381About that time Judah left his brothers and went to stay with a man named Hirah, who was from the town of Adullam. 2There Judah met a young Canaanite woman whose father was named Shua. He married her, 3and she bore him a son, whom he named Er. 4She became pregnant again and bore another son and named him Onan. 5Again she had a son and named him Shelah. Judah was at Achzib when the boy was born.
6For his first son Er, Judah got a wife whose name was Tamar. 7Er's conduct was evil, and it displeased the LORD, so the LORD killed him. 8Then Judah said to Er's brother Onan, “Go and sleep with your brother's widow. Fulfil your obligation to her as her husband's brother, so that your brother may have descendants.” 9But Onan knew that the children would not belong to him, so whenever he had intercourse with his brother's widow, he let the semen spill on the ground, so that there would be no children for his brother. 10What he did displeased the LORD, and the LORD killed him also. 11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Return to your father's house and remain a widow until my son Shelah grows up.” He said this because he was afraid that Shelah would be killed, as his brothers had been. So Tamar went back home.
12After some time Judah's wife died. When he had finished the time of mourning, he and his friend Hirah of Adullam went to Timnah, where his sheep were being sheared. 13Someone told Tamar that her father-in-law was going to Timnah to shear his sheep. 14So she changed from the widow's clothes she had been wearing, covered her face with a veil, and sat down at the entrance to Enaim, a town on the road to Timnah. As she well knew, Judah's youngest son Shelah had now grown up, and yet she had not been given to him in marriage.
15When Judah saw her, he thought that she was a prostitute, because she had her face covered. 16He went over to her at the side of the road and said, “All right, how much do you charge?” (He did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.)
She said, “What will you give me?”
17He answered, “I will send you a young goat from my flock.”
She said, “All right, if you will give me something to keep as a pledge until you send the goat.”
18“What shall I give you as a pledge?” he asked.
She answered, “Your seal with its cord and the stick you are carrying.” He gave them to her. Then they had intercourse, and she became pregnant. 19Tamar went home, took off her veil, and put her widow's clothes back on.
20Judah sent his friend Hirah to take the goat and get back from the woman the articles he had pledged, but Hirah could not find her. 21He asked some men at Enaim, “Where is the prostitute who was here by the road?”
“There has never been a prostitute here,” they answered.
22He returned to Judah and said, “I couldn't find her. The men of the place said that there had never been a prostitute there.”
23Judah said, “Let her keep the things. We don't want people to laugh at us. I did try to pay her, but you couldn't find her.”
24About three months later someone said to Judah, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has been acting like a whore, and now she is pregnant.”
Judah ordered, “Take her out and burn her to death.”
25As she was being taken out, she sent word to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man who owns these things. Look at them and see whose they are — this seal with its cord and this stick.”
26Judah recognized them and said, “She is in the right. I have failed in my obligation to her — I should have given her to my son Shelah in marriage.” And Judah never had intercourse with her again.
27When the time came for her to give birth, it was discovered that she was going to have twins. 28While she was in labour, one of them put out an arm; the midwife caught it, tied a red thread round it, and said, “This one was born first.” 29But he pulled his arm back, and his brother was born first. Then the midwife said, “So this is how you break your way out!” So he was named Perez.38.29 Perez: This name in Hebrew means “breaking out”. 30Then his brother was born with the red thread on his arm, and he was named Zerah.38.30 Zerah: This name sounds like a Hebrew word for the red brightness of dawn.
391Now the Ishmaelites had taken Joseph to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, one of the king's officers, who was the captain of the palace guard. 2
The LORD was with Joseph and made him successful. He lived in the house of his Egyptian master, 3who saw that the LORD was with Joseph and had made him successful in everything he did. 4Potiphar was pleased with him and made him his personal servant; so he put him in charge of his house and everything he owned. 5From then on, because of Joseph the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian and everything that he had in his house and in his fields. 6Potiphar handed over everything he had to the care of Joseph and did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Joseph was well-built and good-looking, 7and after a while his master's wife began to desire Joseph and asked him to go to bed with her. 8He refused and said to her, “Look, my master does not have to concern himself with anything in the house, because I am here. He has put me in charge of everything he has. 9I have as much authority in this house as he has, and he has not kept back anything from me except you. How then could I do such an immoral thing and sin against God?” 10Although she asked Joseph day after day, he would not go to bed with her.
11But one day when Joseph went into the house to do his work, none of the house servants was there. 12She caught him by his robe and said, “Come to bed with me.” But he escaped and ran outside, leaving his robe in her hand. 13When she saw that he had left his robe and had run out of the house, 14she called to her house servants and said, “Look at this! This Hebrew that my husband brought to the house is insulting us. He came into my room and tried to rape me, but I screamed as loud as I could. 15When he heard me scream, he ran outside, leaving his robe beside me.”
16She kept his robe with her until Joseph's master came home. 17Then she told him the same story: “That Hebrew slave that you brought here came into my room and insulted me. 18But when I screamed, he ran outside, leaving his robe beside me.”
19Joseph's master was furious 20and had Joseph arrested and put in the prison where the king's prisoners were kept, and there he stayed. 21
But the LORD was with Joseph and blessed him, so that the jailer was pleased with him. 22He put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and made him responsible for everything that was done in the prison. 23The jailer did not have to look after anything for which Joseph was responsible, because the LORD was with Joseph and made him succeed in everything he did.
401Some time later the king of Egypt's wine steward and his chief baker offended the king. 2He was angry with these two officials 3and put them in prison in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same place where Joseph was being kept. 4They spent a long time in prison, and the captain assigned Joseph as their servant.
5One night there in prison the wine steward and the chief baker each had a dream, and the dreams had different meanings. 6When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were upset. 7He asked them, “Why do you look so worried today?”
8They answered, “Each of us had a dream, and there is no one here to explain what the dreams mean.”
“It is God who gives the ability to interpret dreams,” Joseph said. “Tell me your dreams.”
9So the wine steward said, “In my dream there was a grapevine in front of me 10with three branches on it. As soon as the leaves came out, the blossoms appeared, and the grapes ripened. 11I was holding the king's cup; so I took the grapes and squeezed them into the cup and gave it to him.”
12Joseph said, “This is what it means: the three branches are three days. 13In three days the king will release you, pardon you, and restore you to your position. You will give him his cup as you did before when you were his wine steward. 14But please remember me when everything is going well for you, and please be kind enough to mention me to the king and help me to get out of this prison. 15After all, I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here in Egypt I didn't do anything to deserve being put in prison.”
16When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the wine steward's dream was favourable, he said to Joseph, “I had a dream too; I was carrying three bread baskets on my head. 17In the top basket there were all kinds of pastries for the king, and the birds were eating them.”
18Joseph answered, “This is what it means: the three baskets are three days. 19In three days the king will release you — and have your head cut off! Then he will hang your body on a pole, and the birds will eat your flesh.”
20On his birthday three days later the king gave a banquet for all his officials; he released his wine steward and his chief baker and brought them before his officials. 21He restored the wine steward to his former position, 22but he executed the chief baker. It all happened just as Joseph had said. 23But the wine steward never gave Joseph another thought — he forgot all about him.