Genesis 38:11 MEANING

Genesis 38:11
(11) For he said, lest he also die.--It is evident from this that Judah, for reasons which, in Genesis 38:26, he acknowledged to be insufficient, wished to evade the duty of giving a third son to Tamar. It does not follow that he blamed her for their deaths; for the loss of two sons in succession might well frighten him. Philippsohn says that it became the rule, that if a woman lost two husbands, the third brother was not bound to marry her, and she was even called Katlannith. the murderess. (But see St. Matthew 22:25-26, where no such custom is acknowledged.)

Verse 11. - Then said Judah to Tamer his daughter-in-law, Remain a widow - alma-nah, from alam, to be solitary, forsaken, signifies one bereft of a husband, hence a widow (cf. Exodus 22:21) - at thy father's house (cf. Leviticus 22:13), till Shelah my son be grown. It is implied that this was merely a pretext on the part of Judah, and that he did not really intend to give his third son to Tamar, considering her an unlucky woman (Delitzsch, Keil, Kalisch), or, at least, not at present, under the impression that the deaths of Er and Onan had been occasioned by their too early marriages (Lange). The reason of his failure to release Tamar from her widowhood is added in the ensuing clause. For he said (sc. in his heart), Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamer went and dwelt in her father's house.

38:1-30 The profligate conduct of Judah and his family. - This chapter gives an account of Judah and his family, and such an account it is, that it seems a wonder that of all Jacob's sons, our Lord should spring out of Judah, Heb 7:14. But God will show that his choice is of grace and not of merit, and that Christ came into the world to save sinners, even the chief. Also, that the worthiness of Christ is of himself, and not from his ancestors. How little reason had the Jews, who were so called from this Judah, to boast as they did, Joh 8:41. What awful examples the Lord proclaims in his punishments, of his utter displeasure at sin! Let us seek grace from God to avoid every appearance of sin. And let that state of humbleness to which Jesus submitted, when he came to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, in appointing such characters as those here recorded, to be his ancestors, endear the Redeemer to our hearts.Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law,.... After the death of his two sons, who had successively married her:

remain a widow at thy father's house till Shelah my son be grown: who was his third and youngest son, though perhaps not more than a year younger than Onan; but he might not choose he should marry so soon as his brethren had done, for a reason following: according to the custom and law of marrying a brother's wife, who died without issue, she in course was to be the wife of Shelah; since if there were ever so many brothers, they all married such an one in turn, until there was issue by one of them, see Matthew 22:25; as Judah knew this, he pretended at least to give her to his son for wife, only would have it put off till he was at age of maturity, or was more grown; and therefore desires her to keep herself unmarried to any other person until that time; and advises her to go to her father's house, and continue there, which he did to prevent any intrigues between them, lest his son should be tempted to marry her sooner than it was his will, and she should solicit him to it:

for he said; not to Tamar, but within himself:

lest peradventure he die also as his brethren did; by which it seems, that he was ignorant of the true cause of their death, but thought it was either owing to their marrying too young, or to something in the woman unfortunate and unhappy; and he might not really intend he should marry her at all, only made use of an excuse for the present:

and Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house; she had dwelt in Judah's house in the time of her two husbands, but now by his advice she removed to her own father's house; which very probably was in the same place, and her father yet living, who received her, and with whom she continued, see Leviticus 22:13.

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