Halo. Thanks for joining us for another installment of The Pledge. We begin today with Tamar’s story. If you’re just joining us, you can read the story from the beginning by clicking here. Enjoy.
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The story of Judah and Tamar began with Judah, but continues with Tamar, twenty years later. Like Judah, she is a young woman when she leaves her father’s house, but for an altogether different reason: marriage.
Considered a beautiful girl by the young men of the city, she is not at a loss for suitors. But there was only one man she wants: Er, the oldest son of Judah ben Jacob. He is handsome and charming, with a beautiful smile that filled his face, and a beard closely shaved so that the outline of his face wasn’t lost. He is lean and muscular; and takes great care of his appearance. And though he has a throng of women who fawned after him, he is not married, or even betrothed. Tamar can’t understand why, and before another girl can do so, she goes to her father, Chiyrah, to arrange the marriage.
Sitting on her knees at her father’s feet, Tamar begs, “Father, please.”
Her mother, Adara, enters the room to remove her husband’s plate and snaps at her.
“Leave your father be and come help with the food.”
Tamar knows she must obey, but not if she is to marry Er. She turns her attention back to her father, who grabs the last bit of food before Adara takes his plate, handing him another mug of beer. “Think about what it would mean for your business,” she continues.
It is common knowledge that Judah came from money, but in the years since he moved to Adullam, he had increased his wealth ten-fold. His livestock were the pride of the area and all traders fought to deal with him, knowing his product was good. As a trader, Chiyrah traveled the country selling and buying wares not found in Adullam. It was a profitable business, but if he could join his house with Judah’s, providing him with a means to sell his livestock, then the merger would prove fruitful for everyone.
Chiyrah sits back, his belly full, and connects his eyes to Tamar.
“Do you know what kind of man he is?” he asks simply.
No, she thinks to herself, and truthfully, she doesn’t care. By the grave tone of his voice, Tamar understands not all of Judah is good. But how could he be, to make and maintain a fortune like his? And besides…
“He is not the one I wish to marry,” she responds, naively.
Chiyrah is not a man of many words, nor is he the emotional type, but there is something in his countenance, his body language that makes Tamar think he is about to refuse her request. She is disheartened, but determined, knowing she is fated to marry Er, to be the best wife he could hope for; to make him happy and raise his children to honor their father …
Her father sighs and with resignation in his voice, says, “I will talk to Judah ben Jacob.”