Judah, being one of Jacob’s children, participated in a conspiracy to get rid of his half-brother Joseph by selling him into slavery in Egypt. Given the 20-year life expectancy of Egyptian slaves, being sold into slavery in Egypt was not salvation from death. It was death, postponed by much suffering. When Judah matured and himself became the father of three sons (two of whom died after marrying Tamar) he learned what it means to love someone too much. Despite the law of levirate marriage which obligated Judah to have his third son marry Tamar, year after year he refused. His love for his son trumped his sense of justice towards Tamar.

This continued until Tamar orchestrated one of the greatest redemptive breakthroughs in the history of the world – getting Judah himself to restore his dead son’s seed. Tamar disgraced herself, pretending to be a local prostitute. Her truly unconventional (but incredibly courageous) plan worked brilliantly. When Tamar was found to be pregnant and the truth about Judah’s relationship to the child was proven, Judah repented and declared Tamar innocent of any wrongdoing. Judah recognized his own sin and owned his guilt, rather than condemn Tamar. (Gen.38:1-27).

The book of Ruth celebrates Perez, the child of Tamar and Judah, as a crucial part of God’s redemptive plan and establishes him as the ancestor of King David (Ruth 4:11-17). Even more important, the Gospels include Perez among the forefathers of Jesus the Messiah and the Book of Revelation refers to Jesus as the Lion from the tribe of Judah! Perez, regardless of the circumstances of his birth, is an essential link in the chain that connects Jesus the Messiah and Judah, the son of Jacob.

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164 COMMENTS

  1. Saint. The church has for centuries portrayed many biblical characters as evil, weak, deceitful or worse. Part of this stems from the overt anti-Semitism of almost every church father; and a huge part from a total lack of understanding of Hebrew culture and traditions of the times. Tamar was claiming her right under law. Good example why the Bible needs to be reread from a Hebrew context. I know women can make men stupid; but what always boggled my mind was that Judah would leave the items that represented his authority as leader of his tribe with a temple prostitute.

    • I think so, especially if we look at other women that we have misinterpreted over the centuries as fallen or former fallen women (Mary Magdalene, Samaritan woman, just to name a few).

      • Anna told me to post here. In the Tanakh genealogy goes through the male. Now today genealogy for proof of Jewishness it goes through the female. ie to be considered a Jew and make Aliyah to Isra’el your mother has to be Jewish. Who changed it and why? Thank you for your answer.

        • Two reasons that I am aware of. Occupying soldiers had sex with Jewish women leaving a child behind who had no legal standing. Mother was always there. Second reason mothers USUALLY influence a child more than fathers (because USUALLY) they spend more time with the kids. In Torah it is not Jewishness that passes through the father, but all kinds of things like Covenant, incoherence, etc. So it is complex.

          • I was eighteen when I was asked by a lady in an indoor flea market if I was Jewish. I was then brought in to this journey with Hashem. It lasted until now. Last year my mother and I both participated in a DNA analysis. She is from the Diaspora; Sephardim. I am too, but if I didn’t get it from my father also, it would not have registered. I am only 5 percent and she is 9 percent. However; our family tree goes back to David.

          • I thought the whole point of circumcision was to mark the mail seed as it passed through the covenant mark that was cut into the mans flesh.

        • In OT, legal rights/responsibilities passed thru paternal line, but Jewish heritage came thru the mother. A specific Scripture both Jewish & Christian commentators point to is Ezra10:2-3. The last phrase indicates that children born to Jewish men & foreign wives aren’t part of the covenant. Another passage often cited is Lev 24:10-15. Speaks of a son born to an Israelite mother & Egyptian father. The son cursed the Name of God. At God’s command, he was punished/stoned for cursing “his God.” Implies the son was part of covenant Israel & therefore subject to punishment for breaking one of 10 Commandments

        • I don’t know who changed it but, as to why is simple. Until DNA research we could never prove who our fathers were, easy enough to discern who the mother was; she carried you for 9 months. I am a man of little means; I wish I could afford.

