Judah and Perez (Lk 3:33-3:33)

“The son of Amminadab,

The son of Admin,

The son of Arni,

The son of Hezron,

The son of Perez,

The son of Judah.”

 

τοῦ Ἀμιναδὰβ τοῦ Ἀδμεὶν τοῦ Ἀρνεὶ τοῦ Ἐσρὼμ τοῦ Φαρὲς τοῦ Ἰούδα

 

The two genealogies of Matthew and Luke are almost the same from Judah to Amminadab.  Luke listed them as Nahshon, the son of Amminadab (τοῦ Ἀμιναδὰβ), the son of Admin (τοῦ Ἀδμεὶν), the son of Arni (τοῦ Ἀρνεὶ), the son of Hezron (τοῦ Ἐσρὼμ), the son of Perez (τοῦ Φαρὲς), the son of Judah (τοῦ Ἰούδα).  Clearly, Judah had become the dominant tribe by the time of Jesus.  The story of the children for Judah is a very interesting tale as portrayed in Genesis, chapter 38.  Judah married a Canaanite woman named Bathshuah in Adullam.  They had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah.  Then the story got more complicated.  Judah found a lady named Tamar to be a wife for his first-born wicked son Er, whom Yahweh put to death.  Then Judah sent Onan, his second son, to produce children for his brother from Tamar, Er’s wife.  However, Onan spilled his semen on the ground, so that he would not have any children.  Thus, Yahweh put him to death also.  Judah then told Tamar to live as a widow in her father’s house, until his youngest son Shelah was older and able to marry her.  Tamar, in the meantime, saw that Shelah had grown up, but was not being offered in marriage to her.  She decided to throw off her widow garments, put a veil on, and sit on the road from Adullam to Timnah.  Now Judah, whose wife Bathshuah had died, was on this same road and thought that she was a prostitute, because her face was covered.  He gave her his signature ring and the cord as a pledge that he would pay her later for her sexual favors.  They had sex and she conceived by him.  Three months later, Judah found out that his daughter-in-law Tamar was pregnant as a result of prostitution.  He wanted her immediately burned, but she told Judah that the owner of a ring and cord made her pregnant.  Judah admitted that she was right.  Tamar then had twins from this pregnancy, Perez and Zerah, who disputed about who was the first out of the womb.  Interesting enough, the line of Judah would have died out without this prostitute episode.  Thus, the sacred lineage of Judah goes through a father-in-law having paid sex with his daughter-in-law, Tamar, who was a Canaanite.  According to Genesis, chapter 46:12, Perez, the son of Judah, had 2 sons, Hezron and Hamul. who went with Jacob to Egypt.  From 1 Chronicles, chapter 2:9-17, we learn about the linage of Hezron.  He had 3 sons, Jerahmeel, Aram, and Chelubai.  This Aram, Arni, or Ram was the father of Aminadab or Amminadab.  Luke added an Admin who is not found elsewhere or maybe another name for Ram.  Amminadab had a daughter, Elisheba, who married Aaron, the brother of Moses, in Exodus, chapter 6:23.  Amminadab was the father of Nahshon, the brother-in-law of Aaron and Moses.

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Prologue

This Gospel of Matthew has a prologue with five parts that echo the book of Genesis.  First, there was the genealogy of Jesus via Joseph that began with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Then this genealogy went through the twin sons of Judah and the descendants of Perez.  Then it went from Ruth to King David.  Then there was the kings of Judah from Solomon to the gap and up to and including the Babylonian captivity.  Finally, there were the unknown names in this genealogy that led up to Joseph and his father.  Matthew then explained the genealogy of Jesus, since there were differences of this genealogy with that of the Gospel of Luke.

