SynopsisAnother strange chapter. The Old Testament is not as dry as some might believe it to be.
What he did was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so he put him to death also. (verse 10)So Judah tells Tamar to come and live with him, and when Shelah is old enough, she can marry him. Unfortunately, when Shelah does grow up, Judah still does not give him to Tamar in marriage.
I find Tamar asking Judah for his cloak and his staff to be especially clever, because… well, you’ll see why in a second.
Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.”
“And what will you give me to sleep with you?” she asked.
“I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” he said.
“Will you give me something as a pledge until you send it?” she asked.
He said, “What pledge should I give you?”
“Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand,” she answered. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.
As she was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. And she added, “See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.” (verse 25)When Judah sees his personal belongings, and realizes what has happened, he realizes that he has wronged Tamar. “She is more righteous than I,” he says in verse 26, “since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.”