In a bizarre intermission following the abduction of Joseph, the Genesis story now moves to Judah, the fourth son of Jacob, his three sons and his daughter-in-law, Tamar (Gen. 38). On a rare occasion, God put Judah’s first-born son, Er, to death because of his wickedness. Next, Onan shirks his duty with his brother’s wife, Tamar, spills his seed on the ground and the Lord slew him as well. Finally, Tamar plays the prostitute with Judah, becomes pregnant and ultimately Judah calls her more righteous than he was. What is going on here? What did Er and Onan do that was worthy of death? Most importantly, what does all this have to do with Jesus?

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