Bereishit (Genesis) 38:1—30
1It was at that time that Yehudah went down from his brothers and turned away towards an Adullamite man whose name was Hirah. 2There Yehudah saw the daughter of a prominent merchant whose name was Shua; he married her and consorted with her. 3She conceived and bore a son and he called his name Er. 4She conceived again and bore a son and she called his name Onan. 5And yet again she bore a son; and called his name Shelah; and it was in Cheziv when she bore him.
6Yehudah took a for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar. 7But Er, Yehudah’s firstborn was evil in the eyes of HaShem, and HaShem caused him to die. 8Then Yehudah said to Onan, “Consort with your brother’s wife and enter into levirate marriage with her, and establish offspring for your brother.”
9But Onan knew that the seed would not be his; so it was, that whenever he would consort with his brother’s wife, he would let it go to waste on the ground so as not to provide off spring for his brother. 10What he did was evil in the eyes of HaShem, and He caused him to die also.
11Then Yehudah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up” ― for he thought, “Lest he also die like his brothers.” ― So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
12Many days passed and Shua’s daughter, wife of Yehudah, died; when Yehudah was consoled, he went up to oversee his sheep-shearers ― he and his Adullamite friend, Hirah ― to Timnah.
13And Tamar was told, as follows, “Behold, your father-in-law is coming to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14So she removed her widow’s garb from upon her, covered herself with a veil, and wrapped herself up; she then sat by the crossroads which is on the road to Timnah, for she saw that Shelah had grown, she had not been given to him as a wife.
15When Yehudah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot since she had covered her face. 16So he detoured to her by the road and said, “Come, if you please, let me consort with you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, “What will you give me if you consort with me?”
17He replied, “I will send you a kid of the goats from the flock.” And she said, “Provided you leave a pledge until you send it.”
18And he said, “What pledge will I give you?” She replied, “Your signet, your wrap, and your staff that is in your hand.” And he gave them to her, and consorted with her, and she conceived by him.
19Then she arose and left, and removed her veil upon her, and she put on hers widow’s grab.
20Yehudah sent the kid of the goats through his friend Adullamite to retrieve the pledge from the woman; but he did not find her. 21He inquired of the people of her place, “Where is the prostitute, the one at the crossroads by the road?”
And they said, “There was no prostitute here.” 22So he returned to Yehudah and said, “I did not find her; even the local men said, “There is no prostitute here.”
23So Yehudah said, “Let her keep them, lest we become a laughingstock; I really sent her this kid, but you could not find her.”
24And it was when about three months had passed, that Yehudah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has committed harlotry, and moreover she has conceived by harlotry.” Yehudah said, “Take her out and let her be burned!”
25As she was taken out, she sent word to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man to whom these belong I am with child.” And she said, “Identify, if you please, whose are this signet, this wrap and this staff.”
26Yehudah recognized; and said, “She is right; it is from me, inasmuch as I did not give her to Shelah my son,” and he was not intimate with her anymore.
27And it came to pass at the time she gave birth that behold! There were twins in her womb. 28And it happened that as she gave birth, one put out a hand; the midwife took a crimson thread and tied it to his hand saying, “This one emerged first!” 29And he called his name Perez. 30Afterwards his brother on whose hand was the crimson thread came out; and he called his name Zerah.