Genesis 38:24

Hebrew Bible

23 Judah said, “Let her keep the things for herself. Otherwise we will appear to be dishonest. I did indeed send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.” 24 After three months Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has turned to prostitution, and as a result she has become pregnant.” Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” 25 While they were bringing her out, she sent word to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these belong.” Then she said, “Recognize* the one to whom the seal, cord, and staff belong.”

Leviticus 21:9

Hebrew Bible

8 You must sanctify him because he presents the food of your God. He must be holy to you because I, the Lord who sanctifies you all, am holy. 9 If a daughter of a priest profanes herself by engaging in prostitution, she is profaning her father. She must be burned to death. 10 “‘The high priest—who is greater than his brothers, and on whose head the anointing oil is poured, and who has been ordained to wear the priestly garments—must neither dishevel the hair of his head nor tear his garments.

Pseudo Jonathan Genesis 38:24


And Jehuda said, Lest she should have taken the pledge, lest we become a laughing stock, behold, I have sent this goat, and thou canst not find her. And it was at the time of three months, that she was known to be with child: and it was told to Jehuda, saying Tamar thy daughter‑in‑law hath committed fornication and, behold, she is with child by fornication. And Jehuda said, Is she not the daughter of a priest. Let her be brought forth and burned. Tamar was brought forth to be burned, and she searched for the three pledges, but found them not.

 Notes and References

"... In the Pentateuch, burning occurs as a form of punishment three times. It occurs in the narrative of Judah and tamar: “about three months later Judah was told: ‘Tamar your daughter-in-law has committed fornication; and moreover, she is pregnant by fornication.’ and Judah said: ‘bring her out, and let her be burned’” (Genesis 38:24). In addition, it appears twice in Leviticus, in 21:9, concerning the law with respect to the daughter of a priest (“if the daughter of a priest profanes herself through fornication, she profanes her father; she shall be burned in fire”) and in 20:14, a prohibition against intercourse with a woman and her mother (“If a man takes a wife and her mother also, it is wickedness; they shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you”). The story of Genesis 38 seems to stand in contrast with Leviticus 21:9, unless one assumes that Tamar is the daughter of a priest. (This view is put forth in Genesis Rabbah 85:10 and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan 38:24) ..."

van Ruiten, J. Abraham in the Book of Jubilees: The Rewriting of Genesis 11:26-25:10 in the Book of Jubilees 11:14-23:8 (p. 269) Brill, 2012

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