Genesis 38

Genesis 38


It happenedI at that timeII that JudahIII went downIV from his brothersV

Notes on verse 1a

I “happened” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
II “time” = et. Probably from anah (to answer, sing, announce); from ad (forever, all, old); from adah (to pass on, advance, decorate oneself). This is a period or season. It can also mean whenever or continually.
III “Judah” = Yehudah. Probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah, meaning “praised.”
IV “went down” = yarad. This is to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense. It can be going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy.
V “brothers” = ach. This is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.

and settledVI near a certainVII AdullamiteVIII whose nameIX was Hirah.X 

Notes on verse 1b

VI “settled” = natah. This is to stretch or spread out, to extend, or bend. In can also imply moral deflection.
VII “certain” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
VIII “Adullamite” = Adullami. 3x in OT. From Adullam (Adullam – a city in Canaan near Bethlehem); perhaps form the same as Adlay (Adlay, a person); {from adal (to flee, to be just) + am (people or nation; a tribe, troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals); {from amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together)}}. This is Adullamite, meaning “the justice of the people,” “retreat,” or “refuge.” See
IX “name” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
X “Hirah” = Chirah. 2x in OT. From chavar (to be or become white or pale). This is Hirah, which may mean “brightness” to imply splendor.

There Judah sawXI the daughterXII of a certain CanaaniteXIII whose name was Shua;XIV he marriedXV her and went inXVI to her. 

Notes on verse 2

XI “saw” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
XII “daughter” = bat. From ben (son literal or figurative; also, grandson, subject, nation); from banah (to build or obtain children). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
XIII “Canaanite” = Kanaaniy. From Kanaan (Canaan, his descendants, and the land where they settled; perhaps meaning lowlands, describing their land or subjugated in reference to being conquered by Egypt); from kana (to be humble, subdue; properly, bend the knee). This is Canaanite, which in some instances would imply a peddler or sometimes used in place of Ishmaelite. See
XIV “Shua” = Shua. 2x in OT. Perhaps from the same as shua (cry for help, riches); {from shava (crying or shouting aloud; seeking freedom from some kind of trouble)} OR from shuah (to lower). This is Shua, whose name means “brought low,” “prostration,” “a cry,” or “prosperity.” See
XV “married” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
XVI “went in” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.

3 She conceivedXVII and boreXVIII a son;XIX and he namedXX him Er.XXI 

Notes on verse 3

XVII “conceived” = harah. This is to conceive or be pregnant – it can be literal or figurative.
XVIII “bore” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.
XIX “son” = ben. Related to “daughter” in v2. See note XII above.
XX “named” = qara + et + shem. Literally “called his name.” Qara is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth. Shem is the same as “name” in v1. See note IX above.
XXI “Er” = Er. 10x in OT. From ur (to raise up, wake up, lift oneself up; to awake in a literal or figurative sense) OR from arar (to strip and amass). This is Er, a name meaning “watchful,” “city,” “watcher,” “aroused,” or “wild ass.” See

Again she conceived and bore a son whom she namedXXII Onan.XXIII Yet againXXIV she bore a son, and she namedXXV him Shelah.XXVI

Notes on verses 4-5a

XXII “named” = qara + et + shem. Literally “called his name.” See note XX above.
XXIII “Onan” = Onan. 8x in OT. From the same as on (strength, power, ability, wealth, substance, or vigor); {perhaps from aven (root may mean panting as one does when expending a lot of energy, especially when it comes to nothing; nothingness, trouble, sorrow, distress, wickedness, evil, harm, sorrow, misfortune, and mischief.; used specifically to refer to idols)} OR from ono (vigorous, strong). This is Onan, whose name means “vigorous,” “trouble,” “iniquity,” or “strong.” See
XXIV “again” = yasaph. This is to add, increase, continue, exceed.
XXV “named” = qara + et + shem. Literally “called his name.” See note XX above.
XXVI “Shelah” = Shelah. 8x in OT. From shelah (a request, loan); {from shaal (to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request; can also mean demand)} OR from shala (to extract, plunder). This is Shelah, a name meaning “extracted,” “prosperity,” “bounty,” “request,” “prayer,” or, “petition.” See

She wasXXVII in ChezibXXVIII when she bore him. Judah tookXXIX a wifeXXX for Er his firstborn;XXXI her name was Tamar.XXXII 

