Chapter 37: Yoseph Dreams of Greatness
1 Now Yahqob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. 2 This is the history of Yahqob, Yoseph being seventeen years old was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives and Yoseph brought a bad report of them to his father. 3 Now Ysrayl loved Yoseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic (robe, coat) of many colors. 4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him. 5 Now Yoseph had a dream and he told it to his brothers and they hated him even more. 6 So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed”. 7 “There we were binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf”. 8 And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us”? So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. 9 Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon and the eleven stars bowed down to me”. 10 So he told it to his father and his brothers and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you”? 11 And his brothers envied him but his father kept the matter in mind.
Yoseph Sold by His Brothers
12 Then his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. 13 And Ysrayl said to Yoseph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them”. So he said to him, “Here I am”. 14 Then he said to him, “Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks and bring back word to me”. So he sent him out of the Valley of Hebron and he went to Shechem. 15 Now a certain man found him and there he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, “What are you seeking”? 16 So he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks”. 17 And the man said, “They have departed from here, for I heard them say, “Let us go to Dothan”. So Yoseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. 18 Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19 Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming”! 20 “Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit and we shall say, “Some wild beast has devoured him. We shall see what will become of his dreams”! 21 But Reuben heard it and he delivered him out of their hands and said, “Let us not kill him”. 22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness and do not lay a hand on him”. That he might deliver him out of their hands and bring him back to his father. 23 So it came to pass, when Yoseph had come to his brothers that they stripped Yoseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. 24 Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty. There was no water in it. 25 And they sat down to eat a meal. then they lifted their eyes and looked and there was a company of Ishmaylites coming from Gilead with their camels bearing spices, balm and myrrh on their way to carry them down to Egypt.
26 So Yahudah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood”? 27 “Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaylites and let not our hand be upon him for he is our brother and our flesh”. And his brothers listened. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by. So the brothers pulled Yoseph up and lifted him out of the pit and sold him to the Ishmaylites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Yoseph to Egypt. 29 Then Reuben returned to the pit and indeed Yoseph was not in the pit and he tore his clothes. 30 And he returned to his brothers and said, “The lad is no more and I, where shall I go”? 31 So they took Yoseph’s tunic, killed a kid of the goats and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32 Then they sent the tunic of many colors and they brought it to their father and said, “We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not”? 33 And he recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Yoseph is torn to pieces”. 34 Then Yahqob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist and mourned for his son many days. 35 And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him but he refused to be comforted and he said, “For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning”. Thus his father wept for him. 36 Now the Midianites (Medanites) had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar an officeer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.
Chapter 38: Yahudah and Tamar
1 It came to pass at that time that Yahudah departed from his brothers and visited a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah. 2 And Yahudah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua and he married her and went into her. So she conceived and bore a son and he called his name Er. 4 She conceived again and bore a son and she called his name Onan. 5 And she conceived yet again and bore a son and called his name Shelah (or Shiloh). He was at Chezib when she bore him.
*Shiloh became the father of the Shelanites, Numbers 26:20.
6 Then Yahudah took a wife for Er his firstborn and her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Yahudah’s firstborn was wicked in the sight of Yah and Yah killed him. 8 And Yahudah said to Onan, “Go into your brother’s wife and marry her and raise up an heir to your brother”. 9 But Onan knew that the heir would not be his and it came to pass when he went into his brother’s wife that he emitted on the ground, lest he should give an heir to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased Yah therefore He killed him also. 11 Then Yahudah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house til my son Shelah is grown”. For he said, “Lest he also die like his brothers”. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house. 12 Now in the process of time the daughter of Shua, Yahudah’s wife died and Yahudah was comforted and went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 And it was told (to) Tamar saying, “Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep”. 14 So she took off her widow’s garments, covered herself with a veil and wrapped herself and sat in an open place which was on the way to Timnah for she saw that Shelah was grown and she was not given to him as a wife. 15 When Yahudah saw her, he thought she was a harlot because she had covered her face.
16 Then he turned to her by the way and said, “Please let me come into you”. For he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. So she said, “What will you give me that you may come in to me”? 17 And he said, “I will send a young goat from the flock”. So she said, “Will you give me a pledge til you send it”? 18 Then he said, “What pledge shall I give you”? So she said, “Your signet and cord and your staff that is in your hand”. Then he gave them to her and went in to her and she conceived by him. 19 So she arose and went away and laid aside her veil and put on the garments of her widowhood. 20 And Yahudah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend Adullamite 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 harlot who was openly by the roadside?” And they said, “There was no harlot in this place”. 22 So he returned to Yahduah and said, “I cannot find her. Also the men of the place said there was no harlot in this place”. 23 Then Yahudah said, “Let her take them for herself, lest we be shamed. For I sent this young goat and you have not found her”. 24 And it came to pass, about three months after that Yahudah was told saying, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot. Furthermore, she is with child by harlotry”. So Yahudah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned”! 25 When she was brought out, she sent to her father-in-law saying, “By the man to whom these belong, I am with child”. And she said, “Please determine whose these are–the signet, cord and staff”. 26 So Yahudah acknowledged them and said, “She has been more righteous than I because I did not give her to Shelah my son”. And he never knew her again. 27 Now it came to pass, at the time for giving birth that behold twins were in her womb. 28 And so it was when she was giving birth that the one put out his hand and the midwife took a scarlet thread and bound it on his hand saying, “This one came out first”. 29 Then it happened, as he drew back his hand, that his brother came out unexpectedly and she said, “How did you break through? This breech be upon you”! Therefore, his name was called Perez (Pereths) (literally breech or breakthrough). 30 Afterward, his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand. And his name was called Zerah.
