Genesis 38:2
And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in to her.
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(2) Canaanite.—This is rendered in the Targum merchant, and so the Authorised Version translates Canaanite in Proverbs 31:24. In favour of this view is the fact, that the marriage of Simeon with a Canaanitish woman is regarded as an act so exceptional, as to be worth recording (Genesis 46:10). But we may well doubt whether, at so early an age, the terms Canaanite and merchant had become synonymous. “Shuah” was the name of the woman’s father, as appears plainly in the Hebrew. (See also Genesis 38:12.)

Genesis 38:2. He took her — To wife. His father, it should seem, was not consulted, but he acted by the advice of his new friend Hirah.38:1-30 The profligate conduct of Judah and his family. - This chapter gives an account of Judah and his family, and such an account it is, that it seems a wonder that of all Jacob's sons, our Lord should spring out of Judah, Heb 7:14. But God will show that his choice is of grace and not of merit, and that Christ came into the world to save sinners, even the chief. Also, that the worthiness of Christ is of himself, and not from his ancestors. How little reason had the Jews, who were so called from this Judah, to boast as they did, Joh 8:41. What awful examples the Lord proclaims in his punishments, of his utter displeasure at sin! Let us seek grace from God to avoid every appearance of sin. And let that state of humbleness to which Jesus submitted, when he came to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, in appointing such characters as those here recorded, to be his ancestors, endear the Redeemer to our hearts.Judah marries and has three sons. "Went down from brethren." This seems to have been an act of willful indiscretion in Judah. His separation from his brethren, however, extends only to the matter of his new connection. In regard to property and employment there seems to have been no long or entire separation until they went down into Egypt. He went down from the high grounds about Shekem to the lowlands in which Adullam was situated Joshua 15:33-35. "A certain Adullamite." He may have become acquainted with this Hirah, when visiting his grandfather, or in some of the caravans which were constantly passing Shekem, or even in the ordinary wanderings of the pastoral life. Adullam was in the Shephelah or lowland of Judah bordering on Philistia proper. "A certain Kenaanite." This connection with Shua's daughter was contrary to the will of God and the example of his fathers. Onan was born, we conceive, in Judah's fifteenth year, and Shelah in his sixteenth.

At Kezib. - This appears the same as Akzib, which is associated with Keilah and Mareshah Joshua 15:44, and therefore, lay in the south of the lowland of Judah. This note of place indicates a change of residence since her other children were born. In the year after this birth the dishonor of Dinah takes place. "Took a wife for Er." Judah chose a wife for himself at an early age, and now he chooses for his first-born at the same age. "Was evil in the eyes of the Lord." The God of covenant is obliged to cut off Er for his wickedness in the prime of life. We are not made acquainted with his crime; but it could scarcely be more vile and unnatural than that for which his brother Onan is also visited with death. "And be a husband to her." The original word means to act as a husband to the widow of a deceased brother who has left no issue. Onan seems to have been prompted to commit his crime by the low motive of turning the whole inheritance to his own house. At the time of Er's death Judah must have been in his twenty-seventh year; Joseph was consequently in his twenty-third, and Jacob had for ten years past had his headquarters at Hebron. Hence, the contact with Timnah, Adullam, and Enaim was easy.

2. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite—Like Esau [Ge 26:34], this son of Jacob, casting off the restraints of religion, married into a Canaanite family; and it is not surprising that the family which sprang from such an unsuitable connection should be infamous for bold and unblushing wickedness. He married her against the counsel and example of his parents. But when Judah had committed so great a crime as the selling of his brother, and God had forsaken him, no wonder he adds one sin to another.

Shuah was the name, not of the daughter, but of her father, Genesis 38:12. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite,.... Onkelos and Jonathan, and so Jarchi and Ben Gersom, interpret it a "merchant", to take off the disgrace of his falling in love with, and marrying a Canaanitish woman, which was forbidden by his ancestors Abraham and Isaac, and which his father avoided:

whose name was Shuah; not the name of the woman he married, but the name of her father, as appears from Genesis 38:12; and who very probably was a man of note in the country:

and he took her; to be his wife, with her and her father's consent, not by force:

and went in unto her; cohabited with her as his wife.

And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; {b} and he took her, and went in unto her.

(b) A relationship which nonetheless was condemned by God.

2. Shua] Note that “Shua,” like Hirah in Genesis 38:1, is the name of a man. See Genesis 38:12. Bath-Shua, i.e. “the daughter of Shua,” is all the description given of Judah’s wife.Verse 2. - And Judah saw there the daughter of a certain (literally, of a man, a) Canaanite, - not of a merchant (Onkelos), but of an inhabitant of the land of Canaan - whose name was Shuah; - "Wealth," "Riches," "Cry for Help" (Gesenius). This was not the name of Judah's wife (LXX.), but of her father - (vide ver. 12) - and he took her, - i.e. married her (viz. Genesis 6:2; Genesis 24:67) - and went in unto her. The business was settled in Reuben's absence; probably because his brethren suspected that he intended to rescue Joseph. When he came to the pit and found Joseph gone, he rent his clothes (a sign of intense grief on the part of the natural man) and exclaimed: "The boy is no more, and I, whither shall I go!" - how shall I account to his father for his disappearance! But the brothers were at no loss; they dipped Joseph's coat in the blood of a goat and sent it to his father, with the message, "We have found this; see whether it is thy son's coat or not." Jacob recognised the coat at once, and mourned bitterly in mourning clothes (שׂק) for his son, whom he supposed to have been devoured and destroyed by a wild beast (טרף טרף inf. abs. of Kal before Pual, as an indication of undoubted certainty), and refused all comfort from his children, saying, "No (כּי immo, elliptical: Do not attempt to comfort me, for) I will go down mourning into Sheol to my son." Sheol denotes the place where departed souls are gathered after death; it is an infinitive form from שׁאל to demand, the demanding, applied to the place which inexorably summons all men into its shade (cf. Proverbs 30:15-16; Isaiah 5:14; Habakkuk 2:5). How should his sons comfort him, when they were obliged to cover their wickedness with the sin of lying and hypocrisy, and when even Reuben, although at first beside himself at the failure of his plan, had not courage enough to disclose his brothers' crime?
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