38:1 And it came to pass at that time, that a Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name [was] Hirah.
(a) Moses describes the genealogy of Judah,
because the Messiah should come from him.
38:2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain
Canaanite, whose name [was] Shuah; b and
he took her, and went in unto her.
(b) A relationship which nonetheless was
condemned by God.
And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and
raise c up seed to thy brother.
(c) This order was for the preservation of the
stock, since the child begotten by the second brother would have the name and
inheritance of the first: a practice which is abolished in the New Testament.
Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, d
Remain a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he
said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren [did]. And Tamar went and
dwelt in her father's house.
(d) For she could not marry in any other family
so long as Judah would retain her in his.
And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in
unto thee; (for he e knew not that she
[was] his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou
mayest come in unto me?
(e) God miraculously blinded him so that he could
not know her by her voice.
And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his f
friend the Adullamite, to receive [his] pledge from the woman's hand: but he
found her not.
(f) That his wickedness might not be known to
And Judah said, Let her take [it] to her, lest we be g
shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.
(g) He fears man more than God.
38:24 And it came to pass about three months after,
that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the
harlot; and also, behold, she [is] with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring
her forth, and let her be h burnt.
(h) We see that the Law, which was written in
man's heart, taught them that adultery should be punished with death, even
though no law had been given yet.
38:26 And Judah acknowledged
[them], and said, She hath been i more
righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her
again k no more.
(i) That is, she ought rather to accuse me than I
(k) for the horror of the sin condemned him.
And it came to pass, as he l drew back
his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How m
hast thou broken forth? [this] breach [be] upon thee: therefore his name was
(l) Their heinous sin was signified by this
(m) Or the separation between you and your