It happened about three months later, that it was told Judah, saying, “Tamar, your daughter-in-law, has played the prostitute; and moreover, behold, she is with child by prostitution.”
Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burnt.” When she was brought out, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man, whose these are, I am with child.” She also said, “Please discern whose are these—the signet, and the cords, and the staff.”
Judah acknowledged them, and said, “She is more righteous than I, because I didn’t give her to Shelah, my son.”
He knew her again no more. It happened in the time of her travail, that behold, twins were in her womb. When she travailed, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This came out first.” It happened, as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out, and she said, “Why have you made a breach for yourself?” Therefore his name was called Perez. Afterward his brother came out, that had the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called Zerah.
It is interesting that God’s Law does say that the daughter of a priest that chooses to go into prostitution should be burned with fire, see Leviticus 21:9. It also says, however, that a man should not give his daughter up to prostitution, see Leviticus 19:29. It was also wrong to be with a prostitute at all! (see Leviticus 18:20.) Once again, there are some cultures that treat women very badly, but that is far from what God approves. God is the only good judge and
here we find out who was more righteous.
God expects far more from believers in Jesus than He did of Judah at the time of Genesis. We have been given a great deal more than he was. We, as Christians, have been given God’s Spirit as a permanent resident in our bodies. God expects us to act like it by allowing His power to show by how we behave.
We see here that Judah realized that he was not as good as Tamar even though Tamar had “played the prostitute.” It is also quite interesting that God gave her two sons, not just one. Her life up to that point had been a huge disappointment, in that she had two husbands who died and no children. She was blessed in a very big way in the end. God turned her dishonor into honor. No matter what happens to believers here on earth, one day, God will turn our dishonor into honor as well.
Satan may have been influencing Judah and his sons, but God won in the end. The line of Jesus was preserved and salvation was right on schedule.