        • Allan Dane your summation is 100% correct. “Evidence” to the contrary is unsubstantive. Women are seldom mentioned in the bloodlines unless to do with exceptional import. The change is man-derived, not from God. In studying the Word I defy anybody to show me proof in Holy Scripture, not assumptions.

      • I believe it was Pope Gregory “the Great” c.590 AD who originated the non-Scriptural idea that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. He clearly was unfamiliar with the Gospels as written! Since that time, the dramatic (but totally fictional) possibilities of the reformed prostitute wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair have been exploited by artists, and in modern times, particularly by Hollywood. In fact, Mary Magdalene was one of the inner circle of women who followed Jesus and whom he earlier cured of “seven spirits”– illness in those days being thought to be brought by evil spirits- “daimon” in Greek.

        • Johanna and Ray: And it took HOW MANY centuries for the Catholic Church to reply and set that straight ! Ha…God’s time not ours, but we got to live to see it. What really and truly surprises me is the plethora of pastors who continue to preach her as a prostitute from the pulpit. I normally tote my Bible to church with me and I’ve often thought of carrying photocopies of that information in the back to use as a reverse hand-out !

          • Carol i think you should. Unfortunately majority of Pastors rely on tradition instead of searching scripture to know the truth. I guess it’s just easier for them. But that don’t make it true! Makes them lazy, and will have to answer to the Lord for that. Leading people wrongly

        • What really and truly surprises me is the plethora of pastors who continue to preach her as a prostitute from the pulpit. I normally tote my Bible to church with me and I’ve often thought of carrying photocopies of that information in the back to use as a reverse hand-out !

          • The majority of male pastors suffer from a stubborn disease: patriarchy and androcentrism. Until we get rid of it and make women equal partners in life, we will continue to hear these ridiculous and ignorant interpretations which have damaged and continue to damage people, especially the most vulnerable.
            Osvaldo Vena

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      • I don’t think you can show Mary Magdalene as a prostitute and Joseph’s brothers did not sell him into slavery they only intended to do that. FYI

        • Thanks for commenting Ron. Check out my article on Mary Magdalene. And I’m not sure what you were saying about Joseph. His brothers intended to kill him, but sold him instead.

          • Correct! I like this guy. If I had a go fund me acct I would join. I have discovered that I am mostly Jewish through my mother. I believe that Jesus celebrated all Jewish holidays so, why shouldn’t Christians? I am a Messianic Jew!

          • It says the ishmaelites took him before Judah came to remove him from the pit in order to sell him.

        • Eli, I think Ron and Malissa are confused because they only look at Genesis 37:28 . That verse *does* have a pronoun problem, and “the brothers” or “his brothers” is certainly an interpolation. However, the entire story (plus Gideon’s story) clears it up. Puzzlingly, Midianites were *not* genealogically Ishmaelites.

          • There are several possible solutions. Maybe Joseph was sold multiple times, or better maybe the Ishmaelites were living in or passing through Midian, and not genetically Midianites.

          • Yes, I think one living within the other’s territory is likely the answer. Midianites are closely involved with both Moabites and Ishmaelites but genetically distinct. Both were “older” tribes than Midian and Ishmael had God’s promised “great nations” status. Perhaps some Midianies lived within the territories of their older “brothers”.

        • I am interested in your programs. Before going further I have a question for Eli. Of Jesus’ parents, which was most important and why?
          Thanks!

          • Which of Jesus’ parents was more important? I suppose it depends on your emphasis, but I’m of the opinion that it’s important to have both a mother and a father, present and active, no matter which household we’re talking about.

    • Dan, the people of those times were honest and their word was their bond.
      And so Jephthah “did with her according to his vow that he had made”
      They lived according to the ancient way, the Way given to Adam by the word of God.

    • The ” Church ” had nothing to do with the Jewish Redemption Plan of Salvation .Jews Wrote the Word of G-d .The Word of G-d was given to Moshe .Y’Shua Himself is a Jew .All of His Talmidim and Emissaries were also Jews .Jews were called to preach the Word of G-d to the Jews and the Gentiles .In 313 CE/AD Constantine Started the first Roman Catholic Church ! Read …..

