Genesis 38:4-10
2 ב
ד וַתַּהַר עוֹד, וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן; וַתִּקְרָא אֶת-שְׁמוֹ, אוֹנָן. ה וַתֹּסֶף עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן, וַתִּקְרָא אֶת-שְׁמוֹ שֵׁלָה; וְהָיָה בִכְזִיב, בְּלִדְתָּהּ אֹתוֹ. ו וַיִּקַּח יְהוּדָה אִשָּׁה, לְעֵר בְּכוֹרוֹ; וּשְׁמָהּ, תָּמָר. ז וַיְהִי, עֵר בְּכוֹר יְהוּדָה--רַע, בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה; וַיְמִתֵהוּ, יְהוָה. ח וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוּדָה לְאוֹנָן, בֹּא אֶל-אֵשֶׁת אָחִיךָ וְיַבֵּם אֹתָהּ; וְהָקֵם זֶרַע, לְאָחִיךָ. ט וַיֵּדַע אוֹנָן, כִּי לֹּא לוֹ יִהְיֶה הַזָּרַע; וְהָיָה אִם-בָּא אֶל-אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו, וְשִׁחֵת אַרְצָה, לְבִלְתִּי נְתָן-זֶרַע, לְאָחִיו. י וַיֵּרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה, אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה; וַיָּמֶת, גַּם-אֹתוֹ.
4. And she conceived again, and bore a son; and she called his name Onan. 5. And she yet again conceived, and bore a son; and called his name Shelah; and he was at Kezib, when she bore him. 6. And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 7. And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him. 8. And Judah said to Onan, Go in to your brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to your brother. 9. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 10. And the thing which he did displeased the Lord; therefore he slew him also. [Translation by Rabbi Steve Greenberg]
3 ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. One is generally not permitted to marry one's brother's wife as a matter of incest law. Why do you think the Torah makes this exception?

2. What exactly did Onan do that incited God's wrath?

4 ד
Time Period: Biblical (early ancestors to 165 BCE)