Genesis Session 11, March 22, 2020 -Judah’s Sexual Ethics: Genesis 38:1-30

Title:Genesis Session 11, March 22, 2020 -Judah’s Sexual Ethics: Genesis 38:1-30

Judah’s Sexual Ethics: Genesis 38:1-30 (also including Genesis chapters 36 and 37)

Chapter 36

Esau marries Adah, Aholibamah and Bashemath from Canaan, has children, many cattle, and dwells in Mt Seir. The descendants of Esau are named.

Chapter 37

Jacob dwells in Canaan. Jacob makes Joseph, his favourite, a coat of many colours. He is resented by his brothers. Joseph’s first dream: his bound sheaf rose, and the brothers’ sheaves fell down before it. Joseph’s second dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowed down to him. The brothers are again resentful, but Jacob bears the dream in mind. Joseph is told by his father to report on his brothers and their flocks. He is told by a man that they have gone to Dothan. The brothers see him coming, and want to kill him and cast him into a pit, but Reuben prevents this. Instead, Joseph is cast into a pit, but by the time Reuben comes to recover him, he has been sold to Ishmaelites. Reuben rips his clothes in anguish. The brothers dip Joseph’s tunic in goat’s blood and show it to their father. Jacob goes into mourning. Jospeh is taken to Egypt and sold to Potiphar, an officer of the Pharaoh.

Chapter 38

Judah sleeps with Shuah, bares Er, Onan and Shelah. Er marries Tamar. Er is killed by the Lord for an unspecified wickedness. Tamar marries Onan, who spills his seed on the ground (could be masturbation, or coitus interruptus). The Lord, displeased, kills Onan also. Tamar is instructed by Jacob to dwell at her father’s house until Judah’s third son, Shelah, reaches maturity. Judah’s wife dies, and Tamar realises Judah will never give his last son to fulfill the obligation to her. So, when Judah goes up to Timnah to shear his sheep, Tamar disguises herself as a harlot, and lies with Judah. Judah gives Tamar a signet, cord and staff to Tamar, as the pledge of his payment. Tamar then disappears. Three months later, she is found to be pregnant, and is condemned to be burnt as a harlot. Tamar is produced, and shows her signet, cord and staff. The reproved Jacob admits that he has not been righteous, because he did not give Shelah to Tamar as promised. Tamar has twins. One puts his hand out of the womb. The nurse puts a scarlet thread round this hand, but the other baby pops out first. The baby born first is called Perez, and the baby born second, with the scarlet thread round his wrists, is called Zerah.