WIVES OF ESAU, TAMAR
Learn: Titus 3:5-7
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Read: Genesis 36:1-43, we will focus on verses 1- 12
1.What are the names and lineage of the 3 wives of Esau? vv 2, 3
NOTE: On the surface there would seem to be a contradiction between the names given in this passage and the names given in Genesis 26:34; 28:9. But, upon further study, we learn that it was not uncommon for one person to have two names, using a different name at different times of life. The three groups of peoples known as Hittites, Hivites, and Horites were scattered throughout Canaan, and there was much intermarriage, thus their names were frequently used interchangeably.
2. Why did Esau leave the land of Canaan with his wives and children? vv 6, 7
3. Where did Esau establish his home and become the father of a nation? v 8
4. Of what nation was Esau the father? v 9
5. The people of Amalek were constant enemies of Israel, what was their relationship to Esau? vv 10-12
Read: Genesis 37:1-36
Read: Genesis 38: 1-30
1.Judah was the 4th son of Jacob and Leah, where did he find a wife, and what was her name? vv 1, 2
2. What were the names of the children that Shuah bore to Judah? vv 3-5
3. What was the name of the wife that Judah choose for his firstborn son? v 6
4. What were the characters of Judah’s two oldest boys, and what did the Lord do? vv 7-10
NOTE: Levirate marriage (the marriage of a widow to the brother of her deceased husband to give the deceased husband a descendant) was widely practiced and later incorporated into the law of Moses. Onan’s refusal to perform this duty stemmed from his desire to have the inheritance of the firstborn for himself (normally it would have gone to Tamar’s child, even though fathered by Onan). Ryrie Study Bible p 68, Comments on Genesis 38:8-9
5. What did Judah tell his daughter Tamar to do after God’s judgment on her two husbands, which had left her widow? v 11
6. Did Judah follow through with his promise to Tamar? v 14b
7. Judah’s wife Shuah died. After a suitable mourning period, he went about his daily life. How did Tamar enter back into the family of Judah, though he had neglected his promise to her? vv 13-16a
8. What payment did Tamar require from Judah for services rendered? vv 16b-18a
9. What was the reason that Tamar carried out this deception upon Judah? v 18b
10. Tamar went back to her life of widowhood. What did Judah do? vv 20-23
11. What occurred about 3 months after Tamar became pregnant by Judah? v 24
12. How did Tamar defend herself from being burned for adultery? v 25
NOTE: It is obvious that Tamar knew enough about Judah to be assured that once he knew the truth of her pregnancy, that he would treat her fairly. That is why she had been able to confidently go ahead with her plan to have a child by him.
13. How did Judah make right the wrong that he had done to Tamar by not giving her the promised husband, thus making her a perpetual widow, and so denying her the promised heir to the family inheritance? v 26
14. What was the fruit of the illicit relationship of Tamar and Judah? vv 27-30
NOTE: It is hard to understand all the implications of what Tamar did. She had come from an ungodly Canaanite background, but she had been promised by Judah a place in the family of Israel (the people of God) by her father-in-law Judah. It was not her fault that Judah’s sons had been so wicked and that they had brought God’s judgment upon themselves. Judah failed to keep his agreement with Tamar, so she took matters into her own hands to gain what had been promised to her. Neither was Judah guiltless in seeking a sexual relationship outside of marriage, for he certainly knew that it was a sin against God. This record is certainly a sad commentary on a son of Israel who knew what was right and yet did that which was wrong.
15. What behavior in the life of Judah, that in spite of his failure to keep his word to Tamar, and then the sexual sin, showed that he had a heart towards the ways of God?
16. In spite of the sin of Tamar, what behavior in her life showed that she had a heart’s desire that was pleasing to the LORD?
17. How do we know that Tamar must have repented of her deception and playing the harlot, and that the LORD accepted her, even though her repentance is not recorded for us in the Scriptures? Matthew 1:1-3
18. What part did both Judah and Tamar have in God’s promise to bless the whole world through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s descendants? Matthew 1: 1-6, 18, 21; John 1:29; I Timothy 1:15
19. What was the spiritual condition of both Judah and Tamar, and in fact all people that have ever lived? I Corinthians 6:9, 10
20. What made the difference in the lives of Tamar and Judah, so that they were able to be part of the lineage of Christ in this world and inherit eternal life and be in the kingdom of God in the next world?
I Corinthians 6:11
21. When did God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit make the plan of salvation that would bring the Son into the world to accomplish this plan using people such as Judah and Tamar?
See I Peter 1:18-21, especially note verse 20.
22. What does I Peter 1:20 tell us about the character of God?