Awesome Hands – part 27: “Twins were in her womb”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Video Links

Awesome Hands – Part 27

“Twins were in her womb”

 In the last study, we covered chapter 37 of Genesis and saw that chapter ending with Joseph being sold as a slave to Potiphar in Egpyt.

Prior to this happening, we started the last study with examining what happens immediately after Joseph was thrown into a pit.

Joseph’s brothers wanted to slay him in verse 18 of chapter 37 but then threw him into a pit, seeing they could profit from just outright selling him.

In their thinking, they would also profit by finally ridding themselves of this “dreamer of dreams.”

Today, we are going to continue in chapter 38 with immediately going into a story that shows us the process for which the Lord has instituted for His bride and His church.

Judah and Tamar represent a significant story in which we can hopefully see how the Lord works in the lives of His elect.

This story is interjected in scripture right after Joseph is sold and where his story picks up in chapter 39 and this is of importance and significance to the elect of God.

Judah went down from his brethren

Gen 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.
Gen 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.

While we can always see different types and shadows in any given group of verses we study, in this study I am going to teach within the type and shadow that Judah represents the orthodox church, those who say they are Jews but are not, and Tamar represents Christ.

By the end of this study, I hope you will be able to see how this tells a story about our relationship with Christ and the Father.

Depending on which resource you use, Hirah means “liberty and anger” in the Hitchcock’s bible names dictionary, and it means “a noble family” by definition in the Brown- Driver- Briggs’ Hebrew definitions dictionary.

So we are being told that Judah goes down from his brethren and becomes friends with a noble friend or a noble family.

While making friends, he sees a daughter of a Canaanite who he makes his wife.

We are told in scripture that we are not to befriend those who are our enemies, but this is exactly what Judah has done, and this is the foundation from which this story is set.

Gen 28:1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.

Gen 28:5 And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.
Gen 28:6 When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan;
Gen 28:7 And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram;
Gen 28:8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father;
Gen 28:9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.

Being a part of the house of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob we are told not to take wives of the children of Canaan, so Judah is being directly rebellious to God’s commandments.

This is exactly what the church does and what we all do in our appointed time. Of course, the Lord is going to bring His judgment into the scenario, so we are going to see a process of judgment which the Lord will use to bring “good from the evil” of which Judah is committing.

During this study, I want to keep in focus the biblical concept of the called, chosen and faithful. The church world are the called, and they represent the 12 brothers who are born to Jacob and set up the physical house of Israel.

Out of these brothers, we can see that Judah is chosen to be used to be separated and prevail above his brethren for a specific reason. We can see this in the blessing that comes upon Judah from Jacob.

Gen 49:8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.

1Ch 5:2 For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s:)

Of course, Judah is not faithful to what he is told to do, but we will see some of that as we get more into chapter 38.

Gen 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.
Gen 38:3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.
Gen 38:4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.
Gen 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.

As I’ve been doing with all of these studies, I am “big” into looking at the meaning of names and places of those we are being told about in these various stories.

The first son that is born is Er. In Hebrew, Er means “awake” or “watchmen”. The second son born is Onan and is defined as strong or can also mean iniquity.

The third son is born and is named Shelah meaning a petition or a request. We are given one additional piece of information with the third son and that is that he was born when Judah was at Chezib, meaning false or falsified.

I believe we can all recognize that we are being shown of pattern of how we are all dealt with by God while we are on Babylon.

While we are in the “house of Israel” physically, we are watchful and strong petitioners. We serve God because we have been called and chosen to do so, but the calling itself is all of God just as all things are.

We develop a certain righteousness that causes us to think in and of ourselves we are something to God when the Truth is that the Lord is working all things.

We know the Lord is working with us, so we develop a mindset of ‘we are exclusive’ to the Lord and we want to know where are value is to the Lord.

In other words, we see value in ourselves and this being why the Lord has called us, and then we want to know how we can rise in ranking with the Lord, much as Christ’s own disciples did.

Mat 20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
Mat 20:21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
Mat 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
Mat 20:23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
Mat 20:24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.
Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

In this state of mind, we desire things from God and are not desirous to serve God in whatever capacity He would have us in.

This is all of the Lord, and there is simply no way to not have this mind until the Lord frees us from its bondage, and the Lord tells us that this indeed will happen when we drink of the same cup He drinks of.

God is bringing a type of judgment to Judah who prevails among his brethren, the earth which rises a little bit up out of the sea, in the form of the seed Judah produces in his sons.

Three sons

Gen 38:6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
Gen 38:7 And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
Gen 38:8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
Gen 38:9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
Gen 38:10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.
Gen 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.

We aren’t told precisely why Er was wicked in the sight of the Lord, but we are told that this is how the Lord viewed Er.

This is no different than God hating Esau and loving Jacob. It isn’t that God is a respecter of persons, but it is about how God views the purpose for which He has molded different pieces of clay.

Just as the mother of John and James, John and James and the rest of the disciples, we seem to think that God gives us individual importance for our own purposes and will.

