Day 20: Judah and Tamar

Genesis 38:8 The common law in many cultures of the time prescribed that the brother of the deceased would wed the widow in order to give his brother heirs. This law, called the “levirate” law, would later be incorporated into the Law of Israel (cf. Dt 25:5).

Ch 38:9-11 The sin of Onan, son of Judah, is thus called ONANISM; it consists of the man withdrawing from the sexual union before emission. This practice offends the dignity of marriage and the sacredness of human sexuality that must be always open to the possibility of conception. Onan’s motivation was likely selfish because he would have had the rights to all of his deceased brother’s possessions as long as Tamar remained childless; as a result, he was struck down by God for his transgression. The next legal stop would have been to give Tamar to Judah’s next son, Shelah, but Judah was afraid for his son’s life and sent Tamar back to her father instead This sin of Onan is essentially a PRIMITIVE FORM OF CONTRACEPTION, which is GRAVELY EVIL. Only natural methods of avoiding conception, which involve abstinence from marital relations when a conception might occur, are morally licit when undertaken for serious reasons. (CCC 2368-2370, 2399)

Job 29:1-25 Job once felt that his prosperity and social status were signs of being in God’s good graces. In appreciation for these many blessings, Job led a virtuous life. Now, however, he felt that God had rejected him. However, amid his anguish and suffering, he sensed that GOd had not abandoned him. The travails of this life, whether or not these are directly related to sinful choices or actions, are a special opportunity for purification and growth in personal sanctity. (CCC 1609)

Ch 30:1-31 Job lamented especially his present agony, which was in stark contrast to his former situation of ease and contentment. Even the poor, for whom he had so generously cared, ahd turned their backs on him. He suffered great pain and disillusionment. (CCC 2052)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: "Father in Heaven, we give you praise and glory. Thank you so much for your Word. Thank you for revealing your heart to us and revealing your will to us. We ask that you please meet us at this moment because in this moment is where we find you. And in this moment is where you find us. Help us to be found by you. And help us to know your presence in this moment, in this circumstance, in this season of our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen."


Well this is just a mess!

Jacob- Isaac's second-born, gets the birthright and blessing by which the Messiah comes.

Judah- Jacob's fourth-born, will ultimately get the birthright and blessing to be the line by which the Messiah comes.

Perez- Judah's fourth-born, will be the son through which the Messiah will come.

Even though Sherah, Judah's third-born is still alive, because his mother Tamar, is the wife of the firstborn son, Er, Perez is also Er's first-born son.

If you ever thought your family was messed up...