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Sunday, December 2 2012
The Daughter Of Shuah
By the time that Jacob returned to the land of Canaan, after twenty years with his uncle Laban in Syria, a number of major changes had happened in his life. Jacob left as a young single man (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Blessing); he returned with two wives, two concubines, eleven sons, and a daughter (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria). Jacob left as "Jacob": on his return journey, the LORD gave him a new name - "Israel" (see A Biography Of Jacob: When Jacob Became Israel). Throughout the remainder of Jacob / Israel's lifetime, the only Israelites that existed were his children, and their children.
Judah was one of the sons of Jacob / Israel ("2:1 These are the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, 2:2 Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher." 1 Chronicles 2:1-2 KJV). When Judah chose to marry, he could not have married an Israelite because at that time the only Israelite female that existed was his sister Dinah (see also Dinah Of Israel). Nor could Judah ("Jew" is an abbreviation of Judah's name) have married a Jew because none existed. Jews are the descendants of Judah - for the first Jews to be born, Judah needed a wife.
So it was then that Judah married a Canaanite woman. Curiously, since she is as much the first parent of a line of Jews as Judah is (assuming that Shelah, as we will read, eventually had children), her name was not recorded. She was documented only as "a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah" and "the daughter of Shuah, Judah's wife."
"38:1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
The first three "Jews" (i.e. Judah's children) that ever existed were the three sons of Judah and the Canaanite woman: Er, Onan and Shelah.
"38:3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.
As we will read, the Messiah was a descendant of Judah. Many assume therefore that the Messiah's line went through the first three children born to Judah, but they didn't. The first three sons of Judah were not reproductive to the Messianic line.
When his sons had grown, Judah found a wife for his firstborn son Er. Her name was Tamar - who, like Judah's wife, was not a Jew. The only Jews in existence at that point were the three sons of Judah. Tamar was most-likely Canaanite (the Scriptures say nothing about Judah leaving the land of Canaan to find Tamar). Her marriage to Er ended when the LORD put him to death i.e. "Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him." The LORD, Who would later be born as Jesus Christ (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God and What Does Word of God Mean To You?), from the line of Judah, put the first Jew that existed to death.
"38:6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
So too, the LORD put the second-born son of Judah to death, because he refused to consummate the marriage to his brother's widow.
"38:8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother [see also Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates].
With only his youngest son remaining, Judah said "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."
"38:11 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.
Some time later, Judah's wife died.
"38:12 And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite." (Genesis 38:12 KJV)
The death of Judah's wife left Tamar as a childless widow, and Judah as a widower with a one remaining son - who Judah didn't intend to have marry Tamar i.e. Tamar "saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife." Tamar then resorted to a ruse to have a child for her deceased husband - not through her brother-in-law, but through her father-in-law.
"38:13 And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep. 38:14 And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.
Tamar then returned home.
"38:20 And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman's hand: but he found her not.
Months later, Judah was made aware of what had happened. He accepted the situation, legally regarding the pregnancy and the marriage to be legitimate, although thereafter "he knew her again no more."
"38:24 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.
In a situation reminiscent to Judah's father Jacob and uncle Esau, who were fraternal twins (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Second Twin), Tamar's twins were born with a struggle for supremacy. Pharez, although it had appeared that he would be the second-born, was the firstborn. As such, the Messianic line from Judah went through Pharez.
"38:27 And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb.
Pharez and Tamar are ancestors of Jesus Christ: "Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar."
"1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David [see Israel In History and Prophecy: King David], the son of Abraham [see A Biography Of Abraham: The Genealogy Of Abram].
Fact Finder: What does "New Covenant" mean?
This Day In History, December 2
1254: Manfred, king of Sicily, defeated the Papal armies at the Battle of Foggia.
1547: Hernando Cortes, Spanish explorer, died at age 62.
1804: In the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Napoleon seized the crown from the hands of Pope Pius VII and crowned himself emperor. Napoleon then crowned Josephine as empress (see Emperors and Popes).
1805: The Battle of Austerlitz, also called the Battle of The Three Emperors, the first engagement of The War of The Third Coalition and one of Napoleon's most perfect victories. His 68,000 troops defeated almost 90,000 Russians and Austrians, forcing Austria to make peace with France (Treaty of Pressburg) and keeping Prussia temporarily out of the anti-France alliance. Napoleon lost 9,000 men, while Russia and Austria lost 15,000 killed and 11,000 captured.
1814: The Comte de Sade, also known as the Marquis de Sade, died. His sexual fetishes and writings about them led to his name becoming the origin of the term "sadism."
1823: U.S. President James Monroe declared his "Monroe Doctrine." It stated that the entire continents of North and South America were no longer open to colonization by any European (referring primarily to Britain, France or Spain) power. Ironically, while it was intended to prevent further imperialism by European nations, it marked the birth of "Imperial America" toward the rest of the world.
1848: Franz Josef became the emperor of Austria and King of Hungary.
1859: Abolitionist John Brown was hanged after a famous raid on a federal arsenal in Virginia.
1918: Armenia proclaimed independence from Turkey.
1942: In Chicago, scientists developed nuclear fission, the basis of the atomic bomb.
1946: Britain and the U.S. merged the German occupation zones in their sectors, which eventually became West Germany. The Russian sector became East Germany.
1954: Formerly-powerful Senator Joseph McCarthy was censured by the U.S. Senate for misconduct after his ruthless public "Red Scare" investigations of many thousands of people whose lives and careers were severely damaged or destroyed after they were publicly "blacklisted" after McCarthy falsely accused them of being communists. McCarthy died in 1957, at the age of 48, of liver failure caused by his alcoholism.
1958: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed the Benelux Treaty.
1971: The Soviet Mars 3 space probe landed on Mars.
1979: Iranian electors voted in favor of a new constitution giving absolute power to Ayatollah Khomeini.
1982: Barney Clark received the first permanent artificial heart transplant, developed by Dr. Robert K. Jarvik.
1990: Helmut Kohl was re-elected as Chancellor of Germany in the first all-Germany election since the time of Adolf Hitler.