Onan (Oh´nuhn; Heb., “power,” “wealth”)

The second son of Judah and the daughter of a Canaanite named Shua (Gen 38:4; Gen 46:12; Num 26:19). After the death of Er, Judah’s firstborn, Onan failed in his duty to perform the levirate marriage rite with Er’s wife, Tamar. He let his semen go to waste (presumably by coitus interruptus), an act displeasing to God and for which he was slain (Gen 38:8-10).

Gen 38:4

4Again she conceived and bore a son whom she named Onan.

Gen 46:12

12The children of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan); and the children of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.

Num 26:19

19The sons of Judah: Er and Onan; Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.

Gen 38:8-10

8Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother's wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her; raise up offspring for your brother.”9But since Onan kn ... View more

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