Around this time, Judah left his brothers. He became friends with a man of Adullam by the name of Chirah.
Vayehi ba'et hahi vayered Yehudah me'et echav vayet ad-ish Adulami ushmo Chirah.
||There Judah met the daughter of a merchant named Shua. He married her and came to her.
Vayar-sham Yehudah bat-ish Kna'ani ushmo Shu'a vayikacheha vayavo eleyha.
||She became pregnant and had a son. He named the child Er.
Vatahar vateled ben vayikra et-shmo Er.
|became friends with...|
See Genesis 38:12,20. Others, 'He camped around until he came to....' (Redak).
This is a city some 41 miles south of Shechem, and 11 miles northwest of Hebron. It is identified with Tel esh-Sheikh Madhkur. See Joshua 12:15, 15:35, 1 Samuel 22:1, 2 Samuel 23:13, Micah 1:15, Nehemiah 11:30.
He was the foreman of Judah's shepherds (Genesis 38:12; Tzava'ath Yehudah 8:1). From the expression, 'his name was Chirah,' we see that he was a righteous person. There is a tradition that whenever the expression, 'his name was,' precedes the actual name, the person in question was righteous (BaMidbar Rabbah 10; Esther Rabbah 6:2).
Some say that her name was Alyath (Sefer HaYashar, p.126). Other sources give her name as Bath Shua (Yov'loth 34:20; cf. 38:12; 1 Chronicles 2:3).
(Targum; Pesachim 50a; Rashi). Literally, a 'Canaanite.' The word 'Canaanite,' however, is used to denote a merchant; see Isaiah 23:8, Hosea 12:8, Zechariah 14:21; Proverbs 26:24, Job 40:50. It can come from the word kana, meaning to drive down and hence denote a bargainer or haggler (Ramban; Radak, Sherashim). The Holy Land may have thus been known as the 'Land of Canaan' or 'Trade Land' because it was on the trade route from Mesopotamia to Egypt.
Others, however, say that Shua was actually a Canaanite (Saadia; Ibn Ezra; Sefer HaYashar, p. 126; Yov'loth 34:20). See 1 Chronicles 2:3 (Targum; Malbim ad loc.).
Shoa is a nation in Babylonia (Isaiah 22:5, Ezekiel 23:23), and if he was not a Canaanite, this may have been his place of origin. The expression, 'his name was Shua' would indicate that he was a righteous man (Sekhel Tov; see note on Genesis 38:1). Some say that he was king of Adullam (Tzava'ath Yehudah 8:2).