The Tribe of Judah and their Allotted Territory

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JU`DAH (praise of God, confession), Judah was the fourth son of Jacob and Leah. He went with his father to Egypt (Genesis 46:12). Judah was the most numerous tribe at the census of Mount Sinai, numbering 74,600 (Numbers 1:26, 27). During the wanderings Judah's place was on the east side of the Tabernacle. Their allotment was the southern district of Canaan, bordering Edom, the Dead Sea, and the tribes of Benjamin, Dan and Simeon. Judah was later destroyed by the Babylonians and the people were exiled. They later returned and were referred to as Jews (Nehemiah 1:2). Judah was later referred to as Judea (the Greek word for Judah).

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More About Ancient Judah

Easton entry for the Tribe of Judah. Judah and his three surviving sons went down with Jacob into Egypt (Gen. 46:12; Ex. 1:2). At the time of the Exodus, when we meet with the family of Judah again, they have increased to the number of 74,000 males (Num. 1:26, 27). Its number increased in the wilderness (26:22). Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, represented the tribe as one of the spies (13:6; 34:19). This tribe marched at the van on the east of the tabernacle (Num. 2:3-9; 10:14), its standard, as is supposed, being a lion's whelp. Under Caleb, during the wars of conquest, they conquered that portion of the country which was afterwards assigned to them as their inheritance. This was the only case in which any tribe had its inheritance thus determined (Josh. 14:6-15; 15:13-19). The inheritance of the tribe of Judah was at first fully one-third of the whole country West of Jordan, in all about 2,300 square miles (Josh. 15). But there was a second distribution, when Simeon received an allotment, about 1,000 square miles, out of the portion of Judah (Josh. 19:9). That which remained to Judah was still very large in proportion to the inheritance of the other tribes. The boundaries of the territory are described in Josh. 15:20-63. This territory given to Judah was divided into four sections. (1.) The south (Heb. negeb), the undulating pasture-ground between the hills and the desert to the south (Josh. 15:21.) This extent of pasture-land became famous as the favourite camping-ground of the old patriarchs. (2.) The "valley" (15:33) or lowland (Heb. shephelah), a broad strip lying between the central highlands and the Mediterranean. This tract was the garden as well as the granary of the tribe. (3.) The "hill-country," or the mountains of Judah, an elevated plateau stretching from below Hebron northward to Jerusalem. "The towns and villages were generally perched on the tops of hills or on rocky slopes. The resources of the soil were great. The country was rich in corn, wine, oil, and fruit; and the daring shepherds were able to lead their flocks far out over the neighbouring plains and through the mountains." The number of towns in this district was thirty-eight (Josh. 15:48-60). (4.) The "wilderness," the sunken district next the Dead Sea (Josh. 15:61), "averaging 10 miles in breadth, a wild, barren, uninhabitable region, fit only to afford scanty pasturage for sheep and goats, and a secure home for leopards, bears, wild goats, and outlaws" (1 Sam. 17:34; 22:1; Mark 1:13). It was divided into the "wilderness of En-gedi" (1 Sam. 24:1), the "wilderness of Judah" (Judg. 1:16; Matt. 3:1), between the Hebron mountain range and the Dead Sea, the "wilderness of Maon" (1 Sam. 23:24). It contained only six cities. Nine of the cities of Judah were assigned to the priests (Josh. 21:9-19).
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Judah (praised, celebrated), the fourth son of Jacob and the fourth of Leah. (B.C. after 1753.) Of Judah's 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. Ge 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. Ge 43:3-10 and when, through Joseph's 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. Ge 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. Nu 1:26,27 On the borders of the promised land they were 76,500. Ge 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 Jos 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. - Smith's
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Miscellaneous Facts about Judah

Judah was a Tribe
Genesis 29:35 - And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.
Genesis 35:23 - The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:
Joshua 15:1 - [This] then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; [even] to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward [was] the uttermost part of the south coast.
Judges 1:2 - And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand. And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him. And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.  And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites. But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered [their meat] under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died. Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire. And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites, that dwelt in the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley. And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before [was] Kirjatharba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai. And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before [was] Kirjathsepher: And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife. And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife. And it came to pass, when she came [to him], that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off [her] ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou? And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs. And the children of the Kenite, Moses' father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which [lieth] in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people. And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah. Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof. And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out [the inhabitants of] the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron. And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak. 
1 Kings 12:20 - And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.
1 Kings 12:23 - Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying,

Judah was a Region and a Kingdom consisting of the southern part of Israel from Geba to Beersheba
2 Kings 23:8 - And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that [were] in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which [were] on a man's left hand at the gate of the city.

