READ GENESIS 38-40
We begin to get a view of what God considers evil. And the bible is so real, and still I’m constantly surprised which details are NOT left out. Chaotic events are happening in the family line of JACOB. Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, all forfeit first born status through lust, and violence. (1 Chronicles 5:1-2) And Judah is the next in line to the birthright. Joseph will also have birthright and blessing as well.
In Gen. 38 Judah doesn’t want to risk Shelah his only living son and the potential heir so he stalls deceitfully and this inaction sets a domino in effect. Jesus will come from the line of Judah, and with that detail we are paying close attention as we read Judah’s options for heirs are whittling down.
There is a sheep shearing after the death of Judah’s wife and it’s there Tamar pretends to be a “prostitute,” due to the inaction of Judah.
Three months later he saves herself from a horrid death by having wisely asked for token from Judah. She presents the items with a single question, “Whose staff and seal and cord are these?” and Judah admits to being the father. This indiscretion leads to twin boys. The twins struggle over who will come out first. The midwives tie a scarlet thread on Zerah, and yet Perez breaks out and is delivered first. Which of these twins will father the line of Jesus?
The chaos around the promised ‘SEED’, Jesus the Redeemer is unable to eliminate Judah’s hope.
Zerah’s line, would stop with Achan you can read it in Joshua 7.
From Noah to Abraham is 10 generations and Abraham to Boaz is 10 generations so from a distant view it looks planned and perfect, yet when you look deeper into the text we see Judah has a mess on his hands. When God has a promise hinging on you for your seed, things don’t look good when Onan is spilling his seed on the ground in lust rather than offering it as redemption for his brother. Why Onan’s is not willing to fulfill the levirate marriage is because he knew the child wouldn’t be his.
This story is the background generation to the book of Ruth. Later in Ruth we will see a ‘kinsmen redeemer’ willing.
Tamar and Judah have twins, and PEREZ is the ancestor to Salma/Salmon. “Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth …” (Matthew 1:5)
Faith has action. Inaction is not an option.
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute justified by her actions when she welcomed the spies and sent them off on another route? James 2:25
Rahab a former prostitute marries into the very heart of the line of Judah. From Judah’s son PEREZ comes a son Salmon who some scholars say was one of the spies who Rahab helped escape by a cord from Jericho. And they will have a son name Boaz.
Boaz, Ruth, Obed, Jesse, David will all come from Judah and Tamar.
Rahab is mentioned in Joshua chapter 2. And here the scarlet thread is significant. The mercy and kindness of God will be returned to her ‘their lives for hers’. In verse 12 she says will you give me a token? Sounds like Tamar? And they give to her a scarlet thread.
Through the genealogy of Jesus we see God delights in grace and mercy. Taylor Sheridan (writer of the current ‘Yellowstone series’) would love the mess and forcasting material of death, love, and blessing woven throughout this chaotic family line.
Additional reading on Rahab https://armstronginstitute.org/359-before-boaz-and-ruth-salmon-and-rahab