-The line of Judah is depicted here in this chapter. This has immense importance due to the fact that Perez is the forefather of both David and Jesus Christ. Perez was the son of Judah through Tamar (one of four women in the ancestral line of Jesus mentioned along with Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba in the book of Matthew, Matthew 1:1-6).
-Tamar was married to Judah’s sons Er and Onan, but the LORD took them because they were evil and did displeasing things before the LORD. Tamar was promised Judah’s third son, Shelah, when he came of age as a husband.
-However, Judah did not follow through with his word, and Tamar posed as a prostitute at the gateway to the city named Enaim on the road to Timnah in order to bear children by Judah. She must have known that Judah was susceptible to this type of sin, which is a sign of questionable character on the part of Judah. We saw in chapter 37 that he also was the one who had the idea of selling his brother Joseph into slavery. Therefore, we can see that although Judah has greatness in his family line, he is a man of flesh and depravity like anyone else. *Application* He needed God’s grace just like we do.
-Judah goes into Tamar thinking she was a temple prostitute and they bear a son. He is angry when he finds out she is pregnant, but she has his seal and chord and staff that he had pledged to her upon payment of a young goat for her service. Therefore, Judah knows that she is more righteous than he because he lied about giving her his son and has now been caught in his sexual sin. Perez is born as the first of twins, and Judah never has relations with her again.
Verse to memorize: Genesis 38:26