Beware of Fabrics, Frolicking, and FriendsOctober 18, 2010 at 9:36 am | Posted in A Little Alliteration, Genesis | 4 Comments
Tags: 2 Samuel 13, Amnon, Biblical friendship, Biblical garments, Book of Genesis, clothes in the Bible, commentary on Genesis, fleece, Genesis, Genesis 38, getting fleeced, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, lessons on Genesis, levirate marriage, Onan, Proverbs 13, sheep-shearing, Sunday School lessons on Genesis, Tamar
Joseph was sold into slavery at about age 17. He reached the throne of Egypt at around 30. The narrative account of Joseph is put on hold for a little while in Genesis Chapter 38.
Garments or raiment or clothes or coats are a big deal in Genesis. Judah was deceived by his daughter-in-law Tamar while he was at Timnath for sheep-shearing. Getting fleece for garments, he was deceived by a garment. Isaac had been deceived by a garment when Jacob dressed up like Esau. Jacob was deceived by a garment at least once (Joseph’s torn coat), and maybe twice (his first wedding night). There is often a discernible symmetry when God applies his principle of reaping and sowing. God Law says that our coverings should be distinct, and He is the only One Who is never truly fooled by outward garments, which He establishes early on in the account of Adam and Eve (fig leaves versus animal skins).
Genesis 38 also gives us the account of the infamous “sin of Onan.”
And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
This brought into play what is called the “levirate” (Latin for brother-in-law) marriage. The sin of Onan is difficult to discuss in mixed company, although the text makes it plain enough. When people who are supposed to be spiritual and faithful to God get involved with the world, the result is often some kind of sexual sin.
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.
“Turned in to” is a helpful play on words. The Hebrew word for “turned” is “natah.” It means more than just to change directions; it means “to incline to;” “to bend to the will;” “to pervert.” Judah “turned in to (into) a certain Adullamite.”
“Hirah” meant “a nobleman” of the Canannites.
And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.
“Shuah” meant “wealth.”
And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.
“Er” meant “awake.”
And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.
“Onan” meant “strong.”
And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah [a petition]: and he was at Chezib [false], when she bare him.
Genesis 38:5, parentheses added
Judah’s family was getting more and more worldly as he looked for wealth and strength and influence and deception.
God killed Er because He did evil in the sight of the Lord. He was “awake” – aware of what he was doing and he did it openly. All evil is done in the sight of the Lord. He sees everything, but some people take special pleasure in wickedly defying Him.
Judah ended up being deceived by his daughter-in-law, Tamar, thinking she was a harlot – a prostitute. He tried to buy his way out of it when she got pregnant, and his sin was ultimately exposed.
Tamar delivered twins, and they struggled in their birth the way Jacob and Esau did. The baby with the scarlet thread came out second.
I just want to make one other point before we move on to Genesis Chapter 39 next time.
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, emphasis added
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.
Genesis 38:20, emphasis added
And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her. But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man. And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king’s son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.
II Samuel 13:2-4, emphasis added
Choose your friends carefully.
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.