Happy Thursday. This week seems to be flying by, and that’s always a good thing, especially when you’re looking forward to the weekend for a little rest. Today’s post finishes up the scene that was begun on Tuesday, the turning point, in my opinion, of the story. More often than not, we are in denial of what a situation really is and Tamar has had to confront her reality. You can read the story from the beginning by clicking here. And thanks for stopping by my blog.
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Before she can reply, though, he says, “Go to bed.”
This is what he always told her when she waited up for him. And she never questioned him, just obeyed. Not this time, though. Finding her courage, Tamar rises from her chair and looks him in the eye. Er stares at her, visibly annoyed with her presence, but now her defiance too.
“Where were you?” she asks quickly.
“Go to bed,” he repeats, more forcefully than before.
“No. I want to know where you were and …who you were with.”
She really didn’t, but there was no other way to broach the subject. Er didn’t respond immediately but only laughed. And if he felt any compulsion about his actions, he didn’t show it.
“Let’s see…there was the one prostitute of Ba’al Mot – she was a ripe one. And Elder Malchot’s slave, I don’t remember which one…”
Tamar blushes at his candor.
“There was also the shopkeeper’s daughter – a little naïve, but definitely …”
“Have you no shame?” she interrupts, too embarrassed to feel hurt.
“For what?” he asks, moving menacingly towards her. Seeing this, Tamar digs her heels in and holds her head up.
“I am your wife!”
Er stops and raises his hand, and for a moment, she thinks he will hit her. But he doesn’t. He presses his face into hers and says, “Had it been up to me, I would have never married you.”
The words are like a knife going into her heart. His acquiescence had been the one thing she had held onto this past year, when their marriage seemingly began to disintegrate. Unsettled by his words, Tamar pulls away from him.
“You’ve been nothing but a burden, always underfoot, like you have no sense of your own. No wonder Imma calls you dim-witted. Why would I ever choose to marry someone like you?”
Because of your father, she thinks. And rather than let him tear her down, she allows this knowledge fuel her anger, because if Judah agreed to the marriage, then she was worthy of him.
“You can’t treat me this way. My father is…”
He cuts her off.
“No one. He’s a nobody who only serves to advance my avi.”
Shot down too quickly, Tamar returns with, “I will tell Judah.”
Er laughs once again, before taking a seat at the table and putting his feet up.
“Go ahead. I am his son, his firstborn. If you cause trouble for me, try to bring charges against me, he will make sure you burn for it. And besides, the man has known more women than I have. Certainly that is something to aspire towards.”
Er says this so casually, Tamar is taken back. If threatening Er with Judah didn’t work, then there was nothing she could do. She lets her shoulders slump, knowing Er has won.
“You and I are stuck in this, but I will not be confined to a marriage I did not agree to. So you will keep your mouth shut and do what you’re supposed to do,” Er says, with certain finiteness in his voice, “Now go back to bed so I can get some sleep.” He closes his eyes and leans his head back, not even waiting for her to respond.