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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Genesis 38:12-23

It is a very ill-favoured story that is here told concerning Judah; one would not have expected such folly in Israel. Judah had buried his wife; and widowers have need to stand upon their guard with the utmost caution and resolution against all fleshly lusts. He was unjust to his daughter-in-law, either through negligence or design, in not giving her his surviving son, and this exposed her to temptation. I. Tamar wickedly prostituted herself as a harlot to Judah, that, if the son might not,... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Genesis 38:20

And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite ,.... Who went with him to Timnath, and was privy to all this wickedness, and kept the secret; but would have acted the more friendly and faithful part had he dissuaded him from it: him he employed to carry the kid he had promised, and not any of his servants, for the greater secrecy: and to receive his pledge from the woman's hand ; his signet, bracelets, and staff, or whatever they were: but he found her not ; she... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Genesis 38:20

Verse 20 20.And Judah sent the kid. He sends by the hand of a friend, that he may not reveal his ignominy to a stranger. This is also the reason why he does not dare to complain of the lost pledges, lest he should expose himself to ridicule. For I do not approve the sense given, by some, to the words, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed, as if Judah would excuse himself, as having fulfilled the promise he had given. Another meaning is far more suitable; namely, that Judah would rather... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 38:1-30

The house of Judah: a family record of sin and shame. I. THE WICKEDNESS OF ER AND ONAN . 1. Early . On any hypothesis Er and Onan can have been little more than boys when they were married, and yet they appear to have arrived at a remarkable precocity in sin. Nor was it simply that they had shed the innocence and purity of youth, but they had also acquired a shameful proficiency in vice. Young scholars are mostly apt learners, especially in the devil's school. 2.... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 38:1-30

The goodness and severity of God. These occurrences in the family of Judah would seem Judah is a wanderer from his brethren; a sensual, self-willed, degenerate man; yet it is in the line of this same wanderer that the promised seed shall appear. The whole is a lesson on the evil of separation from the people of God . Luther asks why such things were placed in Scripture, and answers, read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 38:12-26

Judah's sin with Tamar. I. COMMITTED . 1. Suddenly . It was occasioned by the sight of a supposed courtesan. Much evil enters by the eye (cf. 2 Samuel 11:2 ). Great need for the prayer of David ( Psalms 119:37 ). 2. Openly . Judah was in the company of Hirah, his friend, when he beheld Tamar sitting in the gate of Enajim, and, without attempting to hide it from his friend, went to seek her society. Shamelessness in sin betokens great depravity. 3. Willfully . ... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 38:20

And Judah sent the kid —literally, the kid of the goats, which he had promised ( Genesis 38:17 )— by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman's hand : but (literally, and) he ( i.e. Hirah) found her not. read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Genesis 38:1-30

- The Family of Judah1. עדלם ‛ǎdûllâm, ‘Adullam, “righteousness.” חירה chı̂yrâh Chirah, “nobility?”2. שׁוּע shûa‛, Shua‘, “luck, riches, cry.”3. ער ‛êr, ‘Er, “watching.”4. אונן 'ônân, Onan, “strong.”5. שׁלה shēlâh, Shelah, “request? rest.” כזיב kezı̂yb Kezib, “falsehood.”6. תמר tāmār, Tamar, “palm.”12. תמנה tı̂mnâh, Timnah, “counted or assigned.”14. עינים 'êynayı̂m, ‘Enaim, “two fountains.”29. פרץ perets, Perets, “breach.”This strange narrative is an episode in the history of... read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Genesis 38:17-21

Genesis 38:17-21 . A kid from the flock A goodly price at which her chastity and honour were valued! Had the consideration been a thousand rams, and ten thousands of rivers of oil, it had not been a valuable consideration. The favour of God, the purity of the soul, the peace of the conscience, and the hope of heaven, are too precious to be exposed to sale at any such rates. It is a good account, if it be but true, of any place, that which they here gave, that there is no harlot in this... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Genesis 38:1-30

Judah and his descendants (38:1-30)Back in Canaan, Jacob’s family had further troubles. Judah, Jacob’s fourth eldest son, had three sons, the eldest of whom had married. When this son died childless, Judah, according to the custom of the time, asked his next son Onan to have a temporary sexual relationship with the widow Tamar, with the hope that by him Tamar might produce a child. Legally, this child would be considered son of the dead man and so would carry on the family name and inheritance.... read more

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