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Genesis 38:24-30, Tamar Births Perez and Zerah

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

And Judah said, ‘Bring her out, and let her be burned.’
— Genesis 38:3

NL Daily Devotion for Saturday, January 5, 2019

by Rev. Stefanie Fauth, Clergy Stuff

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Content Warning: Sexual Violence

The Bible is a wonderful text filled with words of hope and promise.

For women, however, it is sometimes a harsh reminder that we have not been valued the same as men throughout history.

Tamar is pregnant and labeled a whore.

Who got her pregnant is not the focus of harsh language.

Women are expected to be pure and chaste and if they fail they are ridiculed.

If a man has sex outside of marriage and gets someone pregnant (at least before DNA tests) he could deny it and not be held accountable.

Luckily for Tamar, Judah believed her and did not harm her - but it still seems less than hopeful for women when reading this story.

Even today in the united states, men who commit rape might not even go to jail because it might “ruin their lives” but a woman who killed her attacker out of self defense got a life sentence.

Where is the justice in this?

When will victims of sexual assault be treated as beloved children whose stories are valued and treated with dignity?


Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

 About three months later Judah was told, ‘Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the whore; moreover she is pregnant as a result of whoredom.’ And Judah said, ‘Bring her out, and let her be burned.’ As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, ‘It was the owner of these who made me pregnant.’ And she said, ‘Take note, please, whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.’ Then Judah acknowledged them and said, ‘She is more in the right than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.’ And he did not lie with her again.

 When the time of her delivery came, there were twins in her womb.While she was in labour, one put out a hand; and the midwife took and bound on his hand a crimson thread, saying, ‘This one came out first.’ But just then he drew back his hand, and out came his brother; and she said, ‘What a breach you have made for yourself!’ Therefore he was named Perez. Afterwards his brother came out with the crimson thread on his hand; and he was named Zerah.

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Genesis 21:1-7, Birth of Isaac