Fourth son of Jacob and father of the tribe of Judah, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. His name comes from the Hebrew word of gratitude. Leah gave birth to Judah and said "Now I will praise God" (Genesis 30:35) It was his idea to sell his brother Joseph to a Midianite slave trader rather than leave him to die in the pit (Genesis 37:27). He later became the spokesman for his father Jacob and his brothers when they traveled to Egypt during the famine in Canaan. He marries Shua, a Canaanite woman, and has three sons: Er, Onan, and Shelah. Judah is also involved with Tamar and has twin sons with her named Perez and Zerach.
Sources: Bridger, David. Ed. The New Jewish Encyclopedia, NY: Behrman House, 1976; Navigating the Bible II