*Zerah became the family named Zarhites. Pherez became the family Pharezites, Numbers 26:20, then the Hezronites in Numbers 26:21 the Messianic line.
*Tamar means palm tree or date palm (tree) or upright (like a palm tree). This name describes her character. Yahudah said she is more righteous than I.
Update 11-14-2015: It’s interesting that in Matthithyah 1 besides Myriam only four other women are mentioned: Rahab, Bathshua (inferred), Ruth and Tamar. We broke the Book of Ruth down. Now let’s look at Tamar. Yahudah tried to forget her at one point in this story but Yah would not let her be forgotten because we read about her in Matthithyah chapter one. Isn’t it also interesting that the twin of Pherez, Zerah is mentioned in Matthithyah chapter one even though the bloodline did not pass through him? Esau is not mentioned next to Yahqob because he was evil in the sight of Yah.
Some questions that went through my mind when reading this story: Yahudah’s wife was Canaanite, so was Tamar a Canaanite too? Why did Er and Onan find Tamar repulsive?
We read that in Genesis 38:6 that Yahudah acquired a wife for his first-born son Er. But Genesis does not give us detail of where he acquired her from. According to the Book of the 12 Patriachs, the Testament of Yahudah, Tamar was from Mesopotamia and the daughter of Aram (of Genesis chapter 10:22?). But According to the Book of Yasher chapter 45 Tamar was clearly from the house of Shem.
Yasher 45 (XLV):23 And in those days Yahudah went to the house of Shem and took Tamar the daughter of Ylam, the son of Shem for a wife for his first born Er. (See Genesis chapter 10, Ylam the son of Shem).
When the rest of the testament of Yahudah is read, you will understand why most likely Tamar was from the house of Shem like the Book of Yasher says. Chapter 10 of the Testament of Yahudah says that Yahudah’s wife went behind his back scheming with Er not to sleep with Tamar because she was not from the land of Canaan. And Er obeyed his mother not sleeping with her for a year. Yahudah demanded that Er sleep with Tamar but Er does not complete the act and spills his semen on the floor. The Book of Yasher says the same thing.
Yasher 45:24 And Er came to his wife Tamar and she became his wife and when he came to her he outwardly destroyed his seed and his work was evil in the sight of Yah and Yah killed him.
Why didn’t Onan in Genesis 38:8 complete the act according to Deuteronomy 25:5-6? Genesis 38:9 says that Onan knew this offspring would not be his own. So he was selfish to his brother and Yah killed him for this. Both Er and Onan pass up the privelege of being in the Messianic line. Ain’t that something? Compare this to Boaz doing what was righteous compared to his older brother who passed on the privelege of being in the Messianic genealogy.
Back to the Testament of Yahudah: Yahudah was going to give Shiloh to Tamar but his mother would not allow it and behind Yahudah’s back (remember Yahudah was a heavy alcoholic drinker so when you are drunk you don’t know what is going on in your household), she went and found a Canaanite woman for Shiloh. So this is why we don’t read about why Shiloh wasn’t given to Tamar. Genesis 38:11 says Yahudah did not want Shiloh to die also like his brothers. Yahudah may have feared Shiloh would reject her like his brothers and die but Yahudah waited too long and this gave his wife time to do more scheming. Yahudah wasn’t going to keep Shiloh away from Tamar forever and break the law of Yah (hopefully). Yahudah may have been also listening to the voice of his wife concerning Shiloh and sent Tamar away. Yahudah finds out in chapter 11 of the Testament of Yahudah what his wife had done and curses her and wished he had never married a Canaanite woman. Genesis 38:12 just says that his wife died. She died after he cursed her according to his testament. Two years later according to the Testament of Yahudah, Tamar hears that Yahudah is going to shear sheep and dresses as a prostitute.
In chapter 13:3 of the Testament of Yahudah, he says the spirits of envy and lust plotted against him!! He knew which spirits worked against him. Yahudah confesses that all this concerning his children happened because he transgressed Yah’s laws concerning Canaanite women (Yahudah like Solomon was unequally yoked). Yahudah said he had no delight in the Canaanite woman’s children…Er, Onan and Shiloh. The law he broke is Genesis 24:3-4 and repeated in Deuteronomy 7:1-4, these nations were worshiping the gods and they taught their children to worship the gods and they turned their husbands hearts to the gods. Yahudah said Shua, his Canaanite wife was decked out in gold and pearls when they first met and there was a dowry of gold attached to her. I remember reading that Balaam came up with a way to cause Israylite men to sin (through lust and fornication) by sending Midian women dressed only in gold because he knew they would be a stumbling block to the Israylite man since Yah stopped him from cursing (all) Ysrayl. Shua’s father had her dressed up.
