Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One Desperate Housewife

Most girls dream of their fairy-tale wedding.  Swans waddling around the tulip border, lace, flowers, and a to die for groom.  Sounds pretty good, right?  Well, here is one scandalous story you will never forget.  Wisked away from her family to marry a man named Er, this girl's honeymoon would be no fairy-tale.  Er was an evil man, not exactly the GQ guy a girl dreams of.  Er was so wicked actually that the Lord puts him to death.  Grab a cup of coffee it gets better.   

So, in those days, it was the obligation of the next eldest son to take his brother's wife.  So Tamar, was a "hand me down" bride to Er's brother Onan.  So, Onan's father Judah, told him to lay with Tamar so that she could become pregnant.  But, Onan, knowing that the child would technically give Er a "win" per say, decided he would "spill his semen on the ground" against Tamar's knowledge.  In those days, you were only as good as the amount of children you bore.  Scary thought, isn't it?  The Lord saw what Onan had done and he killed him too. So, big daddy Judah, decides to send Tamar back to her family.  He promises her that when his youngest son is old enough to marry, then Tamar can marry him.  Can you imagine being a part of this family?  The sons are dying off left and right and the daughter-in-law is being borrowed like a good blouse.  But, Judah never really intended to allow his youngest son to marry her.  And after some time, Judah's wife died.  And after he grieved for her, he and a friend went to Timnah.  Well, our scorned girl Tamar heard that her father-in-law was coming to town.  Okay, get ready for this...

Tamar takes off her widow's clothes, covers her face with a veil, and sits down on the road to Timnah. She knew that Shelah was obviously not going to be her husband and she was desperate to conceive. You would think that men would wise up and realize there is nothing more dangerous than a woman scorned! Judah comes across Tamar on the road and thinks she is a prostitute.  And since her face is covered, he has no idea it's really his daughter-in-law.  So, he propositions her, "Come now, let me sleep with you."  But Tamar has learned a lesson or two in deception from these boys and says "And what will you give me to sleep with you?" Well, there is nothing like a goat to melt a girl's heart.  That's right, he promises her a young goat from his flock, but she asks that he leave something with her as a pledge until the goat is delivered.  So, Judah leaves his seal and its cord and his staff.  So Judah sleeps with his daughter-in-law and she becomes pregnant with twins.  

Three months pass. When Judah hears that his Tamar is pregnant; he is furious! He hears that she has defiled herself as a prostitute and that is why she was able to conceive.  Judah decides the best punishment for such behavior is to burn her to death.  So, Tamar sends a message to her father-in-law and says "the man who owns this staff and cord is the father of my child."  Judah recognizes his belongings and says, "She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn't give her to my son Shelah."  Now that is one family of dirty old men and a tale of one desperate housewife!  Talk about scandalous!