Tamar took the bold step to take a rational risk, lamenting bitterly and loudly to herself:
“I have become a prisoner of woes,
A foretaste of depression
An icon of ignominy
Its been 10 years of misery, I am unfulfilled: a married but single woman, I am alone in my world of untold pain, enslaved by a sheer complication of the levirate laws!
The one man who can redeem me has stubbornly endeavored not to comply!
I must do the needful, I am prepared to take the ‘just’ laws into my hands, and die if need be …”
CLICK HERE TO READ PREVIOUS EPISODE, TAMAR: ALMOST ABANDONED
Tamar ranted on, unaware of Zilpar’s presence, who merely stared at Tamar in pity. Tamar had become a lower version of herself in the last three years, with no signs of Judah. She had metamorphosed into an emotional wreck, a byword, and a human template for defining marital failure. Zared would not look her way because he had the pride to protect. He could not stand boldly in the city gates to speak with the elderly statesmen.
The townspeople had earlier suggested she offer sacrifices to the Cannanite gods of her fatherland, one of which she may have offended. Tamar had at one time, obliged them and nothing positive was forthcoming. Judah niether came nor sent for her.
Zilpar trembled in an attempt Tamar’s hand in a bid to comfort her, she could relate with her pains, and sincerely wished she could take them away.
It was yet another sheep shearing session. Tamar’s mind was made up. Having resolved to take the rational risk. She had mastered the basics of the feminine fertile window.
Tamar girded herself as one of the temples Kedeshas (prostitutes). She almost debunked the idea, for she was not looking like it. She braced up herself up to the challenge, this task which must be achieved. This opportunity may never present itself again so as to execute this plan before she goes completely crazy.
Having admired herself in a mirror, she forced a smile, assuring herself that all would be well. She veiled herself completely and departed from the house as soon as the mother hen set about calling her chicks to roost.
She arrived early and gallivanted around the pathway to Timnath on its outskirts, declining sexual advances from wealthy merchants, whilst they burned with hot jealousy.
Tamar was proactive when she set eyes on her target.
However, there was one big problem. It was not Shelah, but Judah and Hirah, his Adullamite friend.
Judah was too wise, he would recognize her, and that would outrightly spell her doom and shameful end. Sheep shearing sessions were great times for revelry, a time for fathers to showcase their industrious sons. Tamar had thought Shelah to be a lady’s man who had come earlier to Timnath with a throng of ladies, as houseflies swarming around a juicy fruit. She had expected to seduce Shelah and sleep with him, but now Judah did not come with him. She wondered why his sons have decided to tow a single path, the path of irresponsibility!
According to the levirate laws, Judah could also act as the levir, only if he had no son anymore. Tamar understood this, however, there was little or no time to plan and re-strategize, Judah might not be interested in messing around with harlots. However, Shua was dead, and he was free from the restrictive bonds of fidelity in marriage. Tamar thought to deploy every available feminine seduction scheme she could muster, whilst she remained veiled. It must work!
Tamar didn’t have to do much work, for Judah seemed to be favorably disposed to her. He offered to send her a young goat from his flock. (A gift which temple harlots would hardly deny) but she made do with the available, his signet, bracelets, and staff, perceiving its future relevance.
However, Tamar trembled greatly, wondering if her father-in-law had discovered her true identity and sought to agree to her terms quickly, so as to publicly shame her. Nevertheless, it was a rational risk!
She prayed silently and followed her father-in-law to a secure spot.
Judah slept off, giving her ample time to observe him closely, whilst she made way for escape.
The times have not been kind! He was old and lonely. He obviously sought for true solace and companionship in the momentary pleasures of sex which he was agile enough to relish in its ecstasy for a short time.
Tamar beheld him closely and this time, felt a deep sense of love for him or was it borne out of pity, out of the eventful episodes in his life, having lost his wife and two sons in less than 7 years. She wondered if she had been the object of affliction in his life. Judah snored loudly for a second or two, and this jolted Tamar back to consciousness.
She hurried out of sight with the collaterals Judah was ready to part with, wondering if Hirah found another Kedesha to help himself with! On arriving home, she wore her widowhood garments, and carefully tucked Judah’s personal effects where none could access them.
Judah was in a frenzied state when none could identify any kedesha along that pathway. He couldn’t have slept with a ghost…wondering what she intended to achieve hurdling his seal and staff. However, He did not want to make a fuss over his missing items, for posterity sake, considering his age and tribe. How could he explain this to people?
Zilpah was the first to detect that Tamar was pregnant when it was barely 3 weeks. She could not hide it, at least not from her maid and nurse.
Three months later, pandemonium set in, as Zared’s household was more heated as though it was directed towards the mid-afternoon sun. He sent for Judah immediately, he was able to tolerate his ‘seemingly’ divorced daughter, but not a pregnant one!
Sabre tried to intervene, but he would hear nothing of it.
It was quite interesting that Judah promptly responded to the call from Zared!
Tamar wondered how people can be so inconsiderate, always willing to lash out on other people’s wrongs but too unwilling to do the right things to forestall the wrong things from happening!
However, she had no regret over her actions, it was a rational risk!
To be continued!
My dear blog reader, Can you die for what you believe? Tamar understood the implications of her actions, but she went on ahead! How desperate can we be for a change in light of the ugly occurrences around us? She bore the brunt, and took responsibility for it! Her intention was never to publicly shame her father-in-law, but to see the truth established by her rightful reinstatement into her marital home… unknown to her, she was preserving a future!
Can we bear such shame for Jesus, and to see his Kindgom established in mortal men?
Thanks for reading…
God bless you