I'm working on a paper that explores Genesis 38, and how it fits (or doesn't) into the rest of the Joseph narrative.
In the process of doing research I was trying to find some more detail on Tamar, and turned to The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible to find the following,
"Tamar seduced Judah by hiding her identity...Tamar, showing him the pledges he had unsuspectingly given her, proved she had conceived by Judah himself...The Tamar story seems to anticipate several features of the Joseph narrative; in particular, both figures succeed in eliciting repentance from those who had made them suffer." - Tamar (person) pg 689.
Hidden identities, the giving of pledges, and receiving repentance after mistreatment? Looks like I have a number of paths to explore now in making a case for how and why this passage fits. Excellent.
Mason - Zondervan Academic