Tamar felt life leaving her as she struggled to catch her breath, Though she winced in deep pain in an attempt to clear the smear of moistened earth about clogging her eyes, whilst holding on to an unsteady twig (as though it was her last lifeline) with a single hand.
She cast an uneasy stare at Zared, her father who considered his reputation of greater worth… and her Mother, Sabre who was obviously handicapped at the present turn of events. Zilpah was out of sight, probably she couldn’t bear to see her mistress in that shameful mess of an impending inferno.
She was still thinking on these when her executioners pulled her up forcefully, it became evident that she was going to die, after many years of marital tragedy.
Tamar had an exhibit, (the last lifeline) at least one that could exonerate her! She requested to be granted an appeal, she obviously had something to say or show. She had a message for her father-in-law.
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The sudden silence in the crowd was rather deafening. Almost immediately, Zilpah appeared, as though waiting for this moment, She helped Tamar up and both went to her tent. Impatient murmurs filled the tense atmosphere.
Tamar returned with 3 items which the townspeople considered foreign, She affirmed that the father of her unborn child owned the items…
Heart thumps of the accused woman could be heard audibly. She harbored a greater fear of rejection and denial from her father-in-law than the sentence of death itself. It would take him nothing to deny her claims, after all, he could cook up some story of theft just to preserve his reputation as a recent widower. She supposed that her father-in-law was still a man of honor.
Judah arrived just in time, The silence enveloping the crowd now could have been better appreciated, but for Tamar’s racing heart beats interrupting the peaceful flow of suspense.
He cast a blank stare at his daughter-in-law who earnestly wished her father-in-law would do things the right way this time…upon seeing the alleged items belonging to him…his facial disposition showed more of guilt than blankness or anger, to the amazement of the crowd who found the drama too interesting to be true. Judah in an attempt to validate her claims gently pulled her up, of course with Zilpar’s help whose tears spoke more of victory! Indeed, the last lifeline eventually paid off after all!
Tamar was declared innocent after Judah publicly declared his sheer irresponsibility to do the needful as required by the Jewish customs so as to set herself free…He praised the efforts of his daughter-in-law whom he considered brave.
Tamar, the seemingly accursed woman, a labeled template for martial tragedy was publicly exonerated, Zilpar saw to it that she was well cleaned up and her pregnancy was in no wise threatened. Judah ensured that she was almost always comfortable.
She once again felt the warmth of being lawfully married, even though she was without a husband, Judah was merely fulfilling a customary role. He never touched her all these months.
She worried less about thoughts of her late husbands and focused more on her unborn child…
Four months later, Zilpah screamed excitedly as she announced that Tamar had two babies in her womb…The glowing report gladdened Judah’s heart, perhaps it was God’s way of replacement for his late sons. He praised God for his daughter-in-law Tamar.
The time had come, Zilpah and the midwife set about the delivery process. She had been experiencing sustained contractions in the last 8 hours. But in the end, She had 2 boys: Perez and Zerah.
Perez was an ancestor of our Lord Jesus Christ….
Having concluded this mind-blowing series on our phenomenal protagonist whose heroism and refusal to be mediocre earned her a place in the Christly Dynasty. We shall take a quick peek at Tamar…what made her quite outstanding from the other women on the same blessed Ancestry!
Tamar means ‘Date Palm’….meaning the source of food, shade or life. She had an interesting childhood. Domiciled in an environment of love as well as been grounded in domestic arts that could earn her an enviable position as a housewife, just like her Mother, Sabre. Her Father was more concerned about her making him proud as a fledging lady…and bothered less about her rather tender age, marrying her off to his business partner, Judah as proof of his glowing reputation.
Tamar’s fate was not all rosy as she met diverse hurdles in her marital journey ranging from a cantankerous and sadistic mother-in-law to a nonchalant husband, widowed twice within a space of two years, labeled as an accursed Canaanite woman with some jealous spirits snuffing out the lives of her husbands… Who would listen to her side of the story for it seemed unbelievable that they died on their matrimonial bed on contact with her?
She is asked to return home, and tricked into believing a lie of a promised marriage by her father-in-law in order to put her out of the picture…on discovering the truth, she decides to take a drastic, but celebrated step: one with which she would have paid with her life, rather she is exonerated and given her rightful place.
Tamar was a woman of courage, been widowed twice in quick successions..the risk of losing her matrimonial home and marital rights in a Jewish home of a strange land…Courage kept her going, even with her mother-in-law sworn to make her life a living hell, a haughty, irresponsible and emotionless husband who has little or no regard for her. Though she was young, she displayed a significant level of maturity to pull through the vicissitudes in her matrimonial home.
Having lost Er, her first husband, whom the LORD described as evil. Onan was no better, slowly scheming to amass a larger part of Judah’s estate. Tamar hoped for the best in her quest to conceive…she hoped to take solace in her child. Slowly effacing from her fairy tale dreams is that fantasy of ever having a Prince charming, having concluded that Judah’s two sons have decided to tow a single path: the path of irresponsibility. However, Optimism was her drive, even when she took that risk…and in the end, it paid off.
Tamar took the bull by the horn. Not very many women would attempt to seduce a man as powerful as Judah without been caught. It would have outrightly spelled her doom should Judah have uncovered her guise. Bravery spoke volumes when she requested for his staff, seal, and cord (The Last lifeline) and he obliged her. Probably, because Judah felt vulnerable, having lost his wife and desired to feel the warmth of a calm woman and also because he felt a harlot would have no knowledge of what they really represented…
Tamar applied wisdom in approaching the issue of her father-in-law’s nonchalance…She discerned that Judah would never call her back to her matrimonial home, even in donkey years. According to the levirate laws, It was still legal if she carried Judah’s child since he was a widower, who may still marry if he so desires. She must act quickly. She was trapped as she couldn’t be married to another family, for it would be termed adultery. Her father was unwilling to speak on her behalf since she had been termed an accursed woman. She desired and deserved to be happy, as her season of fertility was fleeting fast as a woman.
Today, we conclude our Tamar tale…The woman who knew her rights!
Tamar’s courage.tenacity and resourcefulness are worthy of emulation. She may not have been a popular subject on most religious discourses. However, her inclusion on the pages of scriptures and Christ’s genealogy was not an oversight
. It is also worthy of note to realise that we must understand our rights as believers and our heritage as Kingdom citizens. Tamar made herself available, and she was used by God to preserve a generation. “The Scepter will not leave the house of Judah”
IT IS IN BEING SAVED THAT YOU ARE SAFE