Notes on verses 5b-6

XXVII “was” = hayah. Same as “happened” in v1. See note I above.
XXVIII “Chezib” = Kezib. 1x in OT. From kazab (to lie, be false or in vain, to fail; to deceive in a literal or figurative sense). This is Chezib, a place in Judah whose name means “falsified,” “deceitful,” or “lying.” See
XXIX “took” = laqach. Same as “married” in v2. See note XV above.
XXX “wife” = ishshah. Related to “certain” in v1. Perhaps from ish (see note VII above). This is woman, wife, or female.
XXXI “firstborn” = bekor. From bakar (to bear fruit, be firstborn, firstling, that which opens the womb, give the birthright to). This is firstborn or chief.
XXXII “Tamar” = Tamar. From the same as tomer (palm tree, the trunk of that tree, a post); from the same as tamar (palm tree). This is Tamar, a name and a place. It means “palm tree” or “free market.” See

But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wickedXXXIII in the sightXXXIV of the Lord,XXXV and the Lord put him to death.XXXVI 

Notes on verse 7

XXXIII “wicked” = ra’. From ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.
XXXIV “sight” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
XXXV “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “happened” in v1. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note I above). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
XXXVI “put…to death” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.

Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-lawXXXVII to her; raise upXXXVIII offspringXXXIX for your brother.” 

Notes on verse 8

XXXVII “perform the duty of a brother-in-law” = yabam. 3x in OT. From yabam (brother-in-law). This is to do what was expected of a man whose brother dies – to marry her widow.
XXXVIII “raise up” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
XXXIX “offspring” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.

But since Onan knewXL that the offspring would not be his, he spilledXLI his semen on the groundXLII whenever he went in to his brother’s wife, so that he would not giveXLIII offspring to his brother. 10 What he didXLIV was displeasingXLV in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also. 

Notes on verses 9-10

XL “knew” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
XLI “spilled” = shachat. This is to go to ruin, perish, decay, batter, cast off, lose, one who destroys. This can be used in a literal or figurative sense.
XLII “ground” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
XLIII “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
XLIV “did” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
XLV “displeasing” = ra’a’. Related to “wicked” in v7. See note XXXIII above.

11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-lawXLVI Tamar, “RemainXLVII a widowXLVIII in your father’sXLIX houseL

Notes on verse 11a

XLVI “daughter-in-law” = kalah. Related to kalal (to complete, perfect). This is bride – it can be used before the marriage or to mean daughter-in-law afterwards.
XLVII “remain” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
XLVIII “widow” = almanah. Related to alman (widowed); from alam (to be silent, bound). This is a widow or a house that is desolate.
XLIX “father’s” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
L “house” = bayit. Related to “daughter” in v2 & “son” in v3. Perhaps from banah (see note XII above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.

until my son Shelah grows up”LI—for he feared that he too would die, like his brothers. So Tamar wentLII to liveLIII in her father’s house.

Notes on verse 11b

LI “grows up” = gadal. This is to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing.
LII “went” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
LIII “live” = yashab. Same as “remain” in v11. See note XLVII above.

12 In course of timeLIV the wife of Judah, Shua’s daughter, died; when Judah’s time of mourning was over,LV he went upLVI to TimnahLVII to his sheepshearers,LVIII he and his friendLIX Hirah the Adullamite. 

Notes on verse 12

LIV “course of time” = rabah + yom. Literally “in many days.” Rabah is increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc. Yom root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
LV “time of mourning was over” = nacham. Literally, “and Judah was comforted.”  Properly, this is a strong breath or a sigh. This can be to be sorry, to pity, console. Comfort, or repent. But, one can also comfort oneself with less righteous thoughts, so this can also mean to avenge oneself.
LVI “went up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
LVII “Timnah” = Timnah. 12x in OT. From manah (to weigh out, reckon, count, number, set, tell. By implication, it is allotting or providing something officially). This is Timnah, the name of several cities, meaning “territory” or “allotted portion.” See
LVIII “sheepshearers” = gazaz + tson. Gazaz is 15x in OT. This is to cut off, shave, shear sheep. figuratively, it can mean to conquer an enemy. Tson is a flock of sheep and goats.
LIX “friend” = rea. From raah (to associate with). This is the same as neighbor in Leviticus 19:18 “love your neighbor as yourself.” This is friend, companion, fellow, neighbor. It is someone with whom you associate, whether more or less close.

13 When Tamar was told,LXLXIYour father-in-lawLXII is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 

Notes on verse 13

LX “told” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
LXI {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
LXII “father-in-law” = cham. 4x in OT. Perhaps from the same as chomah (a wall – a wall as used for protection). The root may refer to something that joins. So, this is father-in-law.