      • Jo Ann,dear, you are being a gossip. Your information is woefully askew. Constantine was not even baptized until he was on his deathbed, 337. All he did was make it Legal to be a Christian. The Church at the time was Already Catholic! The word ‘catholic’ first appears in 107AD.

      • Jo Ann, while I appreciate your zeal for the messianic jewish viewpoint, you are simply a bit under educated in the history of the development of the ‘church’. It did’t start at one place and one time. And certainly not by Constantine.

  2. I appreciate the insight. I have never heard that logic before and we often debate the people of the Genealogy of Jesus. That said, who is the Rahab of the geneology?

    • Doug, See Joshua chapters 2 and 6. Rajah was a prostitute who hid the Hebrew spies in Jericho, and she and her family survived it’s destruction. She lived as a Jew, and her son Boaz married Ruth.

    • FWIW, some rabbis have taught that there is a translation error, and that Rachav was an innkeeper rather than a harlot. I have not studied this, but am just passing it along.

      • The word “zonah” occurs over 100 other times in the Bible where it quite conclusively means to “whore,” and the New Testament uses the word “porne” to describe Rahab which has the same definition. Nevertheless, the Aramaic Targum of Jonathan has “pundekitha” (from Greek pandokissa) which is a guesthouse keeper. Supposedly the connection is that “zonah” may come from “mazon”, someone who sells foodstuffs. But even this Aramaic word has a connotation of one who sleeps with the guests (cf. Jug.16:1 where the same word appears).

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  3. I rely on you to assist me. An interesting view of genetics and heredity. Help me. What do you understand by “seed”? In OT times one had to keep records of one’s family tree to determine one’s ancestors. It is not doubtful that such records exist? Using the language of modern science have Israeli geneticists discovered genes that are solely that of Israelis? Given that so many peoples were physical descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov what is the minimum genetic codes one must have to be an Israeli?

    • Let me ask you a question ? Is Yeshua a Jew or a gentile ? Who wrote the Word of G-d ? Jews or gentiles ? When the Torah was given to Moshe on Mt .Sinai ,was it given to Jews or gentiles ? When Yeshua was born in Beit Lechem ( House of Bread ) in Israel ,is He a Jew or a gentile ? Noach had three sons ,Shem ,Ham and Yefet .From Shem came the Jewish people ,from Yefet the inlarged gentile race and from Ham came the Africans ,Egyptians .Yeshua descended from Shem .Read Gen .11

      • Yeshua was a Hebrew. Read his genealogy. John called Yeshua “the Word”. Moshe was Hebrew & the majority of people following him were Hebrew. When Yeshua was born, he was still Hebrew. Jew means “descendant of Yahuda”. They & the other 11 tribes are all Hebrew. Did you really have this question? The Bible is not difficult to read or understand.

  4. Tamar committed adultery and therefore, committed sin. However, Tamar clings on to her right to Mary Yehudas youngest son. Yehuda denies that Leverite Law. Tamar had to deceive and become like a harlot. Our God turned Sin into Blessing evil into goodness and brought forth our Saviour Y’Shua Hamoshiah. God used a gentle several times before reaching to our Messiah. Be Blessed

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    • How did Tamar commit adultery ? Her husband died .Actually what Tamar did do was preserve the seed of her husband through Y’hudah .She was veiled so Y’hudah could not see her face .This was in fact a divine act not a deception !

    • Roberto Flores, Tamar absolutely did not commit adultery. The Bible is as clear about that as is possible.

      Tamar’s husband was dead. Judah’s wife was dead.

      Fornication? yep.
      Prostitution? yep.
      Taking by guile what was rightfully hers (a child of the line of Judah)? yep.
      Adultery? nope.

    • 🙂 I think that what is clear is that Torah in NO WAY condemns Tamar for ANY wrong-doing. No mention of it at all. She is the victim in the story (justice is withheld by one member of the family of Israel from another). Judah must change. This will happen later. This story is about Judah.

