Tamar In The Bible: The Passages Of The Bible

1602 Words 7 Pages
There are multiple ways to interpret the passages of the Bible. Differences in interpretation may be attributed to the discrepancy between the ancient authors and modern readers, or due to the lack of detail that is left for the audience to infer. Tamar is a woman described in Genesis 38 whom faces a conflict and has to decipher how to deal with it. Whether she is depicted as honorable or corrupted is based on individual justification. Tamar is justified in her actions of sleeping with her stepfather because of the levirate law and preserving the family lineage. According to Bergant, Tamar is considered a burden to her own family because after her husband’s death, she does not have the ability to remarry. This leaves Tamar remaining in a …show more content…
Once she had draped a veil over her face to conceal her identity, and allowed for Judah’s sexual desire to commence. It is controversial in whether Tamar “seduces him and cleverly secures personal belongings” according to McKeown, or “does nothing to prompt Judah; she merely sits at the roadside” (McKeown 167) (Jeansonne 103). In my opinion, she had done nothing but place herself in the right place at the right time in hope that the plan of her being noticed by Judah would work. She had not lost sense of her original identity and according to Keck, she must not be identified as a prostitute, “Tamar’s putting her widow’s garments off and on symbolize continuity in identification as the widow of Er” (Keck 605). With knowledge of returning to her initial identity of a widow, to a harlot was just a ruse. It emphasizes her intentions of these actions for the sole purpose of her husband. After Judah had initially deceived her, she rationalized her actions to deceive him and take responsibility to follow the law and bring honor to her …show more content…
Janzen addresses the point of Judah having three sons, and God struck two down to death. Newsom and Ridge remark that Judah is more fearful of Tamar because she “survived two husbands and boldly bettered him,” and tries his best to keep his distance from her (Newsom, Ridge 23). This accumulates pressure on Judah, as he wants to continue his own lineage, yet he would be considered weak to admit his fear a woman.
Since Tamar was the wife of Er, it is easy to blame her as the reason for his downfall. Women are biblically known to be the nature of sin, and therefore Judah thought he was justified in deceiving Tamar to wait for Shelah to grow up. Judah fears that Shelah would die also, “Judah fears Tamar as a witch of sorts who kills her lovers or as the lover of a demon who will not share her with any human man” (Newsom, Ringe 22). It is easy for Judah to take the side of his sons if he suspected that their death would come shortly due to

Related Documents