(Taʹmar) [Palm Tree].
1. Daughter-in-law of Jacob’s son Judah. Tamar married Judah’s first son Er, but Jehovah put Er to death for his wickedness, leaving Tamar a widow. She was then given Onan, but Jehovah put him to death for failure to perform brother-in-law marriage, and Tamar still remained a childless widow. Judah procrastinated in giving her his third son. Tamar concealed her identity and disguised herself as a prostitute in order to get Judah himself to have relations with her, cleverly taking his seal ring, cord, and rod as security. When Judah learned that Tamar was pregnant, he at first commanded that she be burned after being stoned. (Compare Jos 7:15, 25.) But on learning that through her maneuvering to get an heir he had become the father, Judah exclaimed, “She is more righteous than I am.” In the difficult birth that followed, Tamar produced twins, Perez and Zerah. (Ge 38:6-30) The Messianic lineage is traced through her son Perez.—Ru 4:12, 18-22; 1Ch 2:4; Mt 1:3.
2. A beautiful daughter of King David and full sister of Absalom. (1Ch 3:9; 2Sa 13:1) Her oldest half brother Amnon became infatuated with her and through craftiness succeeded in violating her, though she resisted him. Absalom consoled her, kept her in his house, and two years later avenged Tamar by having Amnon murdered.—2Sa 13:1-33.
3. Daughter of Absalom, likely named after her aunt (No. 2). (2Sa 14:27) Like her father, she was very attractive in appearance. She may have married Uriel, which would have made her the mother of Rehoboam’s favored wife Maacah.—2Ch 11:20, 21; 13:1, 2.
4. One of several cities built (possibly rebuilt or fortified) by King Solomon. (1Ki 9:17-19) Tamar is mentioned at 1 Kings 9:18 as being “in the land,” evidently indicating that it was found in Israelite territory. Yohanan Aharoni identifies Tamar with ʽAin Husb (ʽEn Hazeva), about 30 km (20 mi) SSW of the Dead Sea. The basis for his identification is a comparison of the boundary descriptions of Canaan found in Numbers 34:3-6; Joshua 15:1-4; and Ezekiel 47:19; 48:28.