14 she put offLXIII her widow’sLXIV garments,LXV put onLXVI a veil,LXVII

Notes on verse 14a

LXIII “put off” = sur. This is to turn aside in a literal or figurative sense – to depart, decline, rebel, remove, or withdraw.
LXIV “widow’s” = almanuth. Related to “widow” in v11. 4x in OT. From alman (see note XLVIII above). This is a widow or, abstractly the state of widowhood.
LXV “garments” = beged. From bagad (to cover or conceal; figuratively, to act in a covert or treacherous way, to transgress or pillage). This is clothing, garment, robe, or some other kind of clothing. Figuratively, it can be treachery or pillaging.
LXVI “put on” = kasah. This is to cover, conceal, overwhelm. It is to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret.
LXVII “veil” = tsaiph. 3x in OT – all in Genesis 24 and in the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38. This is a veil or shawl. Its root may mean to wrap.

wrapped herself up,LXVIII and sat downLXIX at the entranceLXX to Enaim,LXXI which is on the roadLXXII to Timnah. She saw that Shelah was grown up, yet she had not been given to him in marriage.LXXIII 

Notes on verse 14b

LXVIII “wrapped…up” = alaph. 5x in OT. This is to veil or cover. It could be to wrap oneself up. Figuratively, it is to become faint, wilt, or be languid.
LXIX “sat down” = yashab. Same as “remain” in v11. See note XLVII above.
LXX “entrance” = pethach. From pathach (to open wide in a literal or figurative sense; to open, draw out, let something go free, break forth, to plow, engrave, or carve). This is any kind of opening – a door, entrance, gate.
LXXI “Enaim” = ayin. Same as “sight” in v7. See note XXXIV above. It is a place meaning “two fountains,” “two eyes,” or “place of a fountain.” See
LXXII “road” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
LXXIII “in marriage” = ishshah. Literally “given to him as a wife.” Same as “wife” in v6. See note XXX above.

15 When Judah saw her, he thoughtLXXIV her to be a prostitute,LXXV for she had coveredLXXVI her face.LXXVII 

Notes on verse 15

LXXIV “thought” = chashab. This is properly to braid or interpenetrate. Literally it is to create or to wear. Figuratively, it can mean plotting – generally in a negative sense. More broadly, this can also mean think, consider, or make account of.
LXXV “be a prostitute” = zanah. This is being or playing a prostitute. Figuratively, it can also mean fornicating.
LXXVI “covered” = kasah. Same as “put on” in v14. See note LXVI above.
LXXVII “face” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.

16 He went overLXXVIII to her at the roadside,LXXIX and said, “Come,LXXX, LXXXI let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.

She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 

Notes on verse 16

LXXVIII “went over” = natah. Same as “settled” in v1. See note VI above.
LXXIX “roadside” = derek. Same as “road” in v14. See note LXXII above.
LXXX “come” = yahab. This is give, put, bring, take. It is to give in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXXI {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”

17 He answered, “I will sendLXXXII you a kidLXXXIII from the flock.”LXXXIV

And she said, “Only if you give me a pledge,LXXXV until you send it.” 

Notes on verse 17

LXXXII “send” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
LXXXIII “kid” = gedi + ez. Gedi is 16x in OT. From the same as gadah (bank or border of a river or stream; root may mean cut off). This is a young goat. Ez is Perhaps from azaz (to be strong in a literal or figurative sense, overcome, be impudent). This is a female goat, but can refer to male goats when plural. Here, it is masculine.
LXXXIV “flock” = tson. Same as “sheep” in v12. See note LVIII above.
LXXXV “pledge” = erabon. 3x in OT – all in Genesis 38. From arab (to bargain, barter, give or take in pledge; to braid or intermingle). This is a pledge – something given to be a surety.

18 He said, “What pledge shall I give you?”

She replied, “Your signetLXXXVI and your cord,LXXXVII and the staffLXXXVIII that is in your hand.”LXXXIX So he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 

Notes on verse 18

LXXXVI “signet” = chotham. 14x in OT. From chatham (to seal, close up, shut, stop, bring to an end; used especially for affixing a seal). This is a seal or signet ring.
LXXXVII “cord” = pathil. 11x in OT. From pathal (to twist, twine, wrestle, struggle, behave in an unsavory way). This is a cord, string, twine, lace, thread.
LXXXVIII “staff” = matteh. Related to “settled” in v1. From natah (see note VI above). This is a staff, rod, branch, or tribe. It could be a rod for discipline or correction. It could be a scepter to indicate authority, a throwing lance, or a walking staff. Figuratively, it could also be something that supports life (like bread).
LXXXIX “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.

