“And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.”
She endured the lost of two husbands.
Her first husband, Er, the son of Judah, did evil in the sight of the Lord and He slew him. Her second husband, Onan, refused to fulfill the Hebrew law of raising up a seed for his dead brother through Tamar. He also displeased the Lord and was killed.
Judah begged her to stay as widow within her father’s house.
“Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.”
Instead of doing what he had promised, Judah refrained from giving his third son to her to marry. When she realized this, Tamar took matters in to her own hands and disguised herself as a harlot by covering her face from Judah when he inquired of her.
“When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.”
She became pregnant with twins after her encounter with Judah, though he was unaware that it was his daughter in law at the time.
Judah commanded her to be burnt when he first realized the news, but then later realized that she in fact was more righteous than he when compared to the evil that he had done. He was now the father of the second set of twins recorded in Scripture.
She gave birth to Zarah and Pharez.
“And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb. And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first. And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez. And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.”
Zarah had a scarlet thread bound to his hand.
Pharez was the second born, but it was through his lineage that our Saviour was born.
Tamar serves as an example of how God can overcome the sin we commit and give victory through His Son and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Judah was a Jew; and Tamar, a Gentile. What a beautiful picture of foreshadowing that both Jews and Gentiles can share in the blessings of the Gospel.
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;”
Jeremiah 5-6 | John 9 | Psalm 21
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