Judah’s eldest son Er, got married to Tamar.but Er was wicked in the sight of the Lord and the Lord put him to death.(Gen38:7).
Judah told Onan the next son in line to go into Tamar and give his dead brother the sons he never had, so to speak, and fulfil the duty of a brother in law.
Onan had intercourse with Tamar and then Spilled his seed on the ground, preventing the life giving opportunity that all intercouse should be open to we are told.
What he did was displeasing in the eyes of the Lord, and he put him to death also. (Gen38:10)
So Why did Onan die-what was it exactly that was displeasing to the Lord? 2 options…
- He spilled his seed–a form of contraception.(also like masterbation)
- The fact he selfishly attempted to hold back from giving the dead brothers wife, Tamar, a child.
Protestants may say he was killed, for the offense number 2, catholics apologists point out that in Deut 25: 5, offense number 2 is not punishible by death, but rather the punishment is a public humiliation, like getting spat upon in the face etc… but not death.
Here is my problem…The deutronomic covanent was not yet ratified nor known in this early age, as it dosent come on the scene until much later in salvation history.
So how can we say for certain that offence number 1 is the one punished by death.