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Onan's sin was entirely related to his refusal to perform his levirate duty. Quickly about the other three: Coitus interruptus is not masturbation. It is a (very unreliable) method of birth control. Onan was attempting not to get Tamar pregnant because he did not want to provide an heir for his deceased older brother. It was not "theft of Tamar's child." ...


The answer to your question is best examined by looking at Onan's sin in the context of the exchange between Judah and Tamar and requires a good understanding and background of the place of women in ancient middle eastern culture and the purpose of Leverite marriage practices. We must remember that this culture had no medicare and no social security. ...

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