Tamar, the is 1st woman listed in Matthew:1 (The Genealogy of Jesus). Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah. She was married to his oldest Son Er who was evil in the sight of God and put to death. By Levirate rights/law Er’s brother Onan must take her for a wife and once again she finds herself treated in a disrespectful way.
Levitate Rights: Tamar Had these rights but was not allowed to claim them for herself because of what Onan did to her. The law said if a married man died without children, it was the duty of the brother or other near relative to marry the widow. The son of the union would be reckoned to be the son of the first husband. Onan knew if he made a child with her, that child would get an inheritance that was the right of his brothers child. With his brother gone, he and his children would be able to claim the right of the first-born. That meant he used Tamar for sex but Scripture says that he let his semen spell on the ground. For a Jewish woman it meant disgrace and people thought being childless was a punishment from God.
God than puts Onan to death because of how he treats Her. She was promised to be married to Judah’s 3rd son who was very young. Tamar is now left waiting for the third son to grow up. Two husbands have died for treating her so poorly. One used her. She had no children, and that was looked down on. Now she is waiting for a boy to grow up and she is not sure he will become her husband.
Eventually Judah’s wife dies and Tamar takes matters into her own hands. She dresses as a prostitute and sits by the road waiting for Judah to pass. He thinks she is a prostitute and has sex with her. He promises her a payment but she asks for his signet, cord and staff to hold until payment is brought. They are Judah’s seal. In other words they are ancient version of our personal ID. They are how he would prove his identity and now she has them in her hands. Judah sends a friend with her payment in exchange for his things. She is gone… 3 months later she is pregnant and Judah wants her burned for her sin. Judah asks her by whom are you pregnant? “By the man whom these belong, I am pregnant” she says, as she shows him his possessions.
Tamar got justice for herself. According to the law she had rights but her means of achieving those rights were extreme and not my right to judge. She fought for her inheritance and in her we see how important it is for us to also fight for what is ours. By that I mean our spiritual inheritance. We are daughters of the one true God, heirs in Christ and we should let nothing take that from us. God rewarded Tamar’s tenacity and determination with the birth of sons. One became an ancestor of King David, Israel’s great hero. She is counted in the genealogy of Jesus. You my sister are also worthy to call yourself part of God’s family.
To see Tamar’s full story, read Genesis:38
Until next week,
May you be Simply Blessed.