One woman (Tamar)….widowed twice in less than 6 months, under similar circumstances.
What ill fate is this?
Was she an accursed woman?
Find out as we continue, in our ‘Tamar thriller
CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS EPISODES: TAMAR: AN UNFULFILLED BRIDE
Their marriage was barely 3 years. The widowedTamar mourned her late husband, Er, still shocked at how he had passed on after their make-out session. Shua, her mother-in-law would hear nothing of it. She wished Tamar had died in place of her Er.
The news had spread like wildfire! Er was no more. Judah mourned his son for many days. Er was still the first sign of his manly strength. He hadn’t done much, as a father would do, to a somewhat irresponsible son, like Er.
The funeral rites were performed quickly, and Er was committed to mother earth.
There existed a certain inheritance custom called the ‘levirate system’. According to this system, a woman who loses her husband is often married to her late husband’s brother, so as to engender a son to continue her late husband’s lineage. This also ensures that the childless widow has a chance to maintain her position in her matrimonial home.
However, Onan’s willingness to act as a surrogate for his late brother involved a huge financial sacrifice. Judah had 3 sons, hence, he divided his properties into four, with Er inheriting one-half, and one-fourth each, for Onan and Shelah. In this case, Er was late, and if a child was engendered for him, then Er’s child would have inherited Onan’s share of one-fourth, as Onan’s first son, and one-half, as Er’s first son. If Er remains childless, then Judah’s properties would be shared into 3, with Onan probably inheriting two-third, and the remaining one-third, belonging to Shelah.
Hence, Onan was to sire a son on behalf of his late brother to continue his ancestry, Tamar on her own part mourned her late husband as it was customarily appropriate.
Three months later, All the necessary rites were concluded, and Tamar was married to Onan, of course (against) the will of her mother-in-law who threatened fire and brimstones if she failed to conceive this time.
Onan was ruddy, well-built and handsome, but not as handsome as Er. He was ambitious and factual about matters. He was not exactly on friendly terms with his late brother, whom he perceived as selfish and arrogant. He thought that Judah was to carry him along in the family’s enterprise since Er was a ‘no-good’ of a son, but Judah never considered him…he felt ignored and alone. Thus, he was always minding his business.
However, Er was a shrewd man! One might think he was a direct progeny of his grandfather, Jacob. He had once attempted to falsify records in order to sell off the family lands, just to acclaim everything.
However, Judah was smarter than he appeared. Probably he understood what manner of sons he had. Little wonder, Onan was almost always alone, scheming on the next line of opportunity that may open him up to financial bliss!
More still, he had little or no flair for wild partying, unlike his late brother.
Onan was indifferent to the decision made by Judah, none could emphatically say if he was truly pleased with it… If he saw it as an imposition or as a necessary evil (obligation).
Tamar, on her own part, was not looking forward to those fairy tale fantasies of marital bliss, she really wanted to conceive, and maintain her position in Judah’s home.
After all, she was a grown woman, with very active biologics. She had all it took to carry a pregnancy. As the day wore on, she became more and more obsessed with this goal.
Alas, the much awaited day fully came, Onan was to take his newlywed to Er’s tent. He refused. taking Tamar rather to his tent, and Zilpah saw to the immediate furnishings to the couple’s room.
Zilpah did all to assure her mistress of the accuracy of her fertile window…Tamar would not bear with any mistakes whatsoever.
Er was like a man in his own world, having his sole intentions, which are chiefly mischevious. He led Tamar lovingly into the inner room, and as a gentleman, he was ready to dance to her tune at first. Tamar had learned (the hard way) not to have her hopes high for anything.
She had been disappointed severally, and would not be easily deceived by Onan’s seemingly superficial overtures. Her desire was the real thing.
Onan tried to convince her to play it soft, but it was fruitless. Onan had actually penetrated her, but in that height of ecstasy, he let go. He withdrew from the entire process, as though Tamar had a dreaded health condition.
Tamar wept uncontrollably, trying to raise her voice in utter rage, but Onan acted quickly, cupping his hands over her mouth so as not to alert the others, who were waiting outside for the outcome.
Tongues were already wagging. The process was taking too long. Tamar and Onan struggled physically and verbally for close to 3 hours. Tamar was enraged and utterly frustrated, and just when Tamar was going to run outside to make public her ordeals in this home. She saw Onan, with his left hand forcibly cleft to his right hand as though it was suitable to support, whilst holding his throat, jerking, choking vigorously, with large beads of sweat streaming his face.
Tamar’s screams, this time, were clearly heard, as everyone made their way into the room…
Onan was taken to a healer, and after several hours of fruitless attempts, he died. Tamar had been widowed twice!
All hell was let loose! There was pandemonium in the air. Many objects were hurled at her, many labeled her with derogatory names.
Judah wondered if this was a repercussion for his sin to his step-brother Joseph, many years ago. Maybe, God was punishing him now. He might probably die without an heir.
Now, he had only one son, who must customarily be made to sire sons to continue the family line.
He remembered when Jacob had similar challenges in times past, how he retreated to Bethel. where God had earlier spoken to him.
He had lost the fellowship with God, ever since Joseph’s incidence, and he had been living a life of guilt and painful solitude ever since. A life which Shua greatly abhorred.
Shua could not be consoled by anyone, one look at her would make one conclude she was going wacko. She cursed Judah and Tamar. She had lost two adult sons in less than 3 months. There was no rational explanation as to relate why a woman loses both husbands (in quick succession) on her claimed grounds of challenges during sex. None was sympathetic to Tamar, because it was humanly irreconcilable!
Tamar was alone in this,(widowed twice) but for Zilpah, who ensured she had a fair share in all of Tamar’s troubles, physically offering her head to absorb the beatings, name calling and insults. For the first time in many years, Tamar appreciated Zilpah’s loyalty.
Shua swore that Shelah would never be married to the ‘man-eater’, as she calls Tamar.
Two weeks after Onan was laid to rest, everyone waited to hear Judah’s decision. To jeopardize the life of his only son at the expense of a supposedly accursed woman, or send her packing back to her father’s house, thereby setting her free.
Tamar wallowed daily in self-pity and emotional setbacks. Could it be that she was the cause of these deaths? There was something sinister going on, these two brothers exhibited a similar death pattern, Does it have something to do with her presence in this home? Was she really an accursed woman? She wondered if anyone in her family had suffered a similar fate…. probably Sabre, her Mother would have offered a logical explanation. She wept daily. It was even more agonizing that she had not been able to boast of even one pregnancy, in all of her claims in her marital journey. She never wished for all of these! Now she had been widowed twice
Three days later, Judah sent for her. He had made up his mind, Tamar was to go back to her father’s house. Shelah was not old enough, to act as a levir, in his late brother’s stead! Tamar had been widowed twice.
To be continued….
Thanks for reading!
How do you explain a repeated ugly occurrence in your life to obviously irate persons? Who do you turn to? Do you accept it as a “part and parcel” of you, or do you see it as a regular ill-fated occurrence of chance? This is Satan’s tool for creating evil patterns, corrupting our mindsets.
Do not always be under pressure to always explain yourself, especially to persons who will never see reasons with you, over matters beyond your control.
Tamar had been widowed twice in quick successions
God bless you.
IT IS IN BEING SAVED THAT YOU ARE SAFE!