Today I present my Restored English Translation (RET) of the 38th chapter of the Sefer Beresheet, known in English as the Book of Genesis. As usual, it contains the Hebrew names, with a glossary of them afterward. At the end is a glossary of where the Aleph Tavs occur, as they are no longer included in the main text. This chapter concerns Judah’s accidental adultery with his daughter-in-law Tamar, and the two children resulting, Perez and Zerah. Perez is well known as the ancestor of King David and Yeshua (Jesus). Zerah’s descendants are less well known, and almost unattested in Scripture. I follow the intriguing trail of his descendants in The Forgotten Jews.
1 And it was at that time that Yehudah went down from his brothers, and turned in to a certain Adullami, whose name was Chirah. 2 And Yehudah saw there a daughter of a certain Kena’ani whose name was Shua. And he took her and went in to her. 3 And she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er. 4 And she conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan. 5 And she went on again and bore a son, and called his name Shelah. And he was at Keziv when she bore him. 6 And Yehudah took a wife for his firstborn Er, whose name was Tamar. 7 And Yehudah’s firstborn Er was wicked in the sight of YEHOVAH; and YEHOVAH killed him. 8 And Yehudah said to Onan, “Go to your brother’s wife and marry her, and raise up seed to your brother.” 9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his. And it was, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, not giving seed to his brother. 10 And the thing that he did was evil in the eyes of YEHOVAH, and he slew him also. 11 Then Yehudah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Remain a widow at your father’s house until my son Shelah be grown.” For he said, “Lest perhaps he also die, as his brothers did.” And Tamar went and lived in her father’s house. 12 And in process of time Yehudah’s wife Bat-Shua died. And Yehudah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers to Timnah, he and his friend Chirah the Adullami. 13 And Tamar was told, saying, “Behold, your father-in-law goes up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 And she took off her widow’s garments from her, and covered herself with a veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the entrance to Enaim, which is by the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given to him for a wife. 15 And Yehudah saw her, and he thought her to be an prostitute, because she had covered her face. 16 And he turned to her by the way and said, “Come now, let me come in to you.” (For he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.) And she said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 17 And he answered, “I will send you a kid from the flock.” And she said, “Will you give me a pledge until you send?” 18 And he said, “What pledge shall I give you?” And she said, “Your signet ring, and your bracelet, and your staff that is in your hand.” And he gave it her, and came in to her, and she conceived by him. 19 And she arose and went away, and removed her veil from her face, and put on her widow’s garments. 20 And Yehudah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullami, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand. But he did not find her. 21 Then he asked the men of that place, saying, “Where is the prostitute that was at Enaim by the road?” And they answered, “There was no prostitute in this place.” 22 And he returned to Yehudah and said, “I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said that there was no prostitute in this place.” 23 And Yehudah said, “Let her take it for herself, lest we be despised. Behold, I sent this kid, and you have not found her.” 24 And it was about 3 months later that it was told Yehudah, saying, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has committed adultery; and also, behold, she is pregnant by adultery.” And Yehudah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned.” 25 When she was brought out she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “I am pregnant by the man whose these are.” And she said, “Recognise whose are these, the signet ring, and bracelets, and staff.” 26 And Yehudah acknowledged them and said, “She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not have sex with her again. 27 And it was in the time of her delivering, that behold, twins were in her womb! 28 And it was, when she was delivering, that the one put out his hand. And the midwife took and bound his hand with scarlet, saying, “This one came out first.” 29 And it was, as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out. And she said, “How have you torn a break for yourself?” Therefore his name was called Perets. 30 And afterward his brother came out, who had the scarlet on his hand. And his name was called Zerach.
Yehudah – Judah
Adullami – Adullamite
Chirah – Hirah
Kena’ani – Canaanite
Shua – Shuah
Keziv – Chezib
YEHOVAH – The Lord
Bat-Shua – often translated as “daughter of Shua”, but possibly her actual name
Perez – Perets
Zerach – Zerah
Where the Aleph Tavs occur
Verse 3: And she conceived and bore a son, and he called את his name Er.
Verse 4: And she conceived again and bore a son, and she called את his name Onan.
Verse 5: And she went on again and bore a son, and called את his name Shelah. And he was at Keziv when she bore him.
Verse 20: And sent Yehudah את the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullami, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand. But he did not find her.