Genesis 38:12 MEANING

Genesis 38:12
(12) Timnath.--There were two places of this name (Joshua 15:10; Joshua 15:57). One was a little to the west of Bethlehem, the other upon the Philistine border, beyond Bethshemesh. As it lay, however, only about seven miles beyond Adullam, and as the flocks there were Judah's private property (Genesis 38:13), and under the charge of Hirah, this remoter place, now called Tibneh, is probably the Timnath meant, as at Bethlehem the pastures were occupied by his father. (See also Genesis 38:14.) For the sheep-shearing, see Genesis 31:19. Instead of "his friend Hirah," the LXX. and Vulg. render his shepherd Hirah. This would require no change in the consonants, but only in the vowels. Most of the other authorities agree with the Authorised Version; but even so, there was most probably some partnership between Judah and Hirah in these flocks, and they would be under Hirah's charge whenever Judah was absent, tending the flocks of his father.

Verse 12. - And in process of time - literally, and the days were multiplied (cf. Genesis 4:3), which is rendered by the same words in the A.V. - the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted (or, comforted himself, ceased to mourn), and went up unto his sheep-shearers (vide Genesis 31:19) to Timnath, - a border town between Ekron and Bethshemesh (Joshua 15:10) in the plain of Judah (Kalisch, Wordsworth, W. L. Alexander in Kitto's 'Cyclopedia'); but more probably here a town (Joshua 15:57) in the mountains of Judah (Robinson, 2:343, Keil, Alford, 'Speaker's Commentary') - he and his friend - ὁ ποιμὴν αὐτοῦ (LXX.) - Hirah the Adullamite.

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.And in process of time the daughter of Shuah, Judah's wife,

died,.... Shuah was his wife's father, who was a Canaanite, Genesis 38:2; what her name was is not certain, nor the exact time of her death; it was some time after Tamar was sent home to her father's house; and some take the death of Judah's wife to be a correction and reproof to him for his ill usage of his daughter-in-law, in neglecting to give her to his son, or not designing to do it at all:

and Judah was comforted: he mourned awhile for the death of his wife, according to the custom of the country, and of those times, and then he laid aside the tokens of it, and his sorrow wore off, and he appeared in company and conversed with his friends:

and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath; a city in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:57, said (s) to be six miles from Adullam, where Judah lived; here he had his flocks of sheep, at least this was judged a proper place for the shearing and washing of them, and this time of the year a proper time for it, at which it was usual to have a feast; and Judah went up to his shearers, not only to see how they went on with their work, but with this view to make an entertainment for them, see 1 Samuel 25:3,

he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite; he took him along with him for a companion, and to partake of the entertainment.

(s) Bunting's Travels, p. 78.

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