Genesis 38:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 38:16, NIV: Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, 'Come now, let me sleep with you.' 'And what will you give me to sleep with you?' she asked.

Genesis 38:16, ESV: He turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”

Genesis 38:16, KJV: And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?

Genesis 38:16, NASB: So he turned aside to her by the road, and said, 'Here now, let me have relations with you'; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, 'What will you give me, that you may have relations with me?'

Genesis 38:16, NLT: So he stopped and propositioned her. 'Let me have sex with you,' he said, not realizing that she was his own daughter-in-law. 'How much will you pay to have sex with me?' Tamar asked.

Genesis 38:16, CSB: He went over to her and said, "Come, let me sleep with you," for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.She said, "What will you give me for sleeping with me? "

What does Genesis 38:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In Scripture, everyone—even God's chosen people—are honestly presented as flawed human beings. Jacob's son Judah (Genesis 29:25) likely went against his family's instructions in marrying a local Canaanite woman (Genesis 28:1). Two of the three sons he had with her have been killed by God for their wickedness (Genesis 38:7–10) and now she, too, has died (Genesis 38:12). Judah, who told his sons' widow Tamar that he would allow her to marry his third son (Genesis 38:11), has not followed through on that commitment (Genesis 38:14). His comforting promise to her was a lie, leaving her widowed, childless, and without hope.

Now, Judah is propositioning a roadside prostitute (Genesis 38:15). He's completely unaware she is, in fact, this same daughter-in-law in disguise. Tamar is working a dangerous scheme to trap Judah into taking care of her. It's not a pretty scenario. Like many such encounters, it begins with a negotiation of price.