The Women Ancestors of Jesus—Part 1: Tamar (Study Guide)


Download “Jesus’ Family Tree” by Joel Beeke (PDF) • Download “From Abraham to Jesus” Chart (PDF) • Download Part One: Tamar (Study Guide)” (PDF) • Part Two: Rahab & Ruth (Study Guide)”

Scripture Readings: Genesis 37: 25-28, 38, 49:8-12; Ruth 4:7-22; Matthew 1:1-6

"Judah and Tamar" by School of Rembrandt, ca. 1650-1660 (click to enlarge)
“Judah and Tamar” by School of Rembrandt, ca. 1650-1660 (click to enlarge)

1. Read Genesis 37:25-28. What was Judah’s role in Joseph being sold as a slave?

2. Read Genesis 38:1-5. Where did Judah go to take a wife?

Was Judah’s marriage acceptable to Abraham’s family line? (Genesis 24:1-4; 28:1)

3. Read Genesis 38:6-11. Judah had three sons, and Er the oldest son married Tamar. Why did Er and the second son die?

Why did the two other sons have to marry Tamar, after each of the two oldest son died? (Deut 25:5-10)

Why did Judah refuse to give Shelah, his third son, as a husband to Tamar?

Why did Tamar not marry a Canaanite like herself?

4. Read Genesis 38:12-23. What drove Tamar to allow sexual relationship with Judah, her father-in-law?

Why did Tamar ask Judah for a pledge before she agreed?

What pledge did he break?

5. Read Genesis 38:24-26. What was Judah’s reaction to the news that Tamar was pregnant by immorality?

Why did he say “She is more righteous than I” after he finds out that Tamar was pregnant by him?

6. Read Genesis 49:8-12. Did Judah truly repent of his evil deeds? Why or why not?

7. Read Genesis 38:27-30. Even though Zerah came out first, Perez is considered the firstborn (Gen 46:12; Num 26:20). What is the significance of this small detail in the twins’ birth?

8. Read Ruth 4:9-12, 19-22; Matthew 1:1-6. How is Tamar related to Jesus?

9. Read Matthew 1:1-6 again. In addition to Tamar, who are the women included in Jesus’ genealogy?

Who among these women are Gentiles?

What kind of reputations do these women have?

10. What is the significance of these features in Jesus’ genealogy in the history of salvation? (Gen 49:8-12)

Compare Joseph’s and Judah’s characters. How important is it that Jesus came from Judah’s—not from Joseph’s—line?


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