Genesis 38:1-30 NKJV
1 It came to pass at that time that Judah departed from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite whose name [was] Hirah.
2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name [was] Shua, and he married her and went in to her.
3 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. He was at Chezib when she bore him.
6 Then Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name [was] Tamar.
7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD killed him.
8 And Judah said to Onan, “Go in to 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 in to 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 the LORD; therefore He killed him also.
11 Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house till 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, Judah’s wife, died; and Judah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
13 And it was told 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 Judah 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 in to 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 till 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 Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend the 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 Judah and said, “I cannot find her. Also, the men of the place said there was no harlot in this [place].”
23 Then Judah 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 Judah was told, saying, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; furthermore she [is] with child by harlotry.” So Judah 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 and cord, and staff.”
26 So Judah 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] breach [be] upon you!” Therefore his name was called Perez.
30 Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet [thread] on his hand. And his name was called Zerah.