Testament of Yahudah 13:3 Yahudah boasted that no beautiful woman could entice me, like it enticed Reuben concerning Reuben sleeping with his father’s wife, Bilhah. So you know the devil went and petitioned Yah…
Testament of Yahudah chapter 15, Yahudah says the promiscuous man is an unstable man. Promiscuity caused him to give his staff/walking stick (the stability of my tribe) and my girdle (or signet because girdle is defined as an ornament or ring) (the signet represents his power or authority from Yah) and my crown (the crown is the esteem of the kingdom). According to Yasher 36:15, Reuben lost his kingship and priestly crown because of sexual immorality. Also compare Yahudah and David, both having sexual sins. Both Yahudah and David had wives named Bathshua. When Yahudah gave his signet and walking stick/staff to Tamar it was also symbolism for Tamar’s child being given the bloodline of the Messiyah. Read Genesis 49:10 the scepter does not part from Yahudah. Er and Onan represent the first born sons and Pherez and Zerah represent the second born sons. Isn’t it interesting that Tamar was paid with a goat yet she was shrewd enough to get his walking stick and signet ring for proof of who her baby’s father was. She was thinking ahead. Tamar was doing Yah’s will: Having a baby from the house of Yahudah. The baby was her goal.
Why did Yahudah say ‘she is more righteous than I’ in Genesis 38:26? He was about to kill Tamar after he finds out she is pregnant because he thought she was a (physical) whore yet he went to a woman who he thought was a prostitute and paid her with a goat (which was to be given later) to fornicate (like he talked about in his testament, promiscuity). Tamar knowingly slept with her father-in-law. Leviticus 18:15 says not to uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law but I am not sure if this was a commandment at this time. Yahudah says I should have given my son Shiloh to her (inferring here and this never would have happened). Yahoshua says that there will be prostitutes in the kingdom because they believed Him (infers also that they repented to Him) Matthew 21:31. So maybe Tamar repented of this behavior too, after all her name is listed in Matthew chapter 1. Yah found something righteous about her and wanted her in the genealogy of Yahoshua. Tamar knew the law concerning a deceased brother.
Yahudah says in Genesis 38:26 that he never knew or slept with Tamar again. In the Testament of Yahudah, he repents from wine, meat (and maybe wives) for the rest of his life. This is just like King David put his wives away and did not get more after Abishalom his son slept with them in 2 Shemuyah. Doesn’t it seem like public ridicule comes along with the territory of sexual sins? Why does Yahudah repent of meat? Yahudah may have been eating unclean meat.
Genesis 38:27-30 Yah blesses Yahudah with twins. A double blessing. Yah took two sons away then replaced them with two more sons (the second born). According to the Book of Yasher 45:32, Yahudah named the twins. So he was present around their birth and circumcision. The way the twins were born was symbolic too, Zerah was coming out first but the second born Pherez comes out first. The second born took the Messianic genealogy here.
*If I hear or read anything else, I will be back to add it here. If there are any corrections to be made, I will come back and make them.
*Update 11-24-2015: There’s something about why these four women: Rahab, Bathshua, Ruth and Tamar are named in Matthew chapter 1. Some had sexual sins (adultery), some were prostitutes (or acted like one), some were foreigners (or at least for awhile). I noticed even in Luke 1:48 that Myriam considered herself lowly. She infers that she is a low ranking person or in a low state or humble state. These women were not in high ranking positions in society or at least when Yah choose them yet here they are in Yahoshua’s family tree. Yah reads the heart of men…and women.
*Update 11-27-2015: From Yahudah’s Repentance: …And Yahudah knew that the deed which he did was evil because he lay with his daughter-in-law. And he condemned himself in his own sight. And he knew that he had sinned and gone astray because he uncovered the robe of his son. And he began to mourn and make supplication before Yah on account of his sin. And we (angels sent by Yah?) (or Yah) told him in a dream that it was forgiven him because he made great supplication and because he mourned and did not do it again. Jubilees 41:23-24. So this answers my question, it was a sin for Yahudah to uncover the nakedness of his son.
*Update 04-06-2016: Yesterday, I was reading the testament of Reuben. After Reuben was punished by Yah and he repented for sleeping with his father’s concubine, Bilhah and Yahqob forgave and prayed for him, Reuben also repents from eating meat like Yahudah. So, Yahudah did not sin by eating unclean meat. Reuben says that he stopped eating meat and ALL pleasurable foods. They did this to stop the pleasure or lust demon. It became about control. Self-control. Shaul speaks a lot about this in the “new testament”. When a drug addict or alcoholic stops their behavior, they cut it off, from the source. Reuben and Yahudah did the same with the lust demon. 04-13-2016: Yahoshua talks, several times, about cutting off sin. Read Matthityah 5:29-30 and Mattithyah 18:8-9.