19 Then she got upXC and went away, and taking offXCI her veil she put onXCII the garments of her widowhood.XCIII

Notes on verse 19

XC “got up” = qum. Same as “raise up” in v8. See note XXXVIII above.
XCI “taking off” = sur. Same as “put off” in v14. See note LXIII above.
XCII “put on” = labash. This is to wrap around, which implies clothing oneself or someone else. This is wrapping around in a literal or figurative way.
XCIII “widowhood” = almanuth. Same as “widow’s” in v14. See note LXIV above.

20 When Judah sent the kid byXCIV his friend the Adullamite, to recoverXCV the pledge fromXCVI the woman,XCVII he could not findXCVIII her. 

Notes on verse 20

XCIV “by” = yad. Literally “by the hand of.” Same as “hand” in v18. See note LXXXIX above.
XCV “recover” = laqach. Same as “married” in v2. See note XV above.
XCVI “from” = yad. Literally “from the hand of.” Same as “hand” in v18. See note LXXXIX above.
XCVII “woman” = ishshah. Same as “wife” in v6. See note XXX above.
XCVIII “find” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.

21 He askedXCIX the townspeople,C “Where is the temple prostituteCI who was at EnaimCII by the wayside?”CIII

But they said, “No prostitute has been here.” 

Notes on verse 21

XCIX “asked” = shaal. Related to “Shelah” in v5. See note XXVI above.
C “townspeople” = enosh + maqom. Literally “people of that place.” Enosh is related to “certain” in v1 & “wife” in v6. See note VII above. Maqom is related to “raise up” in v8. From qum (see note XXXVIII above). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
CI “temple prostitute” = qedeshah. 5x in OT. From qadesh (unclean, cult prostitute, idolatry); from the same as qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy, etc.); from qadash (set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified; something or someone set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean). This is a female devotee, temple prostitute, or whore.
CII “Enaim” = Eynayim. Related to “sight” in v7. 2x in OT. From ayin (see note XXXIV above). This is Enaim, a place meaning “two fountains,” “two eyes,” or “place of a fountain.” See
CIII “wayside” = derek. Same as “road” in v14. See note LXXII above.

22 So he returnedCIV to Judah, and said, “I have not found her; moreover the townspeopleCV said, ‘No prostitute has been here.’” 

23 Judah replied, “Let her keepCVI the things as her own, otherwise we will be laughed at;CVII you see,CVIII I sent this kid,CIX and you could not find her.”

Notes on verses 22-23

CIV “returned” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
CV “townspeople” = ish + maqom. Literally “men of the place.” Ish is the same as “certain” in v1. See note VII above. Maqom is the same as “townspeople” in v21. See note C above.
CVI “keep” = laqach. Same as “married” in v2. See note XV above.
CVII “laughed at” = buz. 12x in OT. From buz (to disrespect, hate, scorn). This is contempt, laughingstock, shame, or hated.
CVIII “see” = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v13. See note LXI above.
CIX “kid” = gedi. Same as “kid” in v17. See note LXXXIII above.

24 CXAbout threeCXI monthsCXII later Judah was told,

Notes on verse 24a

CX {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “happened” in v1. See note I above.
CXI “three” = shalosh. This is three, fork, three times.
CXII “months” = chodesh. From chadash (to renew, repair). This refers to a new moon. It can also mean monthly.

“Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the whore;CXIII moreoverCXIV she is pregnantCXV as a result of whoredom.”CXVI

And Judah said, “Bring her out,CXVII and let her be burned.”CXVIII 

Notes on verse 24b

CXIII “played the whore” = zanah. Same as “be a prostitute” in v15. See note LXXV above.
CXIV {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v13. See note LXI above.
CXV “pregnant” = harah. Related to “conceived” in v3. 16x in OT. From harah (see note XVII above). This is pregnant or conceive.
CXVI “whoredom” = zenunim. Related to “be a prostitute” in v15.11x in OT. From zanah (see note LXXV above). This is fornication, adultery, being a prostitute, or figuratively it can refer to idolatry.
CXVII “bring…out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
CXVIII “burned” = saraph. This is to burn or kindle. This is the root that “seraphim” comes from.

25 As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “It was the owner of theseCXIX who made me pregnant.” And she said, “Take note,CXX please,CXXI whose these are, the signetCXXII and the cord and the staff.” 

