confess, before the court, unto whom belongeth this signet,
this mantle, and this staff. But it is better that I be put to
shame in this world than I should be put to shame in the
other world, before the face of my pious father. It is better
that I should perish in a fire that can be extinguished than
I should be cast into hell fire, which devoureth other fires.
Now, then, I acknowledge that Tamar is innocent. By me
is she with child, not because she indulged in illicit passion,
but because I held back her marriage with my son Shelah."
Then a heavenly voice was heard to say: "Ye are both
innocent! It was the will of God that it should happen!"
The open confession of Judah induced his oldest brother
Reuben to make public acknowledgment of the sin he had
committed against his father, for he had kept it a secret until