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Onan (Hebrew: אונן, ʼŌnān; "Name means::strong") (Born::Abib 2267 AMDied::Tammuz 2281 AM) was the second-born son of Judah by an unknown Canaanitish woman.


grandson of::Jacob
grandson of::Leah
son of::Judah
brother of::Er
husband of::Tamar


Onan's older brother Er had married Tamar, behaved wickedly, and died at the hand of God. So Judah ordered Onan to marry Tamar and engender a son, to satisfy the levirate obligation to her. Onan did not want to do this, so he practiced a form of contraception that involved withdrawing from the woman to prevent fertilization. For this God put him to death as well.[1] (Genesis 38:8-10 )

Onan's wicked act was an act of fraud against his wife, and demonstrates one evil of self-gratification: the disconnection of the sexual act from its intended purpose, hence an interruption of the divinely-ordained order.


  1. "Tamar," Women in the Bible, n.d. Accessed January 9, 2009.
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