Genesis 38:30 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 38:30, NIV: Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out. And he was named Zerah.

Genesis 38:30, ESV: Afterward his brother came out with the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called Zerah.

Genesis 38:30, KJV: And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.

Genesis 38:30, NASB: Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand; and he was named Zerah.

Genesis 38:30, NLT: Then the baby with the scarlet string on his wrist was born, and he was named Zerah.

Genesis 38:30, CSB: Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread tied to his hand, came out, and was named Zerah.

What does Genesis 38:30 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Tamar's twins are being born. In what must have been an abnormal and awkward delivery, one boy extended out a hand. The quick-witted midwife tied a red thread around his wrist to show he was technically the firstborn. Unexpectedly, however, that baby drew his hand back in and his brother was fully delivered before his delivery could be completed.

The boy without the thread was named Perez, meaning "break through." Technically, he is the "younger" of the two. Now the baby with the thread is born. He is named Zerah, meaning "shining" or "brightness."

Thus, Judah's family expands by two. Tamar (Genesis 38:14–20) finally has the children Judah's two oldest sons did not provide. God will continue the pattern of emphasizing His choice over birth order (Genesis 25:23) in these children, as well. In the future, it will be the younger Perez, not the older Zerah, who carries on the main legacy of Judah.