Chapter 37 Leaves Us On A Gripping Cliffhanger Joseph
2045 WordsMar 3, 20179 Pages
Genesis’s Chapter 37 leaves us on a gripping cliffhanger—Joseph is sold into slavery, and Jacob weeps for him—and instead starts to describe Judah, Joseph’s brother, and his latest marriage and children. This interjection of the Tamar Episode plays out in Chapter 38, and deals with sex, sin, and deception. Judah has three sons, and when he marries the first one to a woman named Tamar, his son dies because God deems him wicked. Then, Judah’s second son marries Tamar, but God kills him because he does not fulfill his duty to have kids with her as required by the law of Levirate Marriage. Judah goes on to prevent Tamar from being able to fulfill the law of Levirate Marriage and remain a member of Judah’s household, by keeping her away from…show more content…
If he is truly right about this pattern of deaths, his third son will die eventually anyways when the time comes for him to marry Tamar. If his prediction of this pattern is wrong, Shelah will die by his own wrongdoings just as his brothers did, rather than die because of his marriage with Tamar. By keeping her away for longer, Judah’s predictable and fatherly, but selfish emotions come out when he exiles Tamar as a widow; Judah shows how he cares less about allowing Tamar to have children and to fulfill her duty to the law of Levirate Marriage than he cares about spending time with Shelah. Furthermore, Judah owes his end of the bargain to give Tamar children by one of his sons and let her remain in their family, and he inappropriately keeps her from that in hopes that he would never have to if he waits long enough so that maybe she dies. Judah threatens Tamar’s place in his household by telling her that she must wait to marry Shelah “in [her] father’s house,” sending her back to the life she was supposed to have left when marrying his son. Judah’s tone is commanding and insensitive, telling her bluntly that she must “remain a widow” rather than politely asking her to stay away for a while, showing how Judah’s desires motivate him above anything else. Through the way Judah treats Tamar, he demonstrates that he cares very little about her as an individual, and more about his own wants and how he can use her to achieve them.