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A "breach" in Genesis

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  • A "breach" in Genesis

    This is an article that I have used prievously on Sandy's forum. I thought that I would post it here to see if it aroused any comments. The only chapter of the tanakh that is devoted exclusively to the line of Yahudah is in the 38th chapter of Genesis and seems inserted here, possibly at a later time then then the inclusion of the story of Joseph in Egypt. It seems to me that chapter 39 of Genesis should follow chapter 37. The article that follows concerns Genesis chapter 38 and the breach that occours in the line of David. Perez means "breach".

    I want to add a possible connection to the link between the name of YHWH and Yahudah. It follows the plight of the firstborns in the torah. Abraham has a son, Ishmael, by Sarah's handmaid. This is his firstborn. But he's not destined to become Abrahams heir. Isaac will take his place. (Next generation) Jacob is one of twins born to Isaac. Esau is firstborn, Jacob clutching his heel as they leave the womb. Jacob plays thief, taking both Esau's birthrite and his blessing. (Next generation) Reuben is caught sleeping with his mothers handmaid defiling his fathers bed. His rite's goes to Joseph. (Next generation) Josephs sons are ready to recieve their blessing from an aged Jacob. Jacob crosses his hands and blesses Ephraim with Manasseh's blessing. Also note that neither David or Solomon are firstborns. And now we have to go to the 38th chapter of Genesis to catch a story sandwiched in between these generations. Here is another story of twins. Yahudah marries a cananite against the will of his patriarchs (Gen.24:3,4;Gen.28:1) He has three children by his cananite wife. YHWH gets upset and kills ER, his firstborn, husband of Tamar. Yahudah tells (Or), his second born to fulfil the obligation of a brother and father heirs to his brother. (Or) withdraws himself and spills his seed on the ground rather than impregnate his brothers wife. YHWH becomes angry and kills (Or). Yahudah tells Tamar to wait until his final son grows up and he will send Shelah to her to father heirs. Shelah grows up, but Yahudah has already lost two sons to Tamar so he breaches his promise. Tamar see's that Shelah is grown, but is not sent to her so she plays the harlet, hiding her face so Yahudah does not know who she is. On his way to shearing sheep, his own wife having died, he inquires of her services and gives her the symbols of his name to hold until he can provide her with a lamb for payment. And so Tamar shows up pregnant. As she is not supposed to be in that condition, it's decided to burn her. Then she tells Yahudah that she's pregnant by him to whom the symbols of his name belong. He confesses that she is more righteous than he because he did not give Shelah to her. When it becomes time for her to bear, there are twins in her womb. One child reaches out his hand and the midwife ties a red thread to his wrist declaring,"this one came out first". Afterwards Perez is born followed closely by Zerah. Now, does the firstborn supplant the firstborn? This may be why YHWH looks so much like the name of Yhwdh(Yahudah). Isa.46:3,4 states that YHWH gives birth to his people. Jer.13:11 states that YHWH wraps his people around himself like a girdle. It helps if the image of YHWH is filled with his name. I want to add that Yahudah gives birth to his father and his brothers in Isa.48:1. This may open up some understanding to the importance of the name of Yahudah in relationship to the allegory that it holds with the name of YHWH in the tanakh. Is it posible for a people to share a name with their Eloheem? ----Michael

  • #2
    Shabbat shalom, Michael,

    Your post is interesting, but Yahudah is only one of the 12 tribes of Jacob. At the end they'll be united. Today the country is called Israel, but the people are said to be Yahudim. Only in Hebrew you can tell the name of Yahweh in it. In the Goyim languages HaShem is covered up. I am not sure if I understand your point about the breach.

    I can see more than one breach, but it all depends on what do you call a breach. When Yahudah lay with Tamar he didn't say, "OK, I'm gonna breach a promise in here." He didn't even know who she was. Good thing that Tamar got pregnant, otherwise we would have no story to tell.
    "...and the truth will set you free."--Jesus Christ


    • #3
      Shalom stranger, in the end Yahudah will give birth to the other tribes bringing them all under the name of YHWH. (Isa.48:1) The breach in Gen.38 is the work of the author(s). If you don't read it as history, but instead read the chapters as a novel, The author ceases to be a historian and becomes creater of his story. So if the author writes "don't marry a cannanite" and two generations later a cannanite is married, It usually contributes somthing to his story. If the author makes sure that the firstborn doesn,t end up in the seat of honor except once, you can bet that he who fills the breach has an important role in his story. The author is maneuvering things about to make sure that his story ends up the way he wants it to. I need to mention that YHWH promises only to put his name in one tribe. Deut.12:5-Ps.78:67,68. When Tamar slept with Judah, she asked for the symbols of his name in exchange for her services. This isn't the work of Tamar and Judah, It's the work of a busy author. I realize that we as mere mortals aren't supposed to read the tanakh in this way, but doing so allows for some startling revelations. So suppose again, that much of this history never really happened. Suppose there is no witness to the great naming (Gen.2:19), and no trail of writings dating back to the beginning. The author must have written this based on either something he heard or else it indicates that names are central to the author's story. Is the author trying to cover his people, who are created to look like YHWH, with YHWH's name? Maybe, to the author, the tree of life is the name of YHWH and he's tring to get all his people to take a bite and become like YHWH. Looking for the author is like taking a flashlight under the blankets. Stay tuned for the next exciting chapter. ....Michael
      Last edited by Thummim; 03-10-2001, 09:39 AM.