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Tuesday, September 25 2018
A Bible Journey, 38: Judah's Children
"And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her ... she conceived, and bare a son ... Er. And she conceived again, and bare a son ... Onan. And she yet again conceived, and bare a son ... Shelah ... Tamar thy daughter in law ... twins were in her womb ... Judah acknowledged them ... Pharez ... And ... Zarah"
The man later known as Israel was born as "Jacob." When Jacob's children were born (see A Bible Journey, 29: Israel's Syria Origin), they were known as the sons and daughter of Jacob (no different than the custom today), or "Jacobites" (as the common custom that we read throughout the Bible).
After the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God) changed Jacob's name to Israel (see A Bible Journey, 32: Thy Name Shall Be Called No More Jacob, But Israel), the children of Jacob / Israel became the first "Israelites."
When Jacob's children themselves had children, they were all Israelites, but were further categorized according to which of the sons of Jacob / Israel was their forefather e.g. from Benjamin came the Benjamites, from Levi came the Levites (see also The Origin Of The Levite Priesthood), from Dan came the Danites, from Reuben came the Reubenites, and so on.
Judah is the most-familiar of the sons of Israel. In the case of Judah's children, they are today most-commonly known by a term that is actually just an abbreviation of Judah - "Jew."
None of the children of Jacob / Israel could have married an Israelite - they, their brothers and sister Dinah (see A Bible Journey, 34: The Daughter Of Israel), were the only Israelites that existed.
So too, Judah could not have married an Israelite. Nor could Judah have married a Jew, because he was the only "Jew" (i.e. the abbreviation of his name, another of which is Jude) that existed. For Jews to come into existence, Judah had to have children with a woman who was neither an Israelite or a Jew - the same as his brothers Levi, Dan, Reuben etc.
In Judah's case, he became the father of the Jews with a Canaanite woman, and then another Canaanite woman.
Judah's first wife was Shuah, a Canaanite, who gave birth to the first three sons of Judah, the first "Jews" - Er, Onan and Shelah.
"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. 38:2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her. 38:3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. 38:4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. 38:5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him." (Genesis 38:1-5 KJV)
When the oldest son Er had grown to adulthood, Judah found a wife for him - a woman named Tamar, who could not have been a "Jew" either because the only Jews that then existed were Judah's three sons. Tamar was almost certainly a Canaanite woman, just like Judah's wife Shuah. The marriage of Er was brief however: "Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him." The LORD put Judah's second-born son Onan to death also (i.e. the LORD, Who would Himself later be born as a Jew, killed the first two "Jews" that existed).
"38:6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 38:7 And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
Judah then arranged for the widow Tamar to live in her father's home, with the intention that Tamar would eventually marry Judah's youngest son Shelah when he had grown up. Later, Judah's wife Shuah also died.
"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. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.
Tamar eventually lost her tolerance for her widowhood and delayed family situation, so she resorted to a ruse to have children, not through her dead husband's brother, but through her dead husband's father who was then, as a widower, not married - just as Tamar was not married.
"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 vail, 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.
Judah had twin sons with Tamar - Pharez and Zarah. It was from the line of Pharez that Jesus Christ was born (Matthew 1:1-3).
"38:27 And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb. 38:28 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. 38:29 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. 38:30 And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah." (Genesis 38:27-30 KJV)
Fact Finder: (a) When did the tribe of Judah (the descendants of Judah) become the Kingdom of Judah? (b) When did the national religion of Judah begin? (c) Is the nation that is known today as "Israel" actually Judah?
This Day In History
This Day In History, September 25
275: Marcus Claudius Tacitus was proclaimed the Emperor of Rome (see The Founding Of Rome: The Curious Tale Of Romulus and Remus and The Roman Republic and The Roman Empire).
1066: The Battle of Stamford Bridge ended the last Viking invasion of England.
Across the Atlantic Ocean, continental America was actually discovered by Viking explorers, over 500 years before Columbus was even born, with their landings on what is today the east coast of Canada.
1396: At Nicopolis, the Ottomans under Sultan Bajazet inflicted a severe defeat on the Church of Rome "Crusaders" led by "John the Fearless" of Nevers and King Sigismund of Hungary (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1513: Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa became the first known European to sight the Pacific Ocean. He claimed the entire Pacific Ocean, and all lands anywhere that were touched by it, for Spain.
1555: In Germany, the Peace of Augsburg was declared. It was the first effort by the Holy Roman Empire to allow Lutheranism (Protestantism) and Catholicism to exist together in the Holy Roman Empire (which by then was officially known as the Holy Roman Empire of The German Nation; see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1629: The Truce of Altmark was signed. The 6 year peace settlement between Sweden and Poland ended the 1625-1629 phase of the Polish-Swedish War of Succession (1600-1660).
1644: Ole Romer was born. The Danish scientific researcher and astronomer was the first to accurately determine the speed of light - 186,000 miles per second. Light can travel around the entire earth 7 times in 1 second, or travel from the earth to the moon in just over 1 second. It takes light about 8 minutes to travel from the sun to the earth.
1726: The French-heritage Acadians of eastern Canada signed an English oath of allegiance on the condition they did not have to fight the French. Other Canadian Acadians left and went to the French colony of Louisiana (named after King Louis XIV of France) where "Acadian" became pronounced as "Cajun."
1956: A transatlantic telephone cable between Britain and Canada was inaugurated with an exchange of greetings between London and Ottawa. Reaching from Oban, Scotland, to Clarenville, Newfoundland, the $42,000,000.00 cable consisted of 2 lines laid 30 kilometers apart on the ocean floor.
1996: Israeli troops and "Palestinian" (see Where Is Palestine? and Jordan's West Bank Invasion) security forces exchanged gunfire in Jerusalem and in other areas in Israel, set off by Palestinian opposition to an Israeli historical research tunnel dug in Jerusalem in the area of the Temple Mount (see David's Altar, Israel In History and Prophecy: The Temple and Raiders Of The Lost Ark). The confrontation was described as the heaviest fighting in Jerusalem since the area was captured by the Jews (see Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings) during the 1967 Six Day War (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah, Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).
2008: China launched Shenzhou 7, the third human spaceflight of the Chinese space program. It included the first Chinese extra-vehicular activity (i.e. outside the spacecraft) by Zhai Zhigang and Liu Boming.