men of the house inside. 12  She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!”

He left his garment in her hand, and ran outside.

13  When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and had run outside, 14  she called to the men of her house, and spoke to them, saying, “Behold, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice. 15  It happened, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and ran outside.” 16  She laid up his garment by her, until his master came home. 17  She spoke to him according to these words, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought to us, came in to me to mock me, 18  and it happened, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and ran outside.”

19  It happened, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, “This is what your servant did to me,” that his wrath was kindled. 20  Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were bound, and he was there in custody. 21  But Yahweh was with Joseph, and showed kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22  The keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever they did there, he was responsible for it. 23  The keeper of the prison didn’t look after anything that was under his hand, because Yahweh was with him; and that which he did, Yahweh made it prosper.

Joseph Interprets the Prisoners' Dreams

40 1  It happened after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord, the king of Egypt. 2  Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. 3  He put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. 4  The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he took care of them. They stayed in prison many days.

5  They both dreamed a dream, each man his dream, in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were bound in the prison. 6  Joseph came in to them in the morning, and saw them, and saw that they were sad. 7  He asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?” 8  They said to him, “We have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it.”

Joseph said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Please tell it to me.” 9  The chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “In my dream, behold, a vine was in front of me, 10  and in the vine were three branches. It was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. 11  Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.” 12  Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 13  Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head, and restore you to your office. You will give Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, the way you did when you were his cupbearer. 14  But remember me when it will be well with you, and show kindness, please, to me, and make mention of me to Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house. 15  For indeed, I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.” 16  When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream, and behold, three baskets of white bread were on my head. 17  In the uppermost basket there was all kinds of baked food for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.” 18  Joseph answered, “This is its interpretation. The three baskets are three days. 19  Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head from off you, and will hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from off you.”

20  It happened the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants, and he lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 21  He restored the chief cupbearer to his position again, and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand; 22  but he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23  Yet the chief cupbearer didn’t remember Joseph, but forgot him.

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Footnotes

[1] 38:29 Perez means “breaking out.”

[2] 38:30 Zerah means “scarlet” or “brightness.”

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