Tracing the Curse of the Bastard
How does satan use the bastard curse to keep God’s people from drawing near? How has he used it to frustrate the purposes of God to have close fellowship with His people? To answer these questions, let’s begin again in Deuteronomy 23.
Deuteronomy 23:2 and 3
A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:
Why does God immediately mention that the Ammonites and Moabites fell under the bastard curse? The reason is explained in verse four: they failed to help Israel with bread and water in the wilderness, and because they hired the prophet Balaam to curse them.
But, these behaviors are the direct result of the bastard curse, and the record of this incident is noted in Genesis 19:30-38.20 In these Scriptures, Lot’s daughters have no husbands after the cities Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. In order to raise up children to carry on their father’s name, they got their father drunk and laid with him at night. Both daughters became pregnant from their incest and bore sons, Ammon and Moab, who became the nations by those names.
Ammon and Moab were bastard children. They and their descendents could never come into the congregation of the Lord forever. The bastard curse on these children, however, gave satan the authority to attack God’s people with curses. This time, those attacks were thwarted by God’s love over Israel. But satan got better at using this curse with time.
The first Biblical reference to bastard offspring occurred in Genesis, chapter six. The days of Noah were filled with wickedness. The sons of God are angels whom Jude 1:6 records as having left their first estate. They came to earth to dwell with women. Their offspring were bastards. Their imaginations were evil continually, and God repented of having made mankind.21 A significant part of why God’s heart was grieved was due to the bastard curse on the bloodlines.
God created man, not only in his image, but he also created man for fellowship. The bastard curse prevents that fellowship from occurring because the consequence of this curse is that people are not able to come into the congregation of the Lord. It is God’s primary will that we come into the congregation of the Lord, because this is the place of intimacy and fellowship – the purpose for making man in the first place!
Noah’s flood killed the bastard offspring. But interestingly, Scriptures later mention giants in the earth, and evil prevailed in mankind. Goliath, for example, came from Gath in Philistia in David’s time, much later than the flood. Zechariah 9:6 notes that a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, a city of Philistia not much more than ten miles distance from Goliath’s home town, and that God will cut off the pride of the Philistines, which was Goliath. David, as we will learn later in the next chapter, was not encumbered by the bastard curse at that time.
Satan’s next attempt to introduce the bastard curse on the bloodline of God’s people occurred with Abram. God had covenanted with Abram, declaring that he would be the father of many nations. Abram and Sarah faithlessly pre-empted God by taking Hagar and producing the bastard son, Ishmael. Ishmael was cursed. He was not God’s plan. Ishmael was the result of Abraham’s flesh-decision to do God’s will his own way instead of God’s way.
And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
Ishmael would be unable to live peaceably with every man. Think about this. The bastard curse prevents people from fellowship with God and with others. This curse lasts for at least 400 years. Naturally, satan doesn’t stop fostering this curse simply with the first incidence, but endeavors to keep it running continually with subsequent generations as well. Ishmael, and all his progeny, are under this curse. Who are Ishmael’s descendents? They constitute one of the world’s three great religions today which claim Abraham as their father. This curse is very far reaching, even today.
The next recorded incident of the bastard curse at work is in Genesis 38. The entire chapter relates how Judah refused to give either of his two remaining sons to his widowed daughter-in-law, Tamar, as required under the law. Realizing this, Tamar dressed as a prostitute and seduced her father-in-law to lie with her. The children that resulted from this incest were illegitimate. They were bastards, and thus the bastard curse commenced upon them and their progeny for the next ten generations.
And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.
And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.
And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.
And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him.
And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.
Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.
And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep.
And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.
When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.
And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?
And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it?
And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.
And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood.
And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand: but he found her not.
Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place.
And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place.
And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.
And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.
When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff.
And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.
And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb.
And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.
And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez.
And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.
Satan tried very hard to corrupt the bloodline through which Jesus Christ would be on his mother’s side. The bastard curse is very powerful. Sin leads to more sin. But the bastard curse is what injects a corrupting effect that lasts for ten generations.
No other sin in the Bible results in such an enduring curse. Death was the only means to eradicate the effects of this curse in the Old Testament. To eliminate it, not only was the death of the immediate perpetrators required, but their entire bloodline had to be purged by death. Remember, if only one person was spared, the curse could continue to proliferate in subsequent generations. We are not simply talking about sin that could be erased through repentance or any other means of sacrifice. The bastard curse’s effect was lasting, and in effect, was satan’s heavy artillery to destroy the bloodline as well as keep God’s children from the congregation of the Lord.
Tamar deceived Judah. There were many serious sins involved. Not only did she deceive him, but Judah’s sons were bastard children, his grandsons were bastard children, and the cycle of curses on his bloodline continued. Remember that satan was trying to get to the seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15.
A curse gives authority to the devil to interfere with the will of God in mankind’s life. The bastard curse was satan’s primary tactic to accomplish this in Judah’s bloodline down to King David’s father, Jesse. By corrupting the bloodline, he could keep God’s children from developing a close relationship with Him, and try to spoil the seed of the woman from being born. He did not know that the seed of the woman, Jesus Christ, would have only the woman’s seed and not a human father’s seed. But nevertheless, satan’s strategy was to destroy the woman’s bloodline so thoroughly that it could not produce the seed necessary to defeat him as spoken by God in Genesis 3:14 and 15.22
In the next chapter, we will see how the bastard curse was used against the house of Jesse, from which all the Kings of Israel would come.
And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:
Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.
And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.
And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
22Genesis 3:14 and 15
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
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