Scarlet Thread

Today’s text comes from the Book of Genesis. Speaking of the twins born to Tamar (Zarah and Pharez):

It came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins [were] in her womb.

And it came to pass, when she travailed, that [the one] put out [his] hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.

And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? [this] breach [be] upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez.

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

Genesis 38:27-30

View my remarks on the Scarlet Thread on Rumble.

Scarlet Thread – Background

Here we have a story of twins born to Judah and Tamar. Here’s how it happened:

After failing to receive of Judah the hand of his son, Shelah, in marriage, Tamar took the matter into her hands.

Tamar disguised herself as a harlot and captivated Judah’s patronage, resulting in the pregnancy of his daughter-in-law.

When the time came to give birth, Zarah stuck his hand outside and the midwife tied a scarlet thread on his wrist. Presumably, the midwife intended to use the thread to identify the firstborn (in the situation where the twins may have been indistinguishable from each other).

It came to pass, when she travailed, that [the one] put out [his] hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.

Genesis 38:28

After receiving the thread, however, Zarah withdrew his hand, and his brother – who did not have the scarlet thread – was born first.

The first shall be last

God has a way of disrupting human tradition. While, in those days, the firstborn carried much blessing and the birthright.

The elder shall serve the younger

Technically, Zerah was older than Pharez, yet Pharez was the firstborn. Here we can see the principle of God turning the tables on human tradition when He sees fit. A similar situation occurred with Jacob and Esau.

The elder shall serve the younger.

Gen 25:33

The midwife drew a hasty conclusion about which twin was the firstborn, but God had something better in mind.

God’s plan

God chooses who He uses to accomplish what he pleases.

The sons of Judah after their families were; of Shelah, the family of the Shelanites: of Pharez, the family of the Pharzites: of Zerah, the family of the Zarhites.

Numbers 26:20

Who is Zarah?

ZARAH,or Zerah means “Clearness, or rising up. He is the son of Judah by Tamar, and his twin-brother Pharez.

Zarah has five sons: Ethan, Zimri, Heman, Calcol, and Dara (1 Chronicles 2:6). These formed the Zarhites, who were less numerous than the posterity of Pharez.

Who is Pharez?

The name Pharez means division; rupture.

Pharez occupied the rank of Judahs second son, and from two of his sons sprang two new chief houses, those of the Hezronites and Hamulites. From Hezrons second son Ram, or Aram, sprang David and the kings of Judah, and eventually Jesus Christ. In the reign of David the house of Pharez seems to have been eminently distinguished.

Smith, William, Dr. “Entry for ‘Pharez'”. “Smith’s Bible Dictionary”. . 1901.

God chose to create Jesus Christ’s lineage through Pharez, not his brother, Zerah (Matthew 1:3).

What about You?

Maybe you think God won’t use you because of an artificial rule or opinion. Don’t listen to people; listen to God.

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