Notes on verse 25

CXIX “owner of these” = enosh + asher + elleh. Literally “by the man to whom these belong.” Enosh is the same as “townspeople” in v21. See note C above.
CXX “take note” = nakar. This is to recognize, examine, take notice, show, scrutinize. It is looking at something in a fixed way, showing perhaps respect or reverence. Alternately, it can show gazing with suspicion. Also, it can mean being strange towards someone or something and rejecting or ignoring it.
CXXI “please” = na. Same as {untranslated} in v16. See note LXXXI above.
CXXII “signet” = chothemeth. Related to “signet” in v18. 1x in OT. From chatham (see note LXXXVI above). This is a signet ring or other seal.

26 Then Judah acknowledgedCXXIII them and said, “She is more in the rightCXXIV than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not lie withCXXV her again.

Notes on verse 26

CXXIII “acknowledged” = nakar. Same as “take note” in v25. See note CXX above.
CXXIV “right” = tsadeq. From tsedeq (rightness, righteousness, just cause, vindication; that which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense; abstractly equity; figuratively prosperity). This is being just or righteousness. It refers to right in a moral or legal sense. So, it can be doing justice, clearing oneself, or turning to righteousness.
CXXV “lie with” = yada. Same as “knew” in v9. See note XL above.

27 When the time of her deliveryCXXVI came,CXXVII, CXXVIII there were twinsCXXIX in her womb.CXXX 

Notes on verse 27

CXXVI “delivery” = yalad. Same as “bore” in v3. See note XVIII above.
CXXVII “came” = hayah. Same as “happened” in v1. See note I above.
CXXVIII {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v13. See note LXI above.
CXXIX “twins” = taom. 4x in OT. Related to toam (twin); from ta’am (to be double, have twins; figuratively to duplicate or to join together in architecture). This is twins in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the name “Thomas” comes from.
CXXX “womb” = beten. Root may mean to be hollow. This is the belly or womb. It can also refer to a body more broadly.

28 CXXXIWhile she was in labor,CXXXII one put outCXXXIII a hand; and the midwifeCXXXIV took

Notes on verse 28a

CXXXI {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “happened” in v1. See note I above.
CXXXII “was in labor” = yaald. Same as “bore” in v3. See note XVIII above.
CXXXIII “put out” = natan. Same as “give” in v9. See note XLIII above.
CXXXIV “midwife” = yalad. Same as “bore” in v3. See note XVIII above.

and boundCXXXV on his hand a crimsonCXXXVI thread, saying, “This one came outCXXXVII first.”CXXXVIII 

Notes on verse 28b

CXXXV “bound” = qashar. This is to tie or bind. It can also refer to joining together as a league or in love. In a negative sense, it can mean to conspire.
CXXXVI “crimson” = shani. This is crimson or scarlet. It can also refer to the insect that the red dye is made from (coccus ilicis), the color of that dye, or things dyed with it (like thread).
CXXXVII “came out” = yatsa. Same as “bring…out” in v24. See note CXVII above.
CXXXVIII “first” = rishon. From rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first.

29 CXXXIXBut just then he drew backCXL his hand, andCXLI out came his brother;

Notes on verse 29a

CXXXIX {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “happened” in v1. See note I above.
CXL “drew back” = shub. Same as “returned” in v22. See note CIV above.
CXLI {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v13. See note LXI above.

and she said, “What a breachCXLII you have madeCXLIII for yourself!” Therefore he was namedCXLIV Perez.CXLV 30 Afterward his brother came out with the crimson thread on his hand; and he was namedCXLVI Zerah.CXLVII

Notes on verses 29b-30

CXLII “breach” = perets. Related to “made” in v29. 19x in OT. From parats (see note CXLIII below). This is a breach or a gap. It could be a break, whether literal or figurative.
CXLIII “made” = parats. This is to make a breach, burst out, compel, disperse. It is to break out literally or figuratively.
CXLIV “was named” = qara + shem. Literally “was called his name.” See note XX above.
CXLV “Perez” = Parets. Related to “made” and “breach” in v29. 15x in OT. From parats (see note CXLIII above). This is Perez, meaning “breach.”
CXLVI “was named” = qara + shem. Literally “was called his name.” See note XX above.
CXLVII “Zerah” = Zerach. From zarach (to rise, shine, or dawn; can be used to describe symptoms of leprosy). This is Zerah, meaning “rising” or “dawn.”

Image credit: “Judah and Tamar” by Francisco Preciado de la Vega, 1750.

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