'Israel and Judah' denoted the whole nation
1 Samuel 17:52 - And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.

David was king over Judah
2 Samuel 2:4 - And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, [That] the men of Jabeshgilead [were they] that buried Saul.
2 Samuel 2:10 - Ishbosheth Saul's son [was] forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David.

David later was king 'over Israel and over Judah'
2 Samuel 3:10 - To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba.
2 Samuel 5:5 - In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.
2 Samuel 12:8 - And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if [that had been] too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

After King Solomon's death his descendants reigned over Judah alone (with Benjamin)
1 Kings 12:17 - But [as for] the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
1 Kings 12:21 - And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying, "Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, saying,

Judah Remained until it fell to the Babylonians in 586 BC
2 Kings 24:12 - And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.

Some people remained in the land of Judah after its Destruction
2 Kings 25:22 - And [as for] the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler.

Others Returned to Judah after the Captivity
Ezra 1:5 - Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all [them] whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which [is] in Jerusalem.
Ezra 4:1 - Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; 

They became known as the Jews (i.e. Judahites)
Nehemiah 1:2 - That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and [certain] men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

Judah was later Referred to as "Judea" which is the Greek and Latin Rendering
 


Judah Scriptures

Joshua 7:17 - And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken: 

2 Samuel 12:8 - And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if [that had been] too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 

2 Kings 3:7 - And he went and sent to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, The king of Moab hath rebelled against me: wilt thou go with me against Moab to battle? And he said, I will go up: I [am] as thou [art], my people as thy people, [and] my horses as thy horses. 

1 Chronicles 21:5 - And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all [they of] Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah [was] four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword. 

Judges 1:18 - Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof. 

2 Chronicles 25:19 - Thou sayest, Lo, thou hast smitten the Edomites; and thine heart lifteth thee up to boast: abide now at home; why shouldest thou meddle to [thine] hurt, that thou shouldest fall, [even] thou, and Judah with thee? 

Ezekiel 37:16 - Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and [for] all the house of Israel his companions: 

2 Chronicles 30:24 - For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves. 

2 Kings 10:13 - Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who [are] ye? And they answered, We [are] the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen. 

Jeremiah 44:12 - And I will take the remnant of Judah, that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed, [and] fall in the land of Egypt; they shall [even] be consumed by the sword [and] by the famine: they shall die, from the least even unto the greatest, by the sword and by the famine: and they shall be an execration, [and] an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach. 

2 Kings 23:8 - And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that [were] in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which [were] on a man's left hand at the gate of the city. 

Joshua 19:1 - And the second lot came forth to Simeon, [even] for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah. 

Daniel 5:13 - Then was Daniel brought in before the king. [And] the king spake and said unto Daniel, [Art] thou that Daniel, which [art] of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry? 

Jeremiah 36:6 - Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the LORD in the ears of the people in the LORD'S house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities. 

Jeremiah 21:7 - And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy. 

Nehemiah 11:25 - And for the villages, with their fields, [some] of the children of Judah dwelt at Kirjatharba, and [in] the villages thereof, and at Dibon, and [in] the villages thereof, and at Jekabzeel, and [in] the villages thereof, 

2 Samuel 21:2 - And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites [were] not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) 

Jeremiah 44:30 - Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give Pharaohhophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life. 

2 Kings 9:21 - And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite. 

Jeremiah 32:4 - And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes; 

2 Kings 14:10 - Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine heart hath lifted thee up: glory [of this], and tarry at home: for why shouldest thou meddle to [thy] hurt, that thou shouldest fall, [even] thou, and Judah with thee? 

Joshua 7:1 - But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel. 

2 Kings 14:13 - And Jehoash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash the son of Ahaziah, at Bethshemesh, and came to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim unto the corner gate, four hundred cubits. 

Isaiah 40:9 - O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift [it] up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! 

Ezekiel 48:8 - And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto the West side, shall be the offering which ye shall offer of five and twenty thousand [reeds in] breadth, and [in] length as one of the [other] parts, from the east side unto the West side: and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it. 

1 Kings 12:32 - And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that [is] inJudah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 

2 Chronicles 25:23 - And Joash the king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, at Bethshemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits. 

Ezekiel 48:22 - Moreover from the possession of the Levites, and from the possession of the city, [being] in the midst [of that] which is the prince's, between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin, shall be for the prince. 

1 Chronicles 6:65 - And they gave by lot out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, and out of the tribe of the children of Benjamin, these cities, which are called by [their] names. 

2 Kings 8:29 - And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.   Map of Ancient Israel
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