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joo'-da (praised, celebrated, the praise of the Lord; confession)
Jacob, Joseph, Kingdom of Judah, Leah, Tamar, Tribe of Judah
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Easton's Bible Dictionary

praise, The fourth son of Jacob by Leah. The name originated in Leah's words of praise to the Lord on account of his birth: "Now will I praise [Hebrew odeh] Jehovah, and she called his name Yehudah" ( Genesis 29:35 ).

It was Judah that interposed in behalf of Joseph, so that his life was spared ( Genesis 37:26 , 37:27 ). He took a lead in the affairs of the family, and "prevailed above his brethren" ( Genesis 43:3 - 10 ; 44:14 , 44:16 - 34 ; 46:28 ; 1 Chronicles 5:2 ).

Soon after the sale of Joseph to the Ishmaelites, Judah went to reside at Adullam, where he married a woman of Canaan. (See ONAN; TAMAR .) After the death of his wife Shuah, he returned to his father's house, and there exercised much influence over the patriarch, taking a principal part in the events which led to the whole family at length going down into Egypt. We hear nothing more of him till he received his father's blessing ( Genesis 49:8 - 12 ).


Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names

the praise of the Lord; confession


Smith's Bible Dictionary

(praised, celebrated) The fourth son of Jacob and the fourth of Leah. (B.C. after 1753.) Of Judahs personal character more traits are preserved than of any other of the patriarchs, with the exception of Joseph, whose life he in conjunction with Reuben saved. ( Genesis 37:26 - 28 ) During the second visit to Egypt for corn it was Judah who understood to be responsible for the safety of Benjamin, ch. ( Genesis 43:3 - 10 ) and when, through Josephs artifice, the brothers were brought back to the palace, he is again the leader and spokesman of the band. So too it is Judah who is sent before Jacob to smooth the way for him in the land of Goshen. ch. ( Genesis 46:28 )

This ascendancy over his brethren is reflected in the last words addressed to him by his father. The families of Judah occupy a position among the tribes similar to that which their progenitor had taken among the patriarchs. The numbers of the tribe at the census at Sinai were 74,600. ( Numbers 1:26 , 1:27 ) On the borders of the promised land they were 76,500. ( Genesis 26:22 ) The boundaries and contents of the territory allotted to Judah are narrated at great length, and with greater minuteness than the others, in ( Joshua 15:20 - 63 ) The north boundary, for the most part coincident with the south boundary of Benjamin, began at the embouchure of the Jordan and ended on the west at Jabneel on the coast of the Mediterranean, four miles south of Joppa. On the east the Dead Sea, and on the west the Mediterranean, formed the boundaries. The southern line is hard to determine, since it is denoted by places many of which have not been identified. It left the Dead Sea at its extreme south end, and joined the Mediterranean at the Wady el-Arish. This territory is in average length about 45 miles, and in average breadth about 50.


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

joo'-da (yehudhah, "praised"):

(1) 4th son of Jacob by Leah

1. Jacob's Son:

The 4th son born to Jacob by Leah in Paddan-aram (Genesis 29:35, etc.). Of this patriarch's life only scanty details remain to us. He turned his brethren from their purpose to slay Joseph, persuading them to sell him to the Midianites at Dothan (Genesis 37:26). A dark stain is left upon his memory by the disgraceful story told in Genesis 38. Reuben forfeited the rights of primogeniture by an act of infamy; Simeon and Levi, who came next in order, were passed over because of their cruel and treacherous conduct at Shechem; to Judah, therefore, were assigned the honors and responsibilities of the firstborn (Genesis 34 ; 35:22 ; 49:5). On the occasion of their first visit to Egypt, Reuben acted as spokesman for his brethren (Genesis 42:22 , 37). Then the leadership passed to Judah (Genesis 43:3, etc.). The sons of Joseph evidently looked askance upon Judah's promotion, and their own claims to hegemony were backed by considerable resources (Genesis 49:22). The rivalry between the two tribes, thus early visible, culminated in the disruption of the kingdom. To Judah, the "lion's whelp," a prolonged dominion was assured (Genesis 49:9).

2. Tribe of Judah:

The tribe of Judah, of which the patriarch was the name-father, at the first census in the wilderness numbered 74,600 fighting men; at Sinai the number "from 20 years old and upward" was 76,500 (Numbers 1:27; 26:22; see NUMBERS). The standard of the camp of Judah, with which were also the tribes of Zebulun and Issachar, was to the East of the tabernacle "toward the sunrising," the prince of Judah being Nahshon, the son of Amminadab (Numbers 2:3). Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, represented Judah among the spies (Numbers 13:6); he also was told off to assist at the future allocation of the tribal portions (Numbers 34:19).

3. Territory:

The land assigned to Judah lay in the South of Palestine (see JUDAH, TERRITORY OF), comprising part of the mountain, the Shephelah, and the maritime plain. The information given of its conquest is meager and cannot be arranged in a self-consistent story. In Joshua 11:21, the conquest is ascribed to Joshua. Caleb is described as conquering at least a portion in Joshua 14:12 ; 15:13; while in Judges 1 the tribes of Judah and Simeon play a conspicuous part; and the latter found a settlement in the South within the territory of Judah The tribal organization seems to have been maintained after the occupation of the land, and Judah was so loosely related to the northern tribes that it was not expected to help them against Sisera. Deborah has no reproaches for absent Judah. It is remarkable that no judge over Israel (except Othniel, Judges 3:9 - 11) arose from the tribe of Judah. The first king of all Israel was chosen from the tribe of Benjamin. This made acquiescence on the part of Judah easier than it would have been had Saul sprung from the ancient rival, Ephraim. But the dignity of Judah was fully vindicated by the splendid reigns of David and Solomon, in lineal descent from whom the Saviour of the world should come. The further history of the tribe is merged in that of Israel.

(2) An ancestor of Kadmiel, one of those who had the oversight of the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 3:9). He is the same as Hodaviah (Ezra 2:40), and Hodevah (Nehemiah 7:43).

(3) A Levite who had taken a strange wife (Ezra, 10:23).

(4) A Levite who came up with Zerubbabel (Nehemiah 12:8).

(5) A priest and musician who took part in the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 12:36); (3), (4) and (5) may be the same person.

(6) A Benjamite, the son of Hassenuah, who was second over the city of Jerusalem in the days of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 11:9).

(7) One of the princes of Judah who took part in the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 12:34).



bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, define, fourth son of jacob, joseph (brother), judah, yehudah



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