What does Genesis 38:5 mean?
ESV: Yet again she bore a son, and she called his name Shelah. Judah was in Chezib when she bore him.
NIV: She gave birth to still another son and named him Shelah. It was at Kezib that she gave birth to him.
NASB: She gave birth to yet another son and named him Shelah; and it was at Chezib that she gave birth to him.
CSB: She gave birth to another son and named him Shelah. It was at Chezib that she gave birth to him.
NLT: And when she gave birth to a third son, she named him Shelah. At the time of Shelah’s birth, they were living at Kezib.
KJV: And she yet again conceived, and bore a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bore him.
NKJV: And she conceived yet again and bore a son, and called his name Shelah. He was at Chezib when she bore him.
Verse Commentary:
Jacob's son Judah (Genesis 29:25) moved to the region of Abdullam, away from his brothers and family at Hebron. His Canaanite wife has now given birth to three sons (Genesis 38:1–4). The first two are named Er and Onan. Both will meet an early death, dying separately as punishment for their sins (Genesis 38:7; 9–10).

Judah's third son is named Shelah, which means something like "drawn out." When his third son is born, Judah is away but nearby, at a town called Chezib. These locations are only a few miles / kilometers apart.

While Judah does not yet realize it, his offspring will have an incredible legacy. Among his descendants are David, Solomon, and Jesus (Matthew 1:1–16). However, none of his three eldest sons will be part of that genealogy. Instead, his family line will be extended through a series of tragic and deceptive acts (Genesis 38:24–26).
Verse Context:
Genesis 38:1–5 explains the birth of Judah's three sons to a Canaanite woman, known only as the daughter of Shua. Two of these sons, Er and Onan, will die at the hands of God, due to their immoral actions. Tamar, a woman married in sequence to Er, then to Onan, will be abandoned by Judah. Left without support and unable to marry, she will scheme to take matters into her own hands.
Chapter Summary:
Jacob's son Judah marries a Canaanite woman and has three sons. His first son marries a woman called Tamar but is put to death by God for an unnamed sin. Judah follows tradition and marries Er's widow to the next oldest brother. Onan takes advantage of the situation for sex, but deliberately refuses to give her children. God puts him to death as well. When Judah abandons Tamar, she disguises herself as a prostitute and has sex with him. Found to be pregnant, she proves Judah is the father, and he admits his guilt. She then gives birth to twin boys.
Chapter Context:
Genesis 38 departs from the story of Joseph (Genesis 37:26–28) to describe what happens when Judah moves away from his family at Hebron and marries a Canaanite woman. Two of his three sons are put to death by God, each while married to the same woman. When Judah abandons her, she works a scheme to trick him into having sex with her. Confronted with proof that he is the father in her scandalous pregnancy, she is allowed to live and gives birth to Judah's twin boys. The following chapter returns to a focus on Joseph and his rise within Egyptian society (Genesis 39:1).
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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