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Genesis 38:1

    Genesis 38:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brothers, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Now at that time, Judah went away from his brothers and became the friend of a man of Adullam named Hirah.

    Webster's Revision

    And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.

    World English Bible

    It happened at that time, that Judah went down from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.

    Clarke's Commentary on Genesis 38:1

    And it came to pass at that time - The facts mentioned here could not have happened at the times mentioned in the preceding chapter, as those times are all unquestionably too recent, for the very earliest of the transactions here recorded must have occurred long before the selling of Joseph. Mr. Ainsworth remarks "that Judah and his sons must have married when very young, else the chronology will not agree. For Joseph was born six years before Jacob left Laban and came into Canaan; Genesis 30:25, and Genesis 31:41. Joseph was seventeen years old when he was sold into Egypt, Genesis 37:2, Genesis 37:25; he was thirty years old when he interpreted Pharaoh's dream, Genesis 41:46. And nine years after, when there had been seven years of plenty and two years of famine, did Jacob with his family go down into Egypt, Genesis 41:53, Genesis 41:54, and Genesis 45:6, Genesis 45:11. And at their going down thither, Pharez, the son of Judah, whose birth is set down at the end of this chapter, had two sons, Hezron and Hamul, Genesis 46:8, Genesis 46:12. Seeing then from the selling of Joseph unto Israel's going down into Egypt there cannot be above twenty-three years, how is it possible that Judah should take a wife, and have by her three sons successively, and Shelah the youngest of the three be marriageable when Judah begat Pharez of Tamar, Genesis 38:14, Genesis 38:24, and Pharez be grown up, married, and have two sons, all within so short a space? The time therefore here spoken of seems to have been soon after Jacob's coming to Shechem, Genesis 33:18, before the history of Dinah, Genesis 34, though Moses for special cause relates it in this place." I should rather suppose that this chapter originally stood after Genesis 33, and that it got by accident into this place. Dr. Hales, observing that some of Jacob's son must have married remarkably young, says that "Judah was about forty-seven years old when Jacob's family settled in Egypt. He could not therefore have been above fifteen at the birth of his eldest son Er; nor Er more than fifteen at his marriage with Tamar; nor could it have been more than two years after Er's death till the birth of Judah's twin sons by his daughter-in-law Tamar; nor could Pharez, one of them, be more than fifteen at the birth of his twin sons Herron and Hamul, supposing they were twins, just born before the departure from Canaan. For the aggregate of these numbers, 15, 15, 2, 15, or 47 years, gives the age of Judah; compare Genesis 38 with Genesis 46:12." See the remarks of Dr. Kennicott, at Genesis 31:55 (note). Adullamite - An inhabitant of Adullam, a city of Canaan, afterwards given for a possession to the sons of Judah, Joshua 15:1, Joshua 15:35. It appears as if this Adullamite had kept a kind of lodging house, for Shuah the Canaanite and his family lodged with him; and there Judah lodged also. As the woman was a Canaanitess, Judah had the example of his fathers to prove at least the impropriety of such a connection.

    Barnes' Notes on Genesis 38:1

    Judah marries and has three sons. "Went down from brethren." This seems to have been an act of willful indiscretion in Judah. His separation from his brethren, however, extends only to the matter of his new connection. In regard to property and employment there seems to have been no long or entire separation until they went down into Egypt. He went down from the high grounds about Shekem to the lowlands in which Adullam was situated Joshua 15:33-35. "A certain Adullamite." He may have become acquainted with this Hirah, when visiting his grandfather, or in some of the caravans which were constantly passing Shekem, or even in the ordinary wanderings of the pastoral life. Adullam was in the Shephelah or lowland of Judah bordering on Philistia proper. "A certain Kenaanite." This connection with Shua's daughter was contrary to the will of God and the example of his fathers. Onan was born, we conceive, in Judah's fifteenth year, and Shelah in his sixteenth.

    At Kezib. - This appears the same as Akzib, which is associated with Keilah and Mareshah Joshua 15:44, and therefore, lay in the south of the lowland of Judah. This note of place indicates a change of residence since her other children were born. In the year after this birth the dishonor of Dinah takes place. "Took a wife for Er." Judah chose a wife for himself at an early age, and now he chooses for his first-born at the same age. "Was evil in the eyes of the Lord." The God of covenant is obliged to cut off Er for his wickedness in the prime of life. We are not made acquainted with his crime; but it could scarcely be more vile and unnatural than that for which his brother Onan is also visited with death. "And be a husband to her." The original word means to act as a husband to the widow of a deceased brother who has left no issue. Onan seems to have been prompted to commit his crime by the low motive of turning the whole inheritance to his own house. At the time of Er's death Judah must have been in his twenty-seventh year; Joseph was consequently in his twenty-third, and Jacob had for ten years past had his headquarters at Hebron. Hence, the contact with Timnah, Adullam, and Enaim was easy.