• Marilyn Franklin

Search For Significance - Final Episode

When we last leftA Search for SignificanceTamar was still waiting.

During this time, Tamar recognized her quest was over; she was pregnant! Tamar must have been secretly elated and scared at the same time. Scared because the penalty for an unmarried woman to be pregnant was death. Tamar’s pregnancy could not be concealed for long. When her secret was discovered, and she was being dragged out to be killed, Tamar could have screamed in the hearing of everyone that her father-in-law had unknowingly fulfilled the levirate marriage. Instead, of shaming Judah publicly, she sent a message to him. “ ‘I am pregnant by the man who owns these,’ she said. And she added, ‘See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are (Genesis 38:2).’ ” Tamar was courageous in giving Judah the choice to acknowledge the truth or to keep silent and let her die. This shows that we don’t have to shame others even if we know the truth about them or believe we have the truth.

Tamar may have been mistreated by her first husband; she certainly was sexually used by her second and betrayed by her father-in-law. Yet she had the courage to take responsibility for her life. We may be inclined to judge Tamar’s choice to entrap her father-in-law. However, Judah said she was more righteous than he because he did not keep his promise. Tamar finally gained her significance by giving birth to twin sons. The older of the two was named Perez. In the book of Ruth, not only was Ruth and Boaz’s marriage a levirate marriage, but the blessing pronounced on them was that their family be like Perez’s, which suggests that Tamar raised a Godly man, who also became a progenitor of Jesus, the Christ.

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