Judah @ 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" Genesis:29:35). It was Judah that interposed in behalf of Joseph, so that his life was spared Genesis:37:26-27). He took a lead in the affairs of the family, and "prevailed above his brethren" Genesis:43:3-10Genesis:44:14-16-34Genesis:46:28 ; 1Chronicles: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).
Judah upon Jordan @ The Authorized Version, following the Vulgate, has this rendering in Joshua:19:34. It has been suggested that, following the Masoretic punctuation, the expression should read thus, "and Judah; the Jordan was toward the sun-rising." The sixty cities (Havoth-jair, Numbers:32:41) on the east of Jordan were reckoned as belonging to Judah, because Jair, their founder, was a Manassite only on his mother's side, but on his father's side of the tribe of Judah ( 1Chronicles:2:51Chronicles:2:21-23).
Judah, Kingdom of @ When the disruption took place at Shechem, at first only the tribe of Judah followed the house of David. But very soon after the tribe of Benjamin joined the tribe of Judah, and Jerusalem became the capital of the new kingdom Joshua:18:28), which was called the kingdom of Judah. It was very small in extent, being only about the size of the Scottish county of Perth. For the first sixty years the kings of Judah aimed at re-establishing their authority over the kingdom of the other ten tribes, so that there was a state of perpetual war between them. For the next eighty years there was no open war between them. For the most part they were in friendly alliance, co-operating against their common enemies, especially against Damascus. For about another century and a half Judah had a somewhat checkered existence after the termination of the kingdom of Israel till its final overthrow in the destruction of the temple (B.C. 588) by Nebuzar-adan, who was captain of Nebuchadnezzar's body-guard ( 2Kings:25:8-21). The kingdom maintained a separate existence for three hundred and eighty-nine years. It occupied an area of 3-435 square miles. (See ISRAEL, KINGDOM OF.)
Judah, Tribe of @ Judah and his three surviving sons went down with Jacob into Egypt Genesis:46:12; Exodus: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 Numbers: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 Numbers:2:3-9Numbers: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 Joshua:14:6-15Joshua: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 Joshua:15). But there was a second distribution, when Simeon received an allotment, about 1,000 square miles, out of the portion of Judah Joshua: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 Joshua: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 Joshua: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 Joshua:15:48-60). (4.) The "wilderness," the sunken district next the Dead Sea Joshua: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" ( 1Samuel:17:341Samuel:22:1; Mark:1:13). It was divided into the "wilderness of En-gedi" ( 1Samuel:24:1), the "wilderness of Judah" Judges:1:16; Matthew:3:1), between the Hebron mountain range and the Dead Sea, the "wilderness of Maon" ( 1Samuel:23:24). It contained only six cities. Nine of the cities of Judah were assigned to the priests Joshua:21:9-19).
Judas @ the Graecized form of Judah. (1.) The patriarch Matthew:1:2-3). (2.) Son of Simon John:6:71John:13:2John:13:26), surnamed Iscariot, i.e., a man of Kerioth Joshua:15:25). His name is uniformly the last in the list of the apostles, as given in the synoptic (i.e., the first three) Gospels. The evil of his nature probably gradually unfolded itself till "Satan entered into him" John:13:27), and he betrayed our Lord (18:3). Afterwards he owned his sin with "an exceeding bitter cry," and cast the money he had received as the wages of his iniquity down on the floor of the sanctuary, and "departed and went and hanged himself" Matthew:27:5). He perished in his guilt, and "went unto his own place" Acts:1:25). The statement in Acts:1:18 that he "fell headlong and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out," is in no way contrary to that in Matthew:27:5. The sucide first hanged himself, perhaps over the valley of Hinnom, "and the rope giving way, or the branch to which he hung breaking, he fell down headlong on his face, and was crushed and mangled on the rocky pavement below." Why such a man was chosen to be an apostle we know not, but it is written that "Jesus knew from the beginning who should betray him" John:6:64). Nor can any answer be satisfactorily given to the question as to the motives that led Judas to betray his Master. "Of the motives that have been assigned we need not care to fix on any one as that which simply led him on. Crime is, for the most part, the result of a hundred motives rushing with bewildering fury through the mind of the criminal." (3.) A Jew of Damascus Acts:9:11), to whose house Ananias was sent. The street called "Straight" in which it was situated is identified with the modern "street of bazaars," where is still pointed out the so-called "house of Judas." (4.) A Christian teacher, surnamed Barsabas. He was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch along with Paul and Barnabas with the decision of the council Acts:15:22Acts:15:27, 32). He was a "prophet" and a "chief man among the brethren."