Reading through the Bible: day 25

Genesis 38 – 40

Judah’s sins

Judah ignored the custom of giving his son to his daughter in law after Oman is killed by God for violating the custom. I’m pretty sure we aren’t expected to keep this custom anymore, so it would seem a harsh punishment, but disobeying God in the Old Testament often resulted in severe punishment, and I suppose Hell is pretty severe.

I find it fascinating that no issue was made of Judah sleeping with a woman he thought was a prostitute. It only became an issue when it turned out to be his daughter-in-law. Obviously men sleeping with prostitutes wasn’t as big a thing in a polygamous society.

How about that veil

I have plenty literature from Muslims, trying to support the veil. They generally cite Genesis 24:65 as a sign that women should veil themselves out of modesty. They then criticise Christians for ignoring this custom. What isn’t surprising is that they never point out that Judah identified Tamar as a prostitute because of the veil, so it is unclear what the veil means.

Jacob’s garment

After Jacob had become prosperous as a slave (which seems odd to us, since we have a completely different view of what slave means from what they did) Potiphar’s wife became enamoured with him. After many failed attempts at adultery, she got him alone and he fled, leaving his garment. This was probably one of those little towel like things wrapped around the waste that slaves are often seen wearing in ancient Egyptian art, and thus came off quite easily.

What are your thoughts?


Please give the reading through the Bible page a look if you haven’t already, there are some background posts and the index to this reading plan. Share it with others who you think can benefit from Reading through the Bible.

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