Genesis 38:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 38:17, NIV: "I'll send you a young goat from my flock,' he said. 'Will you give me something as a pledge until you send it?' she asked."

Genesis 38:17, ESV: "He answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” And she said, “If you give me a pledge, until you send it—”"

Genesis 38:17, KJV: "And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it?"

Genesis 38:17, NASB: "He said, therefore, 'I will send you a young goat from the flock.' She then said, 'Will you give a pledge until you send it?'"

Genesis 38:17, NLT: "'I'll send you a young goat from my flock,' Judah promised. 'But what will you give me to guarantee that you will send the goat?' she asked."

Genesis 38:17, CSB: ""I will send you a young goat from my flock," he replied.But she said, "Only if you leave something with me until you send it.""

What does Genesis 38:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Judah's widowed daughter-in-law was promised marriage to his youngest son (Genesis 38:11). This was according to a tradition meant to provide care for childless widows. That promise has proven itself a lie (Genesis 38:14). In desperation, Tamar has disguised herself as a prostitute and veiled her face. She has successfully captured Judah's attention as he travels. He has no idea who she really is, and she successfully entices him to make an offer in exchange for sex (Genesis 38:16).

Tamar is negotiating over a price, but her goal is not simply to make money. She is hoping to trap Judah into providing for her, since he has gone back on his agreement to allow his son to marry her. Judah offers a young goat as payment but doesn't have one with him. He will have to send it to her. Perhaps this is just what she was hoping to hear. She counters that he will have to leave something of value with her as a pledge for her to keep until the goat arrives.