    • First of all Tamar was not Catholic ,but a Jew .Second ,she did not sin by wanting to preserve the seed of her dead husband through Y’hudah ,third ,she did not deceive him ,although she was veiled ,this was a divine act from G-d !

  5. Do you see the Three Gentile brides in David’s ancestry as types of the Bride of Christ (the church? That is, Tamar, Rahab and Ruth The role Tamar plays brings Judah to an exhaustion point, where he does Teshuvah. Ultimately, his Teshuvah is highlighted as he becomes a willing substitute for Benjamin in the scene in Egypt with Joseph.

    • I try not to do the types if the Scripture does not. Although I do understand that some out of the scripture thinking like this may after all be legitimate.

    • Dwayne read Romans 11:11-32 .There is only one bride not three .When Yeshua returns He will set His feet on the Mt .of Olives and when He gathers His people they will be both Jews and Gentiles not church !!!

      • Agreed. The New Testament makes it clear that there is to be a reconciliation of Jew and Gentile, Old Testament and New Testament. See Romans 9 and 11, 1Peter 2. The story of all three Gentile women in Jesus’s lineage speak to this fact. Tamar, Ruth, and Rahab all point to the Church, the ekklesia, The “called out ones”; who have an important role in the end of the Age, just like these women. If we study the imagery behind these three women, we may learn to understand our role as the Prostitute in Revelation 18 receives Judgment. Rev 18:4;

  6. Have to chuckle about the title….since all saints are sinners. What Judah was doing was wrong. What Tamar did was wrong. You are right when you say that Tamar orchestrated the scenario that went down. It is important to make the point that God didn’t cause the scenario to happen, or approve of it. It is recorded in God’s Word because, despite the brokenness involved, God used the situation anyway! Perez wasn’t less because of this in God’s eyes…he was more because God chose to use him anyway. Also a great proof for the authenticity of the Bible!

    • Well… that depends if you are thinking protestantly (which you are, I think) :-). If we are thinking Biblically (well I am taking it back… Genesisly) :-), because all books do tell us all the same things all the time, we don’t get the picture that Tamar was wrong at all. Genesis condemns Judah but not Tamar in any way at all. Only if we approach ancient Torah in Lutheran post-reformation way (and I am not at all against great truths discovered at the time of reformation) we will get the result – reading back into Torah what is not

    • I’m not a saint ! I’ not Catholic and Constantine created the Roman Catholic Church in 313 CE /AD .Yeshua is a Jew not a gentile !!!

      • Roman Catholics understand a saint to be someone who is dead, whose life conformed to Church teaching and who has performed some miracles after dying, thereby qualifying them to be canonized and to become the object of prayer, devotion and veneration.
        However, the Biblical teaching is quite different. The word ‘saint’ means one who is sanctified, or set apart for God. It is not a statement of one’s spiritual status that only a few Christians attain. On the contrary, a saint is anyone who has a living relationship with God through his mercy and grace expressed in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, every Christian is a saint. This can be seen from a very small sample of quotations from the Bible:
        • When Saul was persecuting the church he was said to have done great harm to the ‘saints in Jerusalem.’ (Acts 9:13)
        • Peter visited with ‘the saints in Lydda.’ (Acts 9:32)
        • Recalling his persecution of the church, Paul said, ‘On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison …’ (Acts 26:10)
        • Writing his famous epistle on the grace of God to the Christians living in Rome, Paul greets them: ‘To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints.’ (Romans 1:7)
        • Concluding his lovely letter to the church of Christ at Philippi, Paul says, ‘All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.’ (Philippians 4:22)
        These examples are sufficient to show that the Roman Catholic understanding of a saint is not in harmony with what the Bible teaches. Saints in the Bible are all those who are God’s children. In the Bible saints are to be found among the spiritually weak and the strong, the educated, the uneducated, the slave, the free, etc. They all have this in common – they have been redeemed by the Lamb of God who has taken away their sins; hence, they are said to be saints.
        Being a saint is not a title one wears; being a saint is a statement of one’s relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, saints in the Bible never became the object of veneration upon their death, no matter how pious their life had been. And the idea of actually praying to a departed saint is never taught in the Bible. God alone is the object of all our prayers, our devotion and veneration.

