Genesis 38:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 38:4, NIV: She conceived again and gave birth to a son and named him Onan.

Genesis 38:4, ESV: She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan.

Genesis 38:4, KJV: And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.

Genesis 38:4, NASB: Then she conceived again and gave birth to a son, and she named him Onan.

Genesis 38:4, NLT: Then she became pregnant again and gave birth to another son, and she named him Onan.

Genesis 38:4, CSB: She conceived again, gave birth to a son, and named him Onan.

What does Genesis 38:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Judah was one of the sons of Jacob (Genesis 29:25) who sold their younger brother, Joseph, as a slave (Genesis 37:26–28). Not long after this, Judah moved away from the family into an area called Adullam (Genesis 38:1). There, he took a wife from the Canaanite people (Genesis 38:2), going against God's will for the sons of Israel (Genesis 28:1; Deuteronomy 7:1–4). Though this was not yet an explicit law, marrying into pagan Canaanite culture was something against which God had already spoken. Judah's Canaanite wife has given birth to a son name Er, and now bears a second son.

Onan's name has been attached to a particular practice—sometimes called Onanism—which has been the subject of controversy within the Christian church. Later in this chapter, the reason for his unfortunate reputation will become clear (Genesis 38:8–10).