Let’s Start with Tamar – Part 2   5 comments

Yesterday,  I started my study into the life of Tamar (Tammy).  Getting background information on this subject has been interesting to say the least.  My brother Steve The Temple  gave me some hints on what to look for as well – Thank You! 

The following website was very helpful and fun to explore:

Women in the Bible

Elizabeth Fletcher’s site offers historical background and I really enjoyed her synopsis of the story:

1 Tamar married, but remained childless, Genesis 38:1-11. Tamar married into the family of Judah, first to
Judah’s son Er and then, after his death, to Onan his brother. Because of Onan’s actions, she did not become pregnant. For a Jewish woman, this meant disgrace, because people thought that being childless was a punishment from God.  

 

2 She claimed her Levirite rights, Genesis 38:12-19. Eventually, Tamar had to trick
Judah in order to obtain a child. By ancient Hebrew standards, her actions were legal and morally right.  

3 She was accused of promiscuity, Genesis 38:20-26. Because she did not name the father of her child, it was assumed that she had been promiscuous, and
Judah sentenced her to be burnt to death. But she saved herself by a clever ploy.

4 She bore twin sons, Genesis 38:27-30. Her tenacity was rewarded with the birth of sons, one of whom would be the ancestor of King David.The story describes the way a widow, Tamar, obtained a child for herself, and an heir for her dead husband’s inheritance. It shows a virtuous woman who risked everything, her life and her reputation, to get what was rightfully hers. It is part of the continuing Jewish preoccupations with social justice. The story also shows one of the main themes of the Book of Genesis: God’s promise to continue the Jewish people, through many generations, against all odds.  

My brother-in-law Nick has a fun library!  I found two books that had some great insight.  One was “The Genesis Record” by Henry M Morris and the other is “Genesis Volume 3 Living by Faith  Genesis 37-50” by James Montgomery Boice.

The Genesis Record had this to say:

Tamar, therefore, had the distinction of being one of the few women whose names are listed in the official geneology of Jesus.  The others were Rahab, Ruth and the one who had been the wife of Uriah,  that is Bathsheba.  It is remarkable that all four of these women were non-Jews who had been won by other witnesses to the true faith of Jehovah. Tamar was a Canaanite, Rahab a native of Jericho and thus presumably also a Canaanite, Ruth was a Moabitess, and Bathsheba probably a Hittite. Each of the four came into the family of Judah and Israel by morally dubious means.   Yet in spite of the apparently unsavory past of these women, each one became a strong and faithful believer in God; and God signally honored them by placing them in the geologicaly line of the Messiah. What a marvelous testimony to God’s grace, and the truth that God forgives past sins and brings new life!

The following is in Boice’s book:  

He starts by quoting a commentator (Robert S Candlish):

That in his geneology he should be mixed up with human sorrow and human sin, is fitting type of his being, when he comes, a man of sorrows-a friend of publicans and sinners-calling not the righteous but sinners to repentance.  This blot upon his escutcheon-this bar-sinister across his crest-this blight in his family tree-this taint of heathenism and of harlotry in his ancestral blood-is ordained of set purpose.  It is ordained to abase the lordly pride and pomp of lineage of the most renowned-to put a mockery on earth’s highest glory.  It is ordained also to mark the grace and condescension of the Most High, who gives his holy and beloved Son-that Son most freely consenting-to be one of our unclean and guilty race and to come-all holy and righteous as he is in himself-into personal contact and conflict with its guilt and its uncleaness, ‘his onw self bearing our sins on his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness’ (I Peter 2:24).

The story challenges despair, because in the midst of this great sin we nevertheless see the great mercy of God.

The Bibles says, ” Where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Romans 5:20).  It was true in Judah and Tamar’s day and it is true in our time also.  Nothing is better calculated to draw us to the source of such unmerited favor.

Steve, I think this is where the verses in Acts fit in! 

Acts 10:34-35

Then Peter started speaking: 90  “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, 91  10:35 but in every nation 92  the person who fears him 93  and does what is right 94  is welcomed before him.

This is the welcome song for all us Gentiles who believe in the true God!  Thank you Jesus! 

I will wrap up my thoughts on Tammy tomorrow and then comes Rahab!

Posted March 7, 2007 by Lana G! in Bible, Bible Study, Christianity, Jesus

5 responses to “Let’s Start with Tamar – Part 2

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  1. The women in the Bible site looks interesting. I bookmarked it to check out later. Love your studying heart!
    Ellen

  2. Morris touches on it but doesn’t quite develop it fully…think about this. If you were Mary, and held to your wild story about a virgin birth, imagine the ridicule. “The Messiah born of a whore…no way” would have been the criticism. Matthew beautifully responds without being petty, he says, look at your own genealogy; Tamar plays the prostitute, Bathsheba the Adulteress, Rahab doesn’t play act, she actually is. Don’t get too high and mighty about the genealogy of David, or the acts of David. It is not simply God honoring them, it is Matthews response to slander.

  3. I just figured out what you meant in your comment Steve!

    Okay, Matthew is talking to the Jews and the Jews are ragging on Mary being a whore and no way would the Messiah be born of a whore.

    This is where I lost you previously but have now caught on – I think –

    Matthew is saying to the Jews in a nice way – look at the geneology that you are saying the Messiah is going to come from – the Davidic line- this line had some dysfuntion. So, Jesus being born of a supposed whore (Mary) gives them pause why? By George I think I’ve got it!

    His naming these women was actually defending Mary who they thought was a whore. He’s saying nicely, lots of moms in the Davidic Line have just the same if not worse backgrounds.

    Did I get that right?

  4. Yeah, Pots calling the kettle black, and she was innocent…They are going to do that a lot to Jesus.

  5. WOW this is quite remarkable, and shows that God can use who He may, so we must never look down on another for that may be the very person that God use to push us into our destiny. Thank you for researching this.

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