        • Katie, you did well. I have not seen a better teaching on what a saint is as found in the scriptures. The Roman Catholic church has it all wrong and sadly it adversely affects all those who believe what Rome preaches.

          • The devil always has his bogus bible interpretation.
            Unfortunately, those not grounded in the gospel are easy prey.

        • “And the idea of actually praying to a departed saint is never taught in the Bible” (Kathie October 16, 2018).
          In Catholic Services, you will discover that they don’t pray to a departed saint but rather ask that the saint intercede for them, just as you’d ask a pastor or any believer to intercede (pray) for you. To understand fully how one could ask a departed saint to intercede (when God’s Word seem to reveal – once dead and then judgment) read Paul’s take on the communion of Saints – both living and dead (but alive in Christ), Blessings, Shalom.

        • All this praying to Saints is for naught. To ask someone to intercede is fruitless as The dead know nothing so no matter what they can’t intercede. They rise from the grave when Jesus returns plus only Jesus went to heaven. Jesus alone is our interceder

    • When a Jew or gentile does teshuvah and is filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and Aish the Holy Spirit and fire they are no longer sinners but Messianic Believers in Yeshua .The word saint comes from the Roman catholic church who persecuted Jews and drove them out of the Messianic Congregations .Please study Jewish history 🙂

      • Jo Ann, while I agree mostly with you, the WORD saint is not from the RC church. It is found several places in the OT (I Sam 2:9, many places in the Psalms, Daniel) and in the NT (Rom. 8:27, I Cor.6:2, Eph., Phil., and Rev.). It is true the RC church perverted the original meaning (those who practiced the teachings of Christ to only those the RC designated).

      • Rahav is an interesting word in Hebrew. It means ,large, in modern Hebrew. Could it be because Rahav’s life and perspective have been enlarged through her encounter with the Hebrew spies? They caused her to discover the One true God after all, and her heart was prepared. Just a thought…

        • Rahav comes from the root broad or wide open space. The compound rahav-lev (broad heart) means proud or haughty (Prov. 28:25).

        • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Story of Our Hebrew Fathers: Abraham and Isaac and Leviticus and The New Testament. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

      • Dr. Eli,

        I agree with you that it is evident Yehovah did not condemn Tamar, but I don’t understand when levirate marriage laws were given. I have only seen it in the Torah of Moses.

        • Plenty of laws and customs existed before Moses wrote them down, and levirate marriage is one of them. It is attested in Assyrian law texts, but even before Moses, the Hittites mentioned it in their law code. Today it is still practiced in primarily patriarchal, tribal clans in Asia and Africa.

        • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Story of Our Hebrew Fathers: Abraham and Isaac and Leviticus and The New Testament. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

      • Could we say then that it became God’s law when Moses recorded it as God’s law? In other words, my question is, what evidence do we have that people treated the law of levirate marriage as God’s law (and how could they) before Moses?

        • Levirate marriage existed long before Moses, as attested by Hittite law. There were plenty of laws that were God’s before Moses (cf. Gen 26:5 where Abraham kept God’s laws). Moses, as a prophet, recorded God’s laws into writing. Levirate marriage (in the patriarchal clan model) was the most reasonable and even compassionate thing to do since a woman without a man in such a culture was doomed to poverty; compassion has always been the nature of God’s laws.

  7. I think that your timeline is a little confused Judah as a teenager ran off and married a Cananite and had 2 kids but was still a typical irresponsible teenage dad, his maturity didn’t come by becoming a dad – his maturity came with repentance from his sin which was forced on him by Tamar’s desperation. The whole reason that Judah was judged worthy of becoming the greatest of the tribes was because he was willing to recognise that he himself was guilty and was willing to show the fruit of repentance ;o)

  8. As I understand it people of the Jewish faith do not accept that the Messiah had come, in that Jesus did not fulfill the requirements of being the promised one and are still patiently awaiting him. Secondly, of what line did Jesus come, Solomon or Nathan as the king of Israel, ie Zedekiah sons etc were slaughtered before him and then blinded and taken into captivity.[refer Jeremiah 52 v 10 and 11.Thus cannot understand which line Jesus came.

