Monday, March 7, 2011

Genesis 38:20-23 Payment

"Meanwhile Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite in order to get his pledge back from the woman, but he did not find her.  He asked the men who lived there, 'Where is the shrine prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?'

'There hasn't been any shrine prostitute here,' they said.  So he went back to Judah and said, 'I didn't find her.  Besides, the men who lived there said, "There hasn't been any shrine prostitute here." '

Then Judah said, 'Let her keep what she has, or we will become a laughingstock.  After all, I did send her this young goat, but you didn't find her.' " (Genesis 38:20-23 NIV)
Judah sent his friend Hirah to give the woman the goat he had promised her.  Then he could get back the items he had left as pledge -- his staff and personal seal.  When Hirah questions the men of that place, he calls the woman a 'shrine prostitute' (different word), as opposed to a regular prostitute, perhaps to make the whole transaction seem a bit more legitimate.  Perhaps Judah is embarrassed by his transgression; he certainly does not bring the payment himself.

However, no one knows what Hirah is talking about, for there was no shrine prostitute in that area.  Judah believes that he has done his best to locate the woman, so he drops the matter to prevent more embarrassment.


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