Genesis 38:18

And he said, What pledge shall I give you? And she said, Your signet, and your bracelets, and your staff that is in your hand. And he gave it to her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.
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Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
The purpose and intention of the divinely inspired Scripture is to describe to us the mystery of Christ through countless facts. And with good reason some have compared it with a magnificent and illustrious city that does not have a single statue of its king or imperator but many statues placed in a most frequented spot, where everybody can admire them. See how Scripture does not omit any fact that refers to such mystery but rather describes at length any and all of them. Even though sometimes the text of the story does not seem to be very suitable, this does not prevent Scripture at all from rightly constructing and accomplishing its proposed demonstration. Its purpose is not to relate the lives of saints (this is not the case at all) but rather to instruct us in the knowledge of the mystery of Christ through facts, which can make our speech about him true and manifest. Therefore it cannot be criticized as if it were wandering from the truth. And in Judah and Tamar the mystery of the ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Staff. These were all marks of dignity. "Kings made use of spears, or sceptres, before they wore a diadem. "(Trogus. 43.) (Calmet) Juda might blame himself for exposing these valuable things, and divesting himself of all his dignity, to gratify his unjustifiable passion. If some have excused both the parties concerned, the Scripture at least sufficiently shows in what light we ought to consider their conduct. Juda himself thought her worthy of death; though in some sense, she was juster than himself, ver. 24, 26. (Haydock) She was guilty of a sort of adultery, being engaged to Sela; and also of incest; whereas the fault of Juda, through ignorance of her person, was simply fornication; which is, however, always contrary to the law of nature, as the pagans themselves confessed. (Grotius in Matthew v.) (Calmet) From Christ's choosing to be born of such progenitors, we may learn to adore his humility and tender regard for sinners. (Haydock)

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Let no one who hears this, however, condemn Tamar. As I said before, she was carrying out the divine plan, and hence neither did she incur any blame, nor did Judah lay himself open to any charge. I mean, as you proceed along from this point, you will find Christ tracing his lineage from the two children born to him. In particular, the two children born to him were a type of the two people, prefiguring Jewish life and the spiritual life. For the time being, however, let us see how after Judah’s departure a short time elapsed and then the affair came to light; Judah admitted his own involvement and acquitted her of any guilt. So, after Tamar had achieved what she wanted, she once more changed her dress, the text says, left the spot and returned to her home. Judah, of course, was aware of none of this; he kept his promise by sending a kid so as to recover the pledge given by him, but the woman was nowhere to be found, and the servant returned informing Judah that no word of the woman coul...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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