    • Well that is it. Some people of the Jewish do while most don’t. So this is what complicates this blanket statement.

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      • The True Genealogy is in the book of Luke that’s where you read about the lineage leading up to the Birth of CHIRST.

    • There have always been Messianic Jews but ,because of persecution by the Roman catholic church and other nations Jews were driven out of countries or forced to convert to the Roman catholic doctrines or were murdered .

    • As a believing Jew whose family so far don’t share my faith, my understanding is that the predictions concerning Messiah fall into two categories, around the first and second coming. Jesus has yet to fulfill the latter, but he will, and when he does they’ll see and believe.

  9. This is really hard to understand. Tamar was not a prostitute. She did not take the goat. She asked for a pledge. What is a pledge (signet, cord, staff)? It must be different than a blessing. The blessing of Jacob says the scepter and the ruling staff shall not depart until tribute COMES TO HIM. What is tribute? Rev 5 still seems like the second coming of Christ to me, but I can’t follow the words forward.

  10. Redeemed. God uses all things for the good of those who love Him. Only a true God could do that. He did so gloriously in this historical event. Tamar’s move was not overtly adultery, except that she was, by law, betrothed, was she not? Thus, adultery. Judah, knowing the evil nature of his own motives, had to accept that he could not render judgment against her. His declaration of Tamar’s innocence are not necessarily God’s. But God did redeem. He did not count the parents’ sins against Perez!

  11. Well, I have no criticism for Tamar, at all. Women have had to survive in this world from the beginning, and they are designed to overcome tough obstacles in the way a female can. It’s no accident that “less than ideal” personages are placed in the Messiah’s lineage. When people become too full of themselves they may forget that we are all grossly fallen short of His glory.

  12. I think I finally made the connection of Judah to Revelation 5 (unfortunately, the connection is far richer in Jewish history than I can dig into). The re-dig starts with the Hebrew question, “Who is the scroll?” The scroll is the people of Israel & the nations that hear and see. What do they hear and see? They see a hand stretched out to them. What was in the hand? The book of their tears (mourning), Ezekiel 2, Psalm 56 8-13. The blessing of Judah says that when the Shiloh/Messiah comes there will be a gathering of the peoples. Rev5

  13. I recently read Dr. Lizorkin’s article on the events of Genesis 38 and wanted to share some insights I have had on this chapter over the years. The following text in “quote marks” is a post I wrote on a discussion board years ago, with a few new details added this morning. I would appreciate it if you could read it over and pass it on to Dr. Lizorkin. I welcome any comments or corrections you have to offer. Prophetic language is nearly always open to interpretation to one degree or another, and a prophecy may be “filled” several times

  14. If pretence is a sin, she is a sinner. Jacob is a sinner. If being or pretending to be a prostitute is a sin, she is a sinner. Rahab is a sinner. The woman in John 8 caught in the act of adultery, is a sinner, so who will condem her and cast the first stone? I thought all the Elect are sinners saved by grace who have an Advocate who speaks for them.

    • Torah condemns Judah here and not Tamar. We condemn Tamar but God’s Word does not. In fact it celebrates Judah’s and Tamar’s union and their child (see book of Ruth – Perez).

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  15. That’s really an eye opener for me. I knew the whole story but now Malachi’s reference to Judah and one wife is really clearer. So Judah was chosen already that “seed” who has to crush the head of serpent will come from his lineage. But he ran off and married a Canaanite women and bore three sons. Now two elder sons were killed by God because they were evil in their ways. Then God let it happen between tamar and Judah so a Godly offspring can be born. And we see two sons instead of two sons who were taken.

  16. This is a really crazy story, I mean I get it! It’s crazy! It’s logically incoherent! I love it! There are many stories like this in the Old Testament, consider the story of sarai and and Hagar. It all points to Christ!!!!! Consider Galatians chapters 3-5!!! How wonderful are the feet of those that know the revelation of Christ Jesus.
    Thankyou for this teaching.

