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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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 overseers (Neh 11:20-11:24)

“The rest of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, were in all the towns of Judah. All of them were in their own inheritance. But the temple servants lived on Ophel. Ziha and Gishpa were over the temple servants. The overseer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi son of Bani, son of Hashabiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Mica, of the descendents of Asaph, the singers, in charge of the work of the house of God. There was a command from the king concerning them. A settled provision for the singers was required every day. Pethahiah son of Meshezabel, of the descendents of Zerah, son of Judah, was at the king’s hand in all matters concerning the people.”

The rest of the people lived in their own towns with their own inheritance. It is hard to figure out their inheritance since they returned from captivity with what they had. Did they get back their family inheritance? The Temple servants lived on the Ophel hill. Ziha and Gishpa were in charge of them. The overseer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi. He was a descended from Asaph, the singer, so he was in charge of the singers. The singers were to be provided for each day. It says the king commanded this, but the king was in Persia. There was no king in Jerusalem. Perhaps Nehemiah and Ezra were acting in the name of the king, but it is not clear. Another descendent of Judah from the Zerah line was Pethahiah who someone was the king’s hand in all this. It is not clear what his connection to the King of Persia was.

The Levite cantor Asaph the Gershonite (1 Chr 6:39-6:43)

“The brother of Heman, Asaph, stood on his right hand, that is Asaph, son of Berechiah, son of Shimea, son of Michael, son of Baaseiah, son of Malchijah, son of Ethni, son of Zerah, son of Adaiah, son of Ethan, son of Zimmah, son of Shimei, son of Jahath, son of Gershom, son of Levi.”

Here we have a truncated reverse genealogy that goes back 15 generations to (1) Levi, but via (2) Gershom, not Kohath, even though Asaph was called a brother of Heman. There are 2 other people with the name of (15) Asaph. Some Psalms (73-83) are attributed to this Asaph as well as a group of singers who called themselves the sons of Asaph later in this book. Here we may be close to the genealogy of Gershom earlier in this chapter that mentioned Levi, Gershom, Libni, (3) Jahath, (4) Shimei and (5) Zimmah. (6) Ethan is the name of 3 people in the biblical literature including another singer from Merari. There were 8 people with the name of (7) Adaiah. (8) Zerah was the same name as Perez’s twin brother, the son of Judah. In fact there were 4 other biblical persons with the name of Zerah. (11) Baaseiah and (9) Ethni only appear here, but there were 13 biblical different people with the name of (10) Malchijah, a popular name. There are 11 people named (12) Michael, including an archangel. There were 4 people with the name of (13) Shimea in the biblical literature, including someone in the family of Merari. There were 7 different people with the name of (14) Berechiah in the biblical literature.

The descendents of Gershom (1 Chr 6:20-6:21)

“The sons of Gershom were Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son, Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son, and Jeatherai his son.”

Here we have 8 generations of (1) Gershom via (2) Libni his son. There are at least 4 Gershom Levites with the name of (3) Jahath and (5) Joah, all mentioned in this book, while there are 2 other Gershom Levites with the name of (4) Zimmah. There are 6 people with the name of (6) Iddo, most of them not Levites in the biblical literature. (7) Zerah was the same name as Perez’s twin brother, the son of Judah. In fact there were 4 other biblical persons with the name of Zerah. On the other hand, this is the only mention of a (8) Jeatherai in all the biblical literature. Their official functional roles were laid out in Numbers, chapter 4.

Simeon (1 Chr 4:24-4:24)

“The sons of Simeon were Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, and Shaul.”

Now we switch to the family of Simeon the son of Jacob or Israel that will eventually become part of Judah. The 6 children of Simeon in Genesis, chapter 46, were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul. However, there are only 5 sons of Simeon mentioned here. Ohad was listed as the 3rd son of Simeon in both Genesis, chapter 46, and Exodus, chapter 6, but there is no mention of him here. (1) Nemuel was called Jemuel in Genesis. (2) Zerah was called Zohar. There are other instances of Zerah, especially as the son of Judah. (3) Jamin has the same spelling as in the earlier works. Obviously, this list is dependent on Numbers, chapter 26, at the time of the census where Nemuel was the head of the clan of the Nemuelites. Jamin was the head of the clan of the Jaminites. Jachin was the head of the clan of the Jachinites. (4) Jarib has replaced Jachin in this listing. There are 3 others with the same name of Jarib in biblical literature. Zerah was the head of the clan of the Zerahites. Finally (5) Shaul was the head of the clan of the Shaulites.

 

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.