judah Summary and Overview
judah in 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 [Heb. odeh] Jehovah, and she called his name Yehudah" (Gen. 29:35). It was Judah that interposed in behalf of Joseph, so that his life was spared (Gen. 37:26, 27). He took a lead in the affairs of the family, and "prevailed above his brethren" (Gen. 43:3-10; 44:14, 16-34; 46:28; 1 Chr. 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 T0002787; TAMAR T0003579.) 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 (Gen. 49:8-12).
judah in Smith's Bible Dictionary
(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.
judah in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
JU'DAH (praise). 1. The fourth son of Jacob and Leah, was born in Mesopotamia. Gen 29:35. The name was given as an expression of the mother's gratitude. We know more of him than of the other patriarchs except Joseph, whose life he saved, advising the sale. Gen 37:26-28. His marriage, an incident in his son's life, and his liaison with Tamar are recorded in Gen 38. Judah became the surety for the safety of Benjamin on the second journey to Egypt. Gen 43:3-10. His conduct is worthy of all praise, and his plea for Benjamin's liberty is one of the most touching speeches in the Bible.Gen 44:14-34. He went down into Egypt with three sons. Gen 46:12. The tribe of Judah was always large and prominent, vying with Ephraim for the supremacy. The prophetic blessing which his father pronounced on Judah, Gen 49:8-12, is very remarkable. It describes the warlike character and gradually increasing strength of the tribe, comp. Num 2:3; Josh 14:11; Isa 15:1; Judges 1:1-2:1 Chr 14:17; Ps 18:40; Isa 29:1 (where its capital is called Ariel, "lion of God"), Rev 5:5; the duration of its power -- viz. until the coming of Christ, when Judaea became a province of Rome, comp. Luke 2:1-7; John 18:31: Acts 5:37; and the destruction of their city, a.d. 70, when the Christian dispensation had become established, comp. Matt 24:14; Acts 2:8; Rom 10:18, in the glory and triumph of the Messiah. His descendants took the southern section of Canaan, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, and northwardly to the territory of Benjamin and Dan. Josh 15:1-63. In the catalogue of the cities of this tribe we have the "uttermost cities," or those nearest Edom, on the south; cities "in the valley" -- that is, on the lowlands, near the coast; cities "in the mountains" -- that is, up in the interior; and cities "in the wilderness," or along the shores of the Dead Sea. Josh 15:21, Josh 15:33, Josh 15:48, Josh 15:61. Of the cities of Judah, several continued in the possession of the natives (as Ashdod, Gaza, Askelon, and Ekron), or, if conquered, were afterward recovered. 1. Father of two Levites who were overseers of the temple-work. Ezr 3:9. 2. A Levite who had a foreign wife. Ezr 10:23; Neh 12:8, Neh 12:36. 3. A Benjamite. Neh 11:9.
judah in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
1. The patriarch J UDAH ; Jacob's fourth son, by Leah. Judah = "praise", Leah having praised Jehovah for giving him; Jacob similarly refers to the meaning of Judah, "thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise"(Genesis 29:35; 49:8). He saved Joseph from death by the cruel and covetous plan of selling him to the Midianites. Conscience and natural feeling wrought on Judah, "what profit is it (like the antitype Judas, and in the keen bargaining spirit of the Jews ages afterward: John 12:4,5; Matthew 26:15), if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him ... and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh." Conscience was stupefied, and cupidity gratified, by this scheme. Judah was the brethren's spokesman in prevailing on Jacob to let Benjamin go to Egypt, and he undertook to be surety for him (Genesis 43:3-10); and when Joseph's cup was found with Benjamin, professed their guilt and liability to bondservice, though actually innocent