  17. Nagina, you don’t get it!!? No punishment! None at all. Jesus Christ reconciles us all. He is the priest of higher priesthood. Wow please read Galatians 3-5.

  18. I appreciate the concern you are in. but I have no income to pay for the course I am a volunteer in Ethiopian red cross society. please find me a sponsor. Jehovah bless you.

  19. I completely follow what Nagina is saying. Those sons of Judah with his canaanite wife were not the chosen ones. The plan of God is fulfilled through Judah and Tamar. We may judge Tamar for being underhanded, or a prostitute or whatever else. However, God will use whomever to fulfill His purpose. God is God. He does not need to consult us. He uses what Satan plans for evil and turn it for our good. Even the cross was God turning Satan’s plan for our good. Only Satan didn’t know he was fulfilling God’s plan for humanity. Jesus needed to die so that we might be redeemed.
    God’s mercies are new every morning.
    Sometimes I think we are to puffed up with knowledge and we lack wisdom and discernment.

  20. The question regarding who were jews or gentiles, I found so confusing & have only read KJV word but I’ve no doubt about the fact that Jesus was a Jew. The King of Gods chosen.
    And I’ve read many questions/comments since reading that particular one, but believe its plainly written that most if not all those mentioned were of Jrwish decent!!
    I so truly enjoy these articles & discussions & questions and I too will definitely be taking these courses in the near future!!
    So grateful & find it no accident or irony that I found this study & now don’t even remember how exactly.
    A true blessing!

  21. It probably was because of Perez’s personality that he was chosen; for God looks at the heart. There are many rightfully born people that are evil. (Judas who betrayed the Lord was probably such an individual) I am not condemning him by mentioning his name, his conscience did that, I am mentioning him as a role player.
    About saints; believers are called saints by Paul, believers are not infallible, they have the grace of God.

  22. I am a new believer. Someone pointed out to me the other day that Matthew and Lukes account of the lineage of Jesus goes through Joseph. They said because Joseph wasn’t Jesus actual father, then Jesus wasn’t really from the line of David. I have asked several people about this with no response. Please help.

    • Luke’s genealogy is that of Yeshua’s step father Joseph, and Matthew’s genealogy is that of Mary’s. (The Joseph in this list was Mary’s father to make 14 generations; see the Aramaic version.) Besides this, both parents were from Nazareth which was a village of David’s descendants.

      • Do you understand Nazareth to be a reference to neser/netzer, as in Isaiah 11:! “a branch(netzer) from the root of Jesse” ?

        I have heard this from non-Jewish sources. Is this a traditional Jewish understanding?

      • With all due respect, if Matthew’s genealogy is of Mary, and NOT Joseph as you theorize, then JESUS CHRIST/Yeshua has no Biological/Birth/Blood Right, nor even a Legal Right to the Throne of David! This is due to the curse by GOD of Jeconiah (Coniah); See Jeremiah 22:30

      • With all due respect, if Matthew’s genealogy is of Mary, and NOT Joseph as you theorize, then JESUS CHRIST/Yeshua has no Biological/Birth/Blood Right, nor even a Legal Right to the Throne of David! This is due to the curse by GOD of Jeconiah (Coniah); See Jeremiah 22:30

      • Dear Dr Eli,
        Blessings upon your ministry.
        Could you amplify your view re the genealogies as I thought Matthew’s was Joseph’s and luke’s Mary’s. I can explain why but am curious as to why you think the opposite. Thanks!

        • Luke’s genealogy doesn’t even mention Mary; it works from Yosef, the “supposed” father of Yeshua, all the way back to Adam and God. Matthew’s on the other hand lists only 13 generations in the third and final block, though Matthew says it should be 14. The solution is in the Peshitta’s rendering “gavra” (guardian) in the genealogy (v.16) but distinguishing another Yosef in v.18 by ba’ala (husband). Mary’s hunsband and her father were named Yosef, and that makes 14 generations from Babylon to Yeshua. Ergo, Matthew provides Mary’s genealogy.

