1It happened at about that time that Judah left his brothers, to go down and settle with a certainAdul amite called Hirah. 2There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite cal ed Shua. He made her his wife and slept with her. 3She conceived and gave birth to a son whom she named Er. 4She conceived again and gave birth to a son whom she named Onan. 5Yet again she gave birth to a son whom she named Shelah. She was at Chezib when she gave birthto him. 6Judah took a wife for his first-born Er, and her name was Tamar. 7But Er, Judah's first-born, offended Yahweh, and Yahweh kil ed him. 8Then Judah said to Onan, 'Take your brother's wife, and do your duty as her brother-in-law, tomaintain your brother's line.' 9But Onan, knowing that the line would not count as his, spilt his seed on the ground every time heslept with his brother's wife, to avoid providing offspring for his brother. 10What he did was offensive to Yahweh, who killed him too. 11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, 'Go home as a widow to your father, until my sonShelah grows up,' for he was thinking, 'He must not die like his brothers.' So Tamar went home to her father. 12A long time passed, and then Shua's daughter, the wife of Judah, died. After Judah had beencomforted he went up to Timnah for the shearing of his sheep, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13When Tamar was told, 'Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah for the shearing of his sheep,' 14she changed out of her widow's clothes, wrapped a veil around her to disguise herself, and sat downat the entrance to Enaim, which is on the way to Timnah; for she saw that, although Shelah was grown up, shehad not been given to him as his wife. 15Judah, seeing her, took her for a prostitute, since her face was veiled. 16Going up to her on the road, he said, 'Here, let me sleep with you.' He did not know that she was hisdaughter-in-law. 'What wil you give me for sleeping with you?' she asked. 17'I wil send you a kid from the flock,' he said. 'Agreed, if you give me a pledge until you send it,' shereplied. 18'What pledge shal I give you?' he asked. 'Your seal and cord and the staff you are holding,' shereplied. He gave them to her and slept with her, and she conceived by him. 19Then she got up and left him and, taking off her veil, resumed her widow's weeds. 20Judah sent the kid by his friend the Adul amite, to recover the pledge from the woman. But he did notfind her. 21He enquired from the men of the place, 'Where is the prostitute who was by the roadside at Enaim?''There has been no prostitute there,' they answered. 22So returning to Judah he said, 'I did not find her. What is more, the men of the place told me therehad been no prostitute there.' 23'Let her keep the things,' Judah said, 'or we shal become a laughing-stock. At least I sent her thiskid, even though you did not find her.' 24About three months later, Judah was told, 'Your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; furthermore,she is pregnant, as a result of her misconduct.' 'Bring her out,' Judah ordered, 'and let her be burnt alive!' 25But as she was being led off, she sent word to her father-in-law, 'It was the owner of these whomade me pregnant. Please verify', she said, 'whose seal and cord and staff these are.' 26Judah recognised them and said, 'She was right and I was wrong, since I did not give her to my sonShelah.' He had no further intercourse with her. 27When the time for her confinement came, there were twins in her womb! 28During the delivery, one of them put out a hand, and the midwife caught it and tied a scarlet thread toit, indicating that this was the first to arrive. 29Whereupon, he drew back his hand, and out came his brother. Then she said, 'What a breach youhave opened for yourself!' So he was named Perez. 30Then his brother came out with the scarlet thread on his hand, so he was named Zerah.
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