Genesis 38:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 38:19, NIV: After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow's clothes again.

Genesis 38:19, ESV: Then she arose and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood.

Genesis 38:19, KJV: And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood.

Genesis 38:19, NASB: Then she got up and departed, and removed her veil and put on her widow’s garments.

Genesis 38:19, NLT: Afterward she went back home, took off her veil, and put on her widow's clothing as usual.

Genesis 38:19, CSB: She got up and left, then removed her veil and put her widow's clothes back on.

What does Genesis 38:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Judah, on his way to celebrate sheep-shearing season, has stopped to buy the services of a roadside prostitute. What he did not realize is that this was his own widowed daughter-in-law, Tamar (Genesis 38:13–18). Tamar was not really a prostitute, but a desperate woman in disguise. She had been widowed by Judah's two oldest sons and then abandoned by him when the strong custom of the day—and his previous agreement—demanded she marry his third son (Genesis 38:11). When that did not happen (Genesis 38:14), Tamar had taken matters into her own hands.

After having sex with Judah in her guise as a prostitute, Tamar took his signet, cord, and staff as security against a future payment. She changes back into her widow's mourning clothes and goes home. Her plan, at this point, was likely to use Judah's signet and staff as evidence to shame him into following through on his promise. Realizing she is pregnant, however, would lead her to understand that her best option is to keep the items and wait (Genesis 38:24–25).