This reading continues the story of the characters from the last few posts, so check those out if you you’re not caught up (or just need a refresher). There are fancy buttons at the bottom of each post that let you quickly navigate to previous ones.
Genesis 36: Esau’s Descendants
Like his brother, Esau had several wives and many, many sons. The land this line ruled over was called Edom and the people who resided there were called Edomites.
This chapter is truly just a giant Ancestry.com family tree. It’s really tough to get through, and I’ll probably forget 99% of the people mentioned.
In happy news, though, several daughters were mentioned, where in previous sections only sons were listed. Progress!
Genesis 37: The Story of Joseph
Joseph was one of Jacob’s sons (Jacob was prominently featured in the last few posts and is now called Israel). It’s said Joseph was the favorite son, and his brothers hated him for it.
Joseph had several dreams that alluded to him being a ruler over his family and others. That made him even less favorable in his brothers’ eyes.
The brothers plotted to kill Joseph—because that punishment seems to fit the crime, apparently. But one of the brothers suggested selling Joseph so they could get something in return. The brothers sold Joseph to some Ishmaelites in exchange for 20 shekels of silver.
They knew they needed to have an answer of what happened to Joseph, so the brothers took Joseph’s fancy coat, tore it and covered it in blood, and took it to their father. Jacob/Israel was rightfully devastated and mourned his son’s death.
Meanwhile, Joseph was sold to a Pharaoh’s official in Egypt.
Genesis 38: Judah and Tamar
We switch back over to Judah, one of Jacob/Israel’s other sons.
Judah got married and had many children. And some of his sons also had sons. Again, family tree galore here.
Judah’s first son, Er, was considered wicked by God, so the Lord put him to death. His death (murder) left his wife Tamar a widow.
Judah had one of his other sons, Onan, lie with Tamar to product offspring. Onan slept with her, but “…he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother.”
God saw this act as wicked and put Onan to death as well.
Judah told Tamar, the widow, to go live with her father until Shelah (another of Judah’s sons) grew up.
Eventually, Judah’s wife—who thus far goes unnamed and is referred to simply as “the daughter of Shua”—passes away. After grieving, Judah takes a trip. Tamar finds out Judah’s coming to town, puts on a veil, and sees that she’s not going to be given Shelah as promised.
When Judah ran into Tamar, he thought she was a prostitute because of the veil. He asked to sleep with her. At least he asked, I guess, that doesn’t always happen in this book.
They made an agreement that in exchange for sleeping with her, Judah would give Tamar his cord, staff, and other possessions. Then later he would send a sheep. They slept together and she got pregnant.
Judah tried to send a sheep to the prostitute, but no one knew who he was talking about. So he forgot about it.
Later, probably about 9 months, Judah found out that his daughter-in-law was pregnant by prostitution. So he punished her to be burned to death.
When she was brought out to be burned, Tamar held up Judah’s possessions and said the child belonged to the man who owned them.
Judah was basically like, “Aww, shit, you got me.” And let her live.
Tamar had twins. They pretty much battled their way out of her womb.
“As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, ‘this one came out first.’ But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out.”
Is that even physically possible? That both kids would be racing out of the vagina at the same time? I can’t find an answer on a quick search, but it seems impossible (or at a minimum, painful and dangerous).
This post is brought to you by the socks everyone needs in their life…options included! They say, “If you can read this, bring me…” and then one says coffee and one says wine. See? Options for any mood. I need ones that say scotch.