The Truth is that the Lord knows the clay and none can respond to the potter and claim to be one thing or another. The clay can only be molded into what the Great potter wants to form for His purposes and work.

Er, being the firstborn, stays true to the pattern of biblical sound words and concepts that the first is natural and the second is spiritual.

The Lord simply formed Er for the purpose of slaying Him and giving us the admonition that the natural is going to be slayed. There is nothing pleasing in the flesh to the Lord.

However, the evil of the flesh will be used to bring about good.

Onan, then, represents that part of our walk where we come to be the Lord’s chosen people who are commanded to obey the Lord.

However, we want to do things our way, and of course we know better than the Lord, right? Well, the Lord answers us according to the idols of our heart and this too, will result in death of the “coming behind in no gift, carnally minded man.”

Deu 25:5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.
Deu 25:6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
Deu 25:7 And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.
Deu 25:8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
Deu 25:9 Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house.

Mar 12:19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

So, though the law of Moses is not yet established, the Lord was already showing us this was mandated by Him because He caused Judah to tell Onan to do this for his “brothers house.”

Onan, in his own understanding and idols, “knew” this wouldn’t be his seed, his fruit, so his seed was spilled onto the ground.

In other words, it is likened to us in our time of walk with the Lord when the seed falls to the ground and has no root, falls by the wayside or on a stony place in our heart.

Finally, we have the last of three brothers mentioned, Shelah.

Gen 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.

Through Shelah, Judah is going to try to get things done his way and is going to attempt to prevent this last son from dying. No doubt, the fear of his death is looming on his thinking.

Of an important note, this is the first time we see Tamar being addressed directly by Judah since he got her as a wife for Er.

It is out of Judah’s own mouth and actions that God is going to judge Judah. It is at this point that I want to point out again that Judah represents how we are when we are in babylon as the bride of Christ.

Tamar as Christ

It is when we are in babylon that we are a whore wife who doesn’t listen to her husband.

We want to take on His name, but we don’t want to obey the rules of His house. This is when we want to provide for ourselves and do things our way just like Judah.

Isa 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

Even though this is evil in the sight of the Lord, and though He is going to answer us according to the idols of our heart, the Lord will show us grace by sending His people judgment.

Gen 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.
Gen 38:13 And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep.
Gen 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.
Gen 38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.

Rob Jones wrote an article awhile back dealing with this chapter. In that article, he points out that the word listed in verse 12 as ‘comforted’ is translated in other places as ‘repented’.

With the proper meaning of this word, we can get a clearer picture of what is being said in verses 12 to 15.

We just read that Judah’s wife dies and that he is repentant and as a result he heads to his sheepshearers in Timnath with his friend of a “noble family”.

Look at how this same word comforted, H5162, is used in other verses in scripture. For now I will only list one for sake of time.

Jer 15:6 Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.

This is what Brown- Driver- Briggs has to say about the definition of H5162.


na cham

BDB Definition:

1) to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, be comforted

1a) (Niphal)

1a1) to be sorry, be moved to pity, have compassion

1a2) to be sorry, rue, suffer grief, repent

1a3) to comfort oneself, be comforted

1a4) to comfort oneself, ease oneself

1b) (Piel) to comfort, console

1c) (Pual) to be comforted, be consoled

1d) (Hithpael)

1d1) to be sorry, have compassion

1d2) to rue, repent of

1d3) to comfort oneself, be comforted

1d4) to ease oneself

Part of Speech: verb

Carefully notice that Judah is going back to his sheepshearers in Timnath, and just where is Timnath?


timna h

BDB Definition:

Timnath or Timnah or Thimnathah = “portion”

  1. a town on the northern boundary of Judah later assigned to Dan

What is important about Dan is that Dan is not given a portion with the other tribes when we see them listed in the revelation of Jesus Christ.

When we turn back to our vomit, the Lord will tell us we are none of His. Not only that, but we will be turning back to sheering the flocks of God by turning the gold of the Word of God which is given to us into images and idols of our own.

Since we are covering this type and shadow with Tamar representing Christ, we will now see that as a result of this action in our lives, Christ is no longer going to play the part of being told how we are going to serve him i. e. “Tamar, play the part of a widow”.

Rather, He is going to present Himself behind a veil which “blinds them unto this day”. Christ, Tamar, is now going beyond/ behind the veil and she is not going to be at all recognized by Judah.

Isa 3:1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,

“Conclusion of part 27”

The Lord is going to take away the stay and staff from Judah and He is going to do so by using the very actions He has caused Judah to take in trying to “preserve” his seed as the means to bring good from evil.

By trying to shield Shelah from death, Judah has been used to bring about a scenario which we will dive into next week as we cover the rest of Gen 38.

This is a scenario where Judah’s righteousness is shown to him in plain view, and Tamar is used to judge Judah of His ways.

Out of these “ways of Judah,” God will bring about the physical line from which Christ comes forth. God shows us all grace as we see ourselves in these types of evils.

Judah is given five sons and by one of them, we all are given a Savior who will also be one Son who brings about saviours from His fruits.

Other related posts