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!"[89]

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

 
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