Genesis 38:9

“And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to passe when hee went in vnto his brothers wife, that hee spilled it on the ground, least that hee should giue seed to his brother.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother's wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother.
- New American Standard Version (1995)

And Onan knew that the seed would not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest he should give seed to his brother.
- American Standard Version (1901)

But Onan, seeing that the offspring would not be his, went in to his brother's wife, but let his seed go on to the earth, so that he might not get offspring for his brother.
- Basic English Bible

But when Onan knew that the seed should not be his own, it came to pass when he went in to his brother's wife, that he spilled [it] on the ground, in order to give no seed to his brother.
- Darby Bible

And Onan knew that the seed would not be his: and it came to pass, when he went in to his brother's wife, that he frustrated the purpose, lest he should give seed to his brother.
- Webster's Bible

Onan knew that the seed wouldn't be his; and it happened, when he went in to his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest he should give seed to his brother.
- World English Bible

and Onan knoweth that the seed is not [reckoned] his; and it hath come to pass, if he hath gone in unto his brother's wife, that he hath destroyed [it] to the earth, so as not to give seed to his brother;
- Youngs Literal Bible

And Onan knew that the seed would not be his; and it came to pass when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest he should give seed to his brother.
- Jewish Publication Society Bible

Bible commentary

Discussion for Genesis 38

  • A disciple
    Comparing these two chapters (38, 39), what instructions can we take from these two very different men? They were brothers according to the flesh, but one was righteous and one was evil; one was mistreated and hated, and the other was a friend of the world and a fornicator. It shows also, how that Christ came in the flesh, but not according to the flesh: spiritually Jesus was NOT a son of Judah.
  • PERRIE L BROWN
    He said his daughter-in-law should be burnt but once he found out that she had his belongings he realized that he made a promise but didn't honor, so she used trickery on him...he forgave her because he felt she was more righteous than himself. Being faith and honoring your word shows faithfulness.
  • Lanell
    This situation also tells us that ,the Lord is reaching out to his people with open out stretch hands, no matter what the problem,
  • Dewey J
    Cesar, no he didn 't because she was impregnated by Judah. Even though that was the penalty in those days for adultery Tamar showed Judah and everyone else by presenting Proof of his signet, bracelets, and staff that Judah was the father Gen.38:25. Judah then confessed that Tamar had been more righteous than he. Tamar went approximately 6 months later to give birth to two sons Pharez and Zarah. God bless us all and also in the understanding of his Word. Praise God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen!
  • Dewey J
    Jeremiah, interesting post. However, We must conclude that as the Scripture says, Isa. 55:8,9 "For my thoughs are not your thought, neither, are your ways my ways...Though you or me haven 't committed that particular sin as Judah here we all have our own sin Rom.3:10 "As it is written,there is none righteous, no, not one. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Therefore, We are commanded by God in Lu.6:37 "Judge not that you be not judged. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus in all situations in life as well as all Biblical stories. Because Ep.2:8,9 says, "For by grace are we saved through faith and that is not of ourselves it is the gift of God not of works least any man should boast. God bless us all and also in the understanding of his Word. Bless the Lord with all my soul and all that is within me bless his Holy name through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen!
  • Peter mugendi mutara for verse 7
    am just amazed

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