1 At that time Judah left his brothers and went to stay with a man named Hirah, who was from the town of Adullam.
2 Judah met a young Canaanite woman there whose father was named Shua. He married her.
3 Shua bore him a son, whom he named Er.
4 She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son and named him Onan.
5 She had another son and named him Shelah. Judah was at Achzib when the boy was born.
6 For his first son Er, Judah got a wife whose name was Tamar.
7 Er was an evil man. It displeased Jehovah. So Jehovah killed him.
8 Then Judah said to Ers brother Onan: »Go sleep with your brothers widow. Fulfill your obligation to her as her husbands brother. That way your brother may have descendants.«
9 Onan knew that the children would not belong to him. So when he had intercourse with his brothers widow, he let the semen spill on the ground, assuring that there would be no children for his brother.
10 What he did displeased Jehovah. So Jehovah killed him also.
11 Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar: »Return to your fathers house and remain a widow until my son Shelah grows up.« He said this because he was afraid that Shelah would be killed, as his brothers had been. So Tamar went back home.
12 After some time Judahs wife died. When he finished mourning, he and his friend Hirah of Adullam went to Timnah, where his sheep were being sheared.
13 Tamar found out that her father-in-law Judah was going to Timnah to shear his sheep.
14 She realized that Shelah was now a grown man. She had not been allowed to marry him. So she decided to dress in something other than her widows clothes and to cover her face with a veil. Then she sat outside the town of Enaim on the road to Timnah.
15 Judah came along. He did not recognize her because of the veil. He thought she was a prostitute,
16 and asked her to sleep with him. She asked: »What will you give me if I do?«
17 He answered: »One of my young goats.« Then she asked: »What will you give me to keep until you send the goat?«
18 »What do you want?« he asked. »The ring on that cord around your neck,« she replied. »I also want the special walking stick you have with you.« So he gave them to her. They slept together and she became pregnant.
19 After returning home, Tamar took off the veil and dressed in her widows clothes again.
20 Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the womans hand. But he did not find her.
21 He asked the men: »Where is the temple prostitute who was by the road at Enaim?« They said: »There has been no temple prostitute here.«
22 So he went back to Judah and said: »I did not find her. Besides, the men who lived there said there has not been any temple prostitute here.«
23 Then Judah said: »Let her keep what she has, or we will become a laughingstock. After all, I did send her this young goat, but you did not find her.«
24 Three months later Judah was told: »Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant.« Judah said: »Bring her out and have her burned to death!«
25 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. She added: »See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.«
26 Judah recognized them and said: »She is more righteous than I, since I would not give her to my son Shelah.« He did not sleep with her again.
27 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.
28 As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand. The midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said: »This one came out first.«
29 When he drew back his hand, his brother came out. She said: »So this is how you have broken out!« He was named Perez.
30 Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out and he was given the name Zerah.