Women in the Bible: Tamar
Tamar is a victim who takes extreme action to vindicate herself. She’s the daughter-in-law of Judah. She suffers at his hand, responds with guile, and has twins with him. Later she is one of four women mentioned in Jesus’s family tree. Talk about a messed-up situation. Here’s her story:
Tamar marries Judah’s oldest son. He’s evil and dies. She’s passed on to his brother to produce offspring in his stead. The brother doesn’t cooperate, and God kills him. Judah promises Tamar his third son when he’s old enough and sends her back to live with her parents to wait. He has no intention of following through. He lies to her.
Tamar Takes Extreme Action to Get What Is Due Her
Once she realizes this, she dresses like a hooker, and waits where she knows Judah will be. Not knowing who she is, he sleeps with her, and she gets pregnant. He uses her.
When Judah finds out his daughter-in-law is pregnant, he condemns her to die.
Then she reveals who the father is. Judah confesses his role, and he professes his daughter-in-law as righteous. They, along with their son Perez, are part of Jesus’ genealogy.
Tamar’s drastic steps ensure she will have a family and be cared for; God ensures she has a legacy.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.