The second part of this prologue was the virgin birth of Jesus.  First of all, there was the conception of Jesus from Joseph’s point of view, not Mary’s.  Joseph wanted to divorce Mary for being pregnant until an angel in a dream told him that Jesus would be a special child that fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah.  After waking up from his dream, there was the virgin birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

The third part of this prologue was the visit of the Magi.  They brought their questions to Herod the Judean Roman king, who was annoyed and frightened.  He found out that Bethlehem was described by the prophet Micah as the place where the Messiah would be born.  Herod summoned the Magi and sent them to Bethlehem.  The Magi followed the star and found Mary with the child at the so-called Epiphany.  However, they went home another route so that they did not go back to King Herod.

The fourth part was the flight into Egypt, as Joseph had another dream.  They went to Egypt to fulfill another prophecy that the Messiah would come out of Egypt.  Meanwhile, King Herod killed all the under two-year old boys in the Bethlehem area as the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jeremiah.

Finally, the fifth part of the prologue was the return of Jesus to Nazareth when Joseph had a third dream.  He was told to return to Israel, or more specifically to Galilee in a place called Nazareth.  Thus, this prologue gave the unique perspective of Joseph.

The twin sons of Judah (Mt 1:3-1:3)

“Judah was

The father of Perez

By Tamar.

Judah was

The father of Zerah

By Tamar.”

 

Ἰούδας δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Φαρὲς καὶ τὸν Ζαρὰ ἐκ τῆς Θάμαρ.

 

The story of the children for Judah (Ἰούδας) is a very interesting tale as portrayed in Genesis, chapter 38.  Judah married a Canaanite woman named Bathshuah in Adullam.  They had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah.  Then the story got more complicated.  Judah found a lady named Tamar (Θάμαρ) to be a wife for his first-born wicked son Er, whom Yahweh put to death.  Then Judah sent Onan, his second son, to produce children for his brother from Tamar, Er’s wife.  However, Onan spilled his semen on the ground, so that he would not have any children.  Thus, Yahweh put him to death also.  Judah then told Tamar to live as a widow in her father’s house, until his youngest son Shelah was older and able to marry her.  Tamar, in the meantime, saw that Shelah had grown up, but was not being offered in marriage to her.  She decided to throw off her widow garments, put a veil on, and sit on the road from Adullam to Timnah.  Now Judah, whose wife Bathshuah had died, was on this same road and thought that she was a prostitute, because her face was covered.  He gave her his signature ring and the cord as a pledge that he would pay her later for her sexual favors.  They had sex and she conceived by him.  Three months later, Judah found out that his daughter-in-law Tamar was pregnant as a result of prostitution.  He wanted her immediately burned, but she told Judah that the owner of a ring and cord made her pregnant.  Judah admitted that she was right.  Tamar then had twins from this pregnancy, Perez (Φαρὲς) and Zerah (Ζαρὰ), who disputed about who was the first out of the womb.  The Greek text used the term ‘begat’ (ἐγέννησεν) to represent the relationships between Judah and his twin sons.  However, it seems perfectly acceptable to simply call them the father instead of saying “fathered them.”  Interesting enough, the line of Judah would have died out without this prostitute episode.  Thus, the sacred lineage of Judah goes through a father-in-law having paid sex with his daughter-in-law, Tamar, who was a Canaanite.

The Judahites who lived in Jerusalem (Neh 11:4-11:6)

“In Jerusalem lived certain of the Judahites and Benjaminites. Of the sons of Judahites was Athaiah son of Uzziah, son of Zechariah, son of Amariah, son of Shephatiah, son of Mahalalel. Of the descendents of Perez was Maaseiah son of Baruch, son of Col-hozeh, son of Hazaiah, son of Adaiah, son of Joiarib, son of Zechariah, son of the Shilonite. All the sons of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were four hundred and sixty-eight valiant warriors.”

Who were these people who got to live in Jerusalem? They were of course from Judah or Benjamin. Athaiah was the leader of the Judahites. The leader of the descendents of Perez, the son of Judah, was Maaseiah. The total number of descendents from Perez was 468. In 1 Chronicles, chapter 9, the men of Perez wee one of the first to return to Jerusalem after the captivity. This was considered the most important descendent line of Judah, out of which David had come.