    • Because many of Ham’s descendants settled Africa. Cush settled Ethiopia, Mitsrayim is the hebrew name for Egypt, and Put settled Libyia.

    • And thus we have “the curse of Ham” being black skin [beware dripping sarcasm]. Never mind that Ham was not the one that Noah cursed. That would ruin a perfectly good racist worldview and more than a few pulpit sermons. Sigh. Logic is a terrible thing to waste. 🙂

      Not to mention (but i will) that Joseph married an Egyptian and Moses married an Ethiopian – a couple of nice Jewish boys who apparently loved them some Ham. 🙂 🙂

  23. Dr. Eli–Thanks for your posts and clarifications! I’ve not yet taken your courses but look forward to doing so (farmer’s wife w/no steady personal income) so read each new post!
    Re:Gregory on MM–Apparently appealing to “fallen women” of the time to return to church stated little was known of her from scripture and she could’ve been one. Now, centuries later, “tradition” (and New Agers) interpret this as she WAS one.
    Kathie/Nagina–Thanks for clarity! Denise–Keep studying–you’ll be granted answers! Kolitsoe–Christians are not perfect–Just forgiven!
    Neville is right (Mormon church used this reasoning until 1978). Thanks for the questions (and the chuckle!)

  24. I find it interesting that he thought she was a harlot since she covered her face. Where does it say she was a “Temple” harlot?

  25. I recently found your site. As a 78 y.o.and a lifelong believer I find it very interesting to see more Jewish insight being revealed.

  26. Thank you Eli, since i started following comments, on otherwise what i thought i knew before, my understanding on somethings have increased. please continue with the good work you are doing

  27. I have always been interested the “bad girls” in Jesus heritage. This is a great article. Thank You.

  28. It is really interesting of how you give your comments to where you speak about the jew and Hebrew.Romans 2 it declares that we will be Jews not outwardly but inward I become a Jew through Christ Jesus.

    • If the audience of Rom.2 was Gentile, Gabriel, then I might agree with you. But based on Rom.2:17-19, I think it was addressed to Jewish believers at Rome. The point then was that a Jew being Jewish on the outside only means nothing if not a Jew on the inside. But Paul never obligated believers from the nations to become Jewish; in fact he argued against it (Act.15:1-2; Rom.3:29). But they are certainly invited to join Israel through Messiah.

  29. God had Gentiles (non Jews) all along in the plans of salvation of humans (both Jews and Gentiles). Evidently, Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth were not Jews. They were Gentiles. If genealogy is traced back through the woman as some do, there will be no tribe of Judah because it will

  30. I was told by a now deceased family member that my grandmother was Jewish.
    Is there an agency which assists in locating such information? Ancestry.com
    did not provide the answer.I would appreciate any information which could assist me in this search.

  31. end with Tamar. But there is no tribe of Tamar. Is the tribe of Judah because the man carries the seed and Perez is in the lineage of the Lord Jesus as being from the tribe of Judah. Luke’s genealogy of Christ is very particular: X the son of Y,

  32. All the way to Adam, the son of God (Luke 3:38). Both Matthew and Luke are right: They traced the genealogy of Christ through the male lineage—the fathers, not through the mothers. Matthew goes all the way to Abraham, but Luke goes all the way to Adam.

  33. How can the Perez of Ruth be the son of Judah & Tamar? Per Ruth, which takes place during the time of the judges (Ruth 1:1) there are 7 generations to David. But the Perez of Genesis lived at least 450 years earlier.

    • Your estimate of 450 is quite high. From Isaac to the Exodus was 400 years (Gen.15:13,Seder Olam ch.3), and from the Exodus to Solomon was 480 years (1Ki.6:1). There’s no way to be accurate, but using interpolation, I think 300 would be a ceiling estimate for the span from Perez to Ruth.

  34. The Orthodox Church views Tamar as a courageous woman who strove to establish justice and Mary Magdalene as the first witness of the Resurrection.

  35. Could the reason for female ancestry for Jewish people be because a good number of males were castrated when Judah was exiled especially royalty and government officials?

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