Judah (1 Chr 4:1-4:1)

“The sons of Judah were Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal.”

Now we look at the settled lands of the southern tribes or clans. This is not the strictly artificial 12 tribes of Israel only. This list that starts with the 5 sons of Judah is completely different from the list in chapter 2, of this book, where the 5 sons were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah based on Genesis, chapter 38. Only (1) Perez is left over from this early list. (2) Hezron was actually the son of Perez, or the grandson of Judah based on the preceding chapter. (3) Carmi was the son of Zerah, the lesser known twin brother of Perez, so that he is Perez’ nephew, and also a grandson of Judah. (4) Hur, on the other hand, was the grandson of Hezron, via Caleb, thus the great grandson of Judah. (5) Shobal was the son of Hur, thus the great–great grandson of Judah, quite a distance removed from Judah. Once again there is a little confusion on the part of the biblical author here compared to the preceding chapter.

The descendants of Judah (1 Chr 2:3-2:4)

“The sons of Judah were Er, Onan and Shelah. These three the Canaanite woman Bathshuah bore to him. Now Er, Judah’s first-born, was wicked in the sight of Yahweh. Yahweh put him to death. His daughter-in-law Tamar also bore Judah Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all.”

From now on we will be only concerned with Judah, who had 5 sons, as can be found in Genesis, chapter 38. Judah separated from his other brothers when he went to Adullam, a city southwest of Jerusalem where he had a friend. There he met and married a Canaanite woman named Bathshuah. They had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah. Then the story got more complicated. Judah found Tamar as a wife for his first born son (1) Er, who was wicked in the sight of Yahweh, so that Yahweh put him to death. Then Judah sent (2) Onan, his second son, to produce children for his brother. However, Onan spilled his semen on the ground so that he would not have any children. This also was displeasing to Yahweh, so he put him to death also. Judah then told Tamar to live as a widow in her father’s house until his youngest son Shelah was older and able to marry her. Then Judah’s wife Bathshuah died. After the mourning period had passed, he went out to the shear sheep in Timnah with his friend Hirah. Tamar, in the meantime, saw that (3) Shelah had grown up but was not being offered in marriage to her. She decided to throw off her widow garments, put a veil on, and sit at the entrance to Enaim, on the road from Adullam to Timnah. Now Judah was on this same road and thought that she was a prostitute, because her face was covered. He inquired as to what it would cost to have sex. They settled on a kid from the flock. However, she wanted something right away, his signature ring and the cord with it as a pledge so that he would pay later. They had sex and she conceived by him. Afterwards, she left, went home, and put her widow clothes back on. Now Judah wanted to give the prostitute the animal so that he could get his ring back. He sent his friend Hirah with the kid, but he could not find the prostitute. Judah had thought that she was a temple prostitute. When he could not find her, he decided to let her keep his ring. Three months later, Judah found out that his daughter-in-law Tamar was pregnant as a result of prostitution. He wanted her immediately burned, but she said to Judah that the owner of this ring, cord, and staff made me pregnant. Judah admitted that she was right and he should have given her his son Shelah as a husband. Interesting enough, she would have been put to death, if the pregnancy was not caused by Judah. However, the male is always right so she did not die. In fact, Judah admits that he was wrong, not for using her as a prostitute but for not letting her marry his youngest son. Tamar then had twins from this pregnancy, (4) Perez and (5) Zerah. They too, like Esau and Jacob, disputed about who was the first out of the womb. Interesting enough, the line of Judah would have died out without this Tamar prostitute episode. Thus the sacred lineage of Judah goes through a father-in-law having paid sex with his daughter-in-law, who was a Canaanite. Both of these boys will be important later on, especially Perez. Also both